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1st LD: German police arrest suspect of Borussia Dortmund explosion

Xinhua, April 21, 2017 Adjust font size:

German special forces have arrested a man suspected of being responsible for the bomb attack on the Borussia Dortmund football team's tour bus that injured player Marc Bartra and a policeman on April 11.

The federal prosecutors accused 28-year-old Sergej W. of premeditated attempted murder of Borussia Dortmund football players for financial gain. The suspect holding German and Russian nationalities now faces charges of attempted murder, causing an explosion, and inflicting grievous bodily harm.

According to the federal prosecutors, the suspect bought a large amount of put options of the football club's shares on April 11, using a loan taken out at the beginning of the month.

The bomb attack was designed to injure or kill as many members of the football team as possible to cause a share price drop. The options would allow for a sale of the shares at a predetermined price, with a significant profit to be made in the event the price fell.

The suspect planned to earn millions with this scheme, according to Ralf Jaeger, interior minister in North Rhine-Westphalia. In light of the current evidence, Jaeger spoke of a "despicable motive, executed with a high degree of criminality and professionalism." Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere spoke of a "vile motive," if the allegations are true.

The investigators were led to the suspected bomber by reports from the financial services industry and a money laundering charge raised by a bank two days after the attack. House searches were conducted in four German states and communication devices seized.

Sergej W. rented a room in the same hotel the football team stayed in on April 9 and purchased the share options online via an IP address from the hotel. According to the investigators, the suspect demanded a room with a view of the street where the attack occurred; it is possible the detonation was triggered remotely.

Two of the fragmentary explosives, filled with metal pins and hidden in a bush next to the road, exploded as planned. Many windows of the bus burst and a metal pin was found embedded in one of the headrests. A third bomb was aimed too high and fired over the bus.

The letters of confession found at the bombing site claiming radical motivations for the crime, and the following confession statements by right- and left-wing extremists, displayed serious discrepancies and were not considered to be linked to the attack by the investigators. Endit