Potential van bomb triggers concert shutdown in Europe

POLICE in the Netherlands say they have stopped a van with Spanish number plates containing a number of gas bottles, as a terror alert in Rotterdam triggered the cancellation of a concert by an American rock band.

The band, Allah-Las, was due to play on Wednesday evening at the Maassilo venue.

Concert organiser Rotown released a statement saying they had been advised by the authorities to cancel the show.

It came after the van, parked near the venue, was discovered by police.

Rotterdam's mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, said the van's driver had been detained and was being questioned.

Mr Aboutaleb said the concert was cancelled after a tip-off from Spanish police, who are continuing to investigate a twin terror attack in Catalonia that left 15 people dead.

It is not clear if authorities believe there was a link between the attack in Barcelona and Cambrils and the van.

Earlier on Wednesday, armed police entered the concert venue and the building was later evacuated, local media reported.

A statement released by Rotown said: "On the advice of police, we have been forced to cancel the concert of Allah-Las at the venue.

"There's no point coming. Sorry for the inconvenience."

An update added: "This is a terrorist threat and the venue is being evacuated.

"Ticketholders will, of course, get their money back."

The band has not yet made any official announcement.

They have reportedly also had shows cancelled in Turkey because of their name.

In an interview with 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 realise 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. He said the band usually wrote back and explained its intentions were honourable "and mainly they understand".

Topics:  police terrorism

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