Germany's Rock am Ring festival resumes after terror alert

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.

“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.


Festival goers are searched by security before entering the festival in the town of Nuerberg. (Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)

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.

Venues around the world, including Toronto’s Air Canada Centre and Winnipeg’s MTS Centre, said they were increasing security in response to what happened in Manchester.

Germany has been on alert since a number of violent attacks last year, including the truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market that left 12 victims dead and dozens of others injured. The attack, carried out by a young Tunisian man who had been denied asylum in Germany, was claimed by ISIS.

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