- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Rotterdam concert featuring the American band Allah-Las was canceled on Wednesday after police found a van with “gas bottles” near the venue.

Dutch police officers armed with a tip from Spanish authorities may have prevented a terror attack as deadly as the Nov. 13, 2015, massacre inside France’s Bataclan theater.

A suspect who repeatedly drove a vehicle with Spanish plates near the Maassilo concert hall was questioned when they made the discovery.

News of the “gas bottle” van comes only days after the Islamic State terror group took responsibility for a van attack in Barcelona and Cambrils that killed 15 people and injured over 120 others.

“It would be wrong at this moment to pile up these facts and conclude: thus there was a plan to attack with gas bottles, et cetera, because that was the picture last week in Barcelona. I would be careful with that,” Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb warned reporters during a press conference on the concert cancellation late Wednesday, the U.K. Express reported.

“Whether the bus with gas bottles can be linked to the threat, that cannot now be established,” the mayor said.

Indeed, the Associated Press reported that a Spanish counterterrorism official had told the news agency on condition of anonymity late Wednesday that the van was not connected to last week’s attacks in Spain.

Investigators dismissed that possibility after the driver, who was detained at the scene but not immediately identified, had been questioned and the vehicle examined.

However the official did confirm to AP that Spain’s Civil Guard had received “an alert indicating the possibility of an attack today in a concert that was going to take place in Rotterdam.” The Civil Guard is also still probing the case.

“Police took this information seriously enough that after discussion with organizers it was decided to cancel the event,” a statement from Rotterdam police said, AP reported.



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