A suspected terrorist attack in Rotterdam turned out to be a drunk Spanish lorry driver, who has been arrested.
Panic broke out in The Netherlands when a rented van filled with gas bottles was spotted weaving around near the Maassilo concert hall on Wednesday night, with authorities and the public fearing a repeat of recent incidences in Barcelona, Cambrils, Turku (Finland) and Wuppertal (Germany).
The van was Spanish-registered, and the driver – who has not been identified publicly – is also Spanish, said Rotterdam’s mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb.
He said the gas bottles were butane containers for domestic use.
The driver was drunk, and remains in custody, but Dutch and Spanish authorities have ruled out any connection with so-called Jihad terrorism.
Another man, aged 22, was arrested in the early hours of today (Thursday) at his home in Brabant, in the south of the country, in connection with the incident.
Dutch police say the information they had from Spanish authorities had been ‘sufficiently serious’ to lead to their calling off the concert and putting police blockades in the area.
But it is not known what the Spanish van driver’s intentions were – or whether he was merely a delivery driver who was over the alcohol limit.
The Los Angeles-based rock band, Allah-Las, had not started their gig at the Maassilo stadium at the time.
According to the foursome California, they had received a barrage of criticism on social media because of their name.
They had called themselves Allah-Las because they ‘wanted something with a mystical meaning’, but subsequently found out they had upset numerous Muslims.