Europe was in the midst of another terror scare yesterday evening, as a Spanish van filled with gas canisters was held in the city of Rotterdam, Holland after a tip-off from Spanish police. The venue of a US rock band performance was immediately evacuated and the gig cancelled.
Tensions are clearly running high in Europe less than a week after the deadly terror attack in Barcelona.
Spanish police investigating the terrorist cell made a tipoff to their Dutch counterparts yesterday about a plan for a strike in Holland. With the bombing in Manchester at a concert venue still in their minds, the Dutch police moved very quickly when they found a white van with Spanish license plates and, hold on tight, multiple gas canisters in the back near the concert venue of a US rock band.
The city’s mayor proclaimed at a hastily arranged press conference that the van’s Spanish driver was arrested and being questioned by police. Military explosives experts were deployed. He said: "The ring that the police set up around the (concert hall) led to the detention of a bus with gas bottles. 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. Whether the bus with gas bottles can be linked to the threat, that cannot now be established."
The Dutch justice ministry spokesman, Mr Lodewijk Hekking, stated that the terrorism threat level in the Netherlands remains at “four” out of a possible five. Holland is one of the only remaining western European countries not to have been hit by a terrorist attack so far.
US rock band Allah-las, which is supposed to be today’s version of the psychedelic rock of sixties bands as the Beach Boys and the Doors, has a history of getting their gigs cancelled. The band name is considered offensive to Muslims and the members say that they already received threats in the past.