Agents from the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) detained a 22-year-old man as the main suspect of posting threats of an attack at the concert of U.S. pop singer Ariana Grande in Costa Rica on Sunday.
Police arrested the suspect, a Colombian national with the last names Caicedo López, during a raid of his house in Moravia, northeast of San José, at 6 a.m. on Sunday.
The OIJ launched the investigation on Saturday after receiving an alert of a threatening message posted on the Facebook profile of one of the concert organizers.
The message, written in Arabic, warned of possible acts of violence or an attack that could occur at Grande’s concert in Costa Rica.
The investigation involved specialized agents from OIJ’s Special Tactical Response Unit and the its Plans and Operations Unit; the Department of Intelligence and Security; and the Prosecutors’ Office.
OIJ Director Wálter Espinoza said at a press conference that authorities took the threat seriously from the start and immediately initiated coordinated actions to determine the message’s origin.
“Our work during this operation was first directed toward verifying whether we were indeed facing an attack threat,” he said. Espinoza said that they always take these threats seriously, even if it might be “just a prank.”
During the arrest, agents seized two cell phones that were allegedly used to send the message, Espinoza said.
The OIJ presented the man to the Prosecutor’s Office so authorities there can determine his legal situation and his immigration status in Costa Rica. He will initially face charges for threats and public instigation of a criminal act.
Meanwhile, organizers proceeded with the original security plan for the concert, which included three separate rings of security where all concertgoers were required to undergo searches by National Police officers, private security agents and Grande’s personal security staff.
On May 22, an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, killed 22 people and injured 59 others.
Attendees posted pictures of the security check points:
Aquí en el acceso al concierto de Ariana Grande. Seguridad en todas las entradas. @fuerzapublicaCR presente. pic.twitter.com/jcSLZTUEAY
— Isabel Zúñiga 🦋 (@Isacri01) July 9, 2017