Germany bus attack: police arrest Russian speculator 

EPA/FRIEDEMANN VOGEL

The team bus of German soccer club Borussia Dortmund is seen on a street after it was hit by three explosions in Dortmund, Germany, 11 April 2017.

Germany bus attack: police arrest Russian speculator 


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German police arrested a man on Friday suspected of planting explosives targeting the bus of soccer team Borussia Dortmund last week, the office of the German federal chief prosecutor said.

Rather than having links to radical Islamism, he was a market trader hoping to make money if the price of shares in the team fell, prosecutors say. The 28-year-old, identified only as Sergej W, was staying in the team’s hotel in a room overlooking the street where the explosion took place.

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 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.

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.

Security is an issue in campaigning for Germany’s federal election on Sept. 24, a tight battle in which Chancellor Angela Merkel is seeking a fourth term.

Last year, Merkel lost support to the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party after opening the country’s doors to more than a million migrants. The AfD has since seen its ratings fall while Merkel has regained some ground.

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