Dutch concert by American band canceled due to terror threat

A rock concert by American band Allah-Las in the Dutch city of Rotterdam was canceled by authorities Wednesday for fear of a possible terror attack.

Concert organizer Rotown confirmed on Twitter that the show — which was to take place at Maassilo, a local venue — was called off by cops due to a “terror threat” and Maassilo had been evacuated.

Rotown assured fans that they would be getting their money back.

A Spanish van containing gas bottles was stopped near the venue, and the driver has been detained, Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said at a press conference.

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Aboutaleb also revealed that Spanish police tipped Dutch authorities to an attack planned at the venue, a large nightclub with multiple rooms and a capacity of more than 5,000.

The mayor said that the van was sent to the Defense Explosive Ordnance Disposal Service, but would not confirm a link between the vehicle and the terror threat.

Police officers donning bulletproof vests reported to the scene, as did an anti-terror unit, British newspaper the Daily Express reported, citing local media.

The band was at the venue at the time of the cancellation and received a police escort out the back entrance, according to local outlet Algemeen Dagblad.

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Allah-Las is a psychedelic pop-rock band from California in the vein of The Zombies and The Kinks.

A representative for the group released a statement Wednesday night saying they were “very grateful” to the police for handling the situation switfly and safely.

“Allah” is Arabic for god, and the band’s members have previously explained the name by saying they wanted something “holy sounding.”

Still, they admitted in 2016 that they have received backlash from Muslim listeners who see the name as a knock to their religious beliefs.

“We get emails from Muslims, here in the U.S. and around the world, saying they’re offended, but that absolutely wasn’t our intention,” the band told the Guardian. “We email back and explain why we chose the name and mainly they understand.”

Allah-Las previously had a show canceled in Turkey after the band name made a promoter uncomfortable.

The show’s cancellation comes several months after a June music festival in Germany was forced to evacuate more than 80,000 attendees due to a terrorist threat, and just one week after ISIS claimed responsibility for a Barcelona attack that left 14 dead.

Tags:
netherlands
terrorism

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