Police commandos on Friday arrested a German-Russian suspect, 28-year-old Sergej W, behind a bomb attack on Borussia Dortmund’s team bus, prosecutors said, indicating the motive was financial and not terror-related.
“The accused is suspected of having carried out the attack on the team bus of Borussia Dortmund on April 11,” prosecutors said.
He is charged with attempted murder, setting off explosions and causing serious physical injury.”
He was staying in the same hotel as the team, had a view of the scene where the attack was to be staged and had bought so-called put options on the team’s shares on the day of the incident, they said.
These 15,000 options could have been sold at a pre-determined price by June 17, with a sharp fall in the share price promising a high profit.“A significant drop in the price could have been expected if, as a result of the attack, players had been seriously injured or even killed,” the prosecutors said.
Sergej. W had allegedly taken out a loan on April 3 to pay for the put options and bought them online from the IP address of the Hotel L’Arrivee, where the team was staying.
He had reserved the room in mid-March for the periods April 9-13 and 16-20 – coinciding with the team’s two scheduled matches against Monaco, though it was not yet clear at the time which one would be held in Dortmund.
He hoped to earn as much as 3.9 million euros ($4.2 million), the Bild newspaper reported.
The team’s share price has fallen by about 5.5 percent on the Deutsche Boerse since the attack and closed at 5.36 euros on Thursday.
Citing unnamed investigators, Bild said police believed the suspect was capable of building a remotely-triggered bomb, having won an educational award in electronics and engineering in 2005.
Three purported claims of responsibility stating a radical Islamist motive were found at the scene, on paper bearing no fingerprints, prosecutors said.
But Islamic studies scholars voiced “considerable doubts” about their authenticity, they said.
An Iraqi man was taken into custody over a suspected Islamist link but was later cleared of involvement in the attack.
Similarly, a purported claim stating a far-right motive sent to German media bore “contradictions and inconsistencies”, prosecutors said, adding that there was “no indication that it was sent by the perpetrator”.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere labelled the arrest “a great success” and said that, if confirmed, “this would be a particularly repugnant motive”.
Federal prosecutors scheduled a press conference for 1030 GMT on the investigation, which has involved several hundred police officers.