June 3, 2017 / 9:54 AM / 5 months ago

German rock concert resumes after terrorism alert

BERLIN (Reuters) - An open-air weekend “Rock am Ring” concert near Germany’s Nuerburgring race track resumed on Saturday after being suspended on Friday due to a possible terrorist threat, the organizers and police said.

Festival goers arrive at the open-air weekend "Rock am Ring" concert at Germany's Formula One race track Nuerburgring, Germany June 3, 2017. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

“After intensive searches of the whole festival area, the suspicions have not hardened into an acute threat situation,” the organizers said on their Facebook page, adding that police had given a green light for the concert to go ahead.

The deputy police chief of nearby Koblenz, Christoph Semmelrogge, said no suspicious objects were found at the venue.

A suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester, England on May 22 led to changes in the security planning for the German concert and the number of security officials was increased substantially.

Police temporarily stopped the concert on Friday as they suspected three people from the western state of Hesse were planning to set off an explosion. The three, who had backstage passes, were detained and subsequently released, police said.

Police found on Friday morning that at least one of the three was known to them for links to Islamist terrorism. The names on the backstage passes did not match the suspects’ names.

“In our view, that made the abstract threat far more concrete,” said Koblenz police chief Wolfgang Fromm.

Police continued their investigation after seizing items belonging to the suspects.

Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Edmund Blair

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