Around 8,500 people attending a rap concert in Geneva were evacuated Saturday night after the venue received terroristic threats from a man linked to jihadist networks, who was later arrested by police.
The 40-year-old suspect in the case was arrested after the Arena concert hall in Geneva was evacuated, forcing the crowd of 8,500 people to leave the venue, which was set to see a performance by French rapper Lomepal that evening.
Police say that the terror threats against the venue were made online, although the exact details of the threats were not disclosed by police or the public prosecutor in the case, broadcaster RTS reports.
Olivier Francey, spokesman of the Geneva Public Prosecutor’s Office, did, however, note that the suspect has links to jihadist networks and that the man is accused of terroristic threats.
The order to evacuate came just prior to when the rapper was set to appear on stage as the first part of the concert had already taken place. The audience were told to leave the venue after waiting an hour for the French rapper to appear and were met with a large police presence after leaving the concert hall.
A cell of jihadists based in Geneva plotted to bomb cisterns full of oil near the city’s airport in a major terror attack. https://t.co/KFFigy7R16
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 15, 2020
“We received information that a threat was targeting the concert. For precautionary reasons, it was decided to evacuate the premises and carry out a search,” Geneva cantonal police spokeswoman Tiffany Cudré-Mauroux said.
Radical Islamic extremism remains a major security threat in Switzerland, with Geneva previously seeing a terrorist plot foiled by Swiss media, who reported in 2020 that a cell of jihadists was plotting to blow up cisterns of oil near the city’s airport.
According to the report, members of the cell had previously travelled to Syria where they met with members of the Islamic State terrorist group and received weapons training from the group.
More recently, a 29-year-old radical Islamic extremist was on trial in December for stabbing a Portuguese man to death in Morges.
“I wanted to avenge the prophet. I chose my victim arbitrarily. It had to be an adult – a man,” the suspect told the police but later claimed he realised his actions were wrong while in prison and expressed sadness for the victim’s family.