The Latest: Stopped van thought unrelated to Spain attacks – New York Daily News
A Spanish counterterrorism official says a van with a Spain license plate that was detained in the Rotterdam is not connected to the attacks that killed 15 people in Spain last week.
The official said investigators discarded a possible link between the van’s driver and the extremist cell that carried out the attacks in and near Barcelona after questioning the driver and examining the van.
The van was stopped in Rotterdam on Wednesday night not far from a concert venue where a show by American rock band Allah-Las was cancelled due to an unspecified threat.
Rotterdam’s mayor said the vehicle had a number of gas canisters inside.
The official said Spain’s Civil Guard had notified Dutch authorities of “an alert indicating the possibility of an attack today in a concert that was going to take place in Rotterdam.”
The official spoke anonymously because the Civil Guard is still probing the potential threat.
The mayor of Rotterdam says police in the port city stopped a van with Spanish license plates containing a number of gas bottles close to the venue of a concert by an American rock band that was cancelled following a threat.
Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said at a hastily arranged press conference that the van’s driver had been detained and was being questioned on Wednesday night.
Aboutaleb says the concert by Los Angeles band Allah-Las was called off after Dutch police received a terror warning from Spanish police.
He declined to give further details on the nature of the warning or where in Spain it came from.
Police in Spain have been investigating the deadly vehicle attacks last week that killed 15 people.
The scheduled show by American rock band Allah-Las hadn’t yet started when the decision to cancel it was made.
Allah-Las is a four-piece band from Los Angeles. The band did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment on Wednesday night.
In an interview with British newspaper The Guardian last year, band members said they chose the word Allah, Arabic for God, because they were seeking a “holy sounding” name. They said they didn’t realize it might offend Muslims.
Lead singer Miles Michaud told the newspaper that the group received emails from Muslims around the world who said they were offended. Michaud said the band usually wrote back and explained its intentions were honorable “and mainly they understand.”
This item has been corrected to show the band based its name on Allah, the Arabic word for God, not All.