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The Latest: Stopped van thought unrelated to Spain attacks

Last Updated Aug 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm EDT

In this image taken from video people and security stand around a van in Rotterdam, Wednesday Aug. 23, 2017, after a concert by an American rock band was cancelled Wednesday night following a threat, the city's mayor said. Police detained the driver of a van with Spanish license plates carrying a number of gas tanks inside. (RTL via AP)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The Latest on the cancellation of a concert by American rock band Allah-Las in the Netherlands (all times local):

12:35 a.m.

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.

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10:15 p.m.

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.

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9:55 p.m.

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 honourable “and mainly they understand.”

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This item has been corrected to show the band based its name on Allah, the Arabic word for God, not All.

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9:50 p.m.

Rotterdam police say a concert in the Dutch port city by American rock group Allah-Las has been cancelled because of a “terror threat.”

Rotterdam police did not specify the nature of the threat in a statement Wednesday night, but said an investigation was underway and no arrests have been made.

The statement said: “Police took this information seriously enough that after discussion with organizers it was decided to cancel the event,” the Rotterdam police statement said.

Concert organizer Rotown said earlier on Twitter that the concert venue, a former grain silo, was being evacuated because of the unspecified threat and concertgoers would get their money back.

Dutch television showed officers in body armour outside Maassilo and what appeared to be members of the band leaving the venue in a white van with a police escort. The band did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

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9:00 p.m.

A rock music venue in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam says it has cancelled a concert by American group Allah-Las because of a “terror threat.”

Concert organizer Rotown said on Twitter that Wednesday night’s concert at the Maassilo venue was cancelled on orders of police.

It said the venue, a former grain silo, was being evacuated because of the unspecified threat and concertgoers would get their money back.

Police in Rotterdam had no immediate comment, but said they would issue a statement. Dutch television showed officers in body armour outside Maassilo.

Allah-Las is a four-piece band from Los Angeles.

A concert in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam by American rock group Allah-Las was cancelled Wednesday night because of a “terror threat,” police said in a statement.

“Police took this information seriously enough that after discussion with organizers it was decided to cancel the event,” the Rotterdam police statement said.

An investigation was underway, but no arrests have been made, police said.

Concert organizer Rotown said earlier on Twitter that the concert venue, a former grain silo called Maassilo, was being evacuated because of the unspecified threat and concertgoers would get their money back.

The show hadn’t yet started when the decision to cancel it was made.

Dutch television showed officers in body armour outside Maassilo and what appeared to be members of the band leaving the venue in a white van with a police escort. The band did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

Allah-Las is a four-piece band from Los Angeles.

In an interview with British newspaper The Guardian last year, band members said they chose the word All, Arabic for God, because they were seeking a “holy sounding” name and did not realize it might cause offence.

“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,” lead singer Miles Michaud told the newspaper. “We email back and explain why we chose the name, and mainly they understand.”