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Germany Arrests Suspect in Dortmund Team Bus Attack amid ‘Share Dealing’ Plot | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Police escort Dortmund’s US midfielder Christian Pulisic (C) after the attack on the team bus of Borussia Dortmund on April 11, 2017. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images / SASCHA SCHUERMANN)

Police on Friday arrested the suspected perpetrator of a bomb attack on the bus of Borussia Dortmund soccer team, the German federal chief prosecutor’s office said, indicating his motive was financial and not terror-related.

Police commandos working on behalf of the prosecutor’s office “have arrested a 28-year-old German-Russian national, Sergej W.,” a statement said.

It said he had bought 15,000 put options, or contracts giving him the right to sell Borussia Dortmund’s shares at a pre-determined price, on the day of the attack, using a consumer loan he had signed the previous week.

“If the shares of Borussia Dortmund had fallen massively, the profit would have been several times the initial investment,” the prosecutor’s office said.

The players’ bus was heading to their stadium for a Champions League match against AS Monaco on April 11 when three explosions occurred, wounding Spanish defender Marc Bartra, 26, and delaying the match by a day.

The suspect is accused of attempted murder, inflicting serious bodily harm and causing an explosion, the prosecutor’s office said.

The serious injury or death of any of the soccer players could have resulted in such a slump, it added.

Sergej W. was staying in the same hotel as the team and had a view of the scene where the attack was to be staged.

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.

The explosive devices containing metal pieces appear to have been hidden in a hedge and were set off as the bus passed. The blast had a radius of more than 100 meters.

There were three alleged claims of responsibility for the attack, one of which suggested an extremist link, but security sources questioned their authenticity, with experts suggesting the aim may have been to put investigators on the wrong track.