Borussia Dortmund attack: 'Stock market trader' arrested

Police swoop on 'speculator' who allegedly planned to cash in on anticipated drop in share price following attack

Borussia Dortmund bomb attack
Police surround the Borussia Dortmund team bus after it was targeted in a bomb attack
(Image credit: Maja Hitij/Getty)

Detectives investigating a bomb attack on the Borussia Dortmund football team bus in Germany this month have charged a man they describe as a "speculator".

The 28-year-old, a dual Russian-German citizen identified only as Sergei W, was arrested by counter-terror police early Friday morning in the south-western city of Tubingen.

He has been charged with 20 counts of attempted murder, as well as using explosives and serious bodily harm, Die Welt reports.

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Prosecutors say the man was hoping to make money if the price of shares in the team fell.

"A significant share price drop could have been expected if a player had been seriously injured or even killed as a result of the attack," they added.

According to Deutsche Welle, the suspect "allegedly bought options to short sell 15,000 shares of Borussia Dortmund stock for 78,000 euros [£65,000]".

Officials also say he stayed in the same hotel as the football team and had taken a room overlooking the site of the attack on 11 April.

Ralf Jager, interior minister for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which includes Dortmund, said the suspect "appears to have wanted to commit murder out of greed".

Letters left at the scene suggested an Islamist motive, but police now believe that this may have been an attempt to mislead investigators, the BBC reports. Links to far-right nationalist groups were also investigated.

Spanish defender Marc Bartra was injured when three roadside explosive devices packed with metal shards exploded as the Borussia Dortmund team travelled to face Monaco in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Borussia Dortmund attack: German Police investigate far-right link

18 April

German police are investigating a claim by a far-right group that it was responsible for last week's attack on the Borussia Dortmund football team bus.

An anonymous email sent to Berlin-based newspaper Tagesspiegel about the explosion "cited Adolf Hitler and railed against multiculturalism", reports The Guardian.

It also described the attack as a "final warning" and threatened to strike in Cologne on 22 April, when demonstrators will be protesting against the far-right anti-immigration Alternative for Deutschland political party.

The letter was the third to have taken responsibility for the attack: notes at the scene claimed the explosion had been carried out "in the name of Allah", while a second message, from a left-wing radical group online, was deemed not credible.

Federal prosecutors said they were investigating the latest claim amid speculation that the original letter "may have been a ploy to frame Islamists and divert investigators from the true perpetrators, while stoking tensions", says The Independent.

Frauke Kohler, a spokesperson for the prosecutor's office, said "significant doubts" had emerged over the original letters left at the scene of the bombing.

An investigator added: "The overall circumstances lead us to believe it's most likely that the perpetrators have a right-wing background."

Prosecutors also say there is no evidence linking an Iraqi arrested in the wake of the bombing with the attack.

According to Deutsche Welle, a source said "specialist knowledge was required to use the military detonators, which are not easy to get".

Borussia Dortmund attack: 'Islamist suspect' arrested

12 April

German police have arrested an "Islamist suspect" after the bomb attack on the Borussia Dortmund coach prior to last night's Champions League game against Monaco, reports the Daily Telegraph.

"Investigators said that two alleged Islamic extremists are the focus of the attack probe and that one has been detained following searches of their apartments," says the paper.

Three copies of the same letter were found near the site and indicated the attacker had links to Islamic State, says the BBC.

The letter claimed responsibility for the attack and begun with the phrase "in the name of Allah", as well as reportedly referring to the Berlin Christmas market attack, making an "Islamic extremist motive possible", officials said.

More details of the attack have emerged, says the BBC. "The blast radius of the attack was about 100m. Prosecutors said it was lucky the casualties were not worse." One piece of shrapnel was found embedded in a headrest in the vehicle.

Meanwhile, Marc Bartra, the Dortmund defender injured in the attack, has been discharged from hospital after an operation on a broken wrist and to remove glass from his hand.

He thanked fans for their support and wished his side well for the rearranged match, which takes place tonight.

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Borussia Dortmund bomb attack: Islamist and anti-fascist links

12 April

Investigators in Germany are trying to establish the motive for a bomb attack on the Borussia Dortmund football team, which left one of the players in hospital and led to the postponement of their Champions League quarter-final with Monaco.

Defender Marc Bartra suffered a broken wrist after a blast shattered the windows of the team bus as it drove to the Signal Iduna Park stadium in Dortmund for Tuesday's match.

Police said the three "serious explosive devices" had been concealed in a hedge on the route to the ground.

Goalkeeper Roman Burki, who was sitting next to Bartra at the back of the bus, said it had been hit by a "giant explosion", reports the BBC.

He added: "After the bang, we all ducked in the bus and those who could threw themselves to the ground. We did not know had happened."

A letter claiming responsibility found near the scene appears to suggest the attack was carried out by Islamist extremists. However, an anti-fascist group has also claimed responsibility.

"German police are investigating a possible Islamist link to three explosions that rocked the Borussia Dortmund football team bus after a letter found at the scene 'in the name of Allah' reportedly referred to the Berlin Christmas market attack," reports the Daily Telegraph.

The letter also mentioned Germany's deployment of Tornado reconnaissance missions as part of an international coalition against Islamic State.

However, adds the paper, "German investigators are also understood to be examining a second letter of responsibility from an anti-fascist group".

Sniffer dogs and drones were used to clear the area after the attack and fans gathering at the stadium were told of the incident and the cancellation of the game. It will now be played tonight.

Scottish football commentator Derek Rae, inside the stadium, told the Daily Record: "The fans were in shock even though it was all handled very calmly.

"When it became apparent what had happened, the Monaco fans started chanting 'Dortmund, Dortmund' to show their support."

Hans-Joachim Watzke, chief executive of Borussia Dortmund, said last night: "I hope the team will be in a position to be able to compete tomorrow on the pitch. In a crisis situation like this, Borussia pulls together".

The postponement of the game "left thousands of Monaco supporters facing an extra night in Germany but in a touching gesture [they] were offered emergency accommodation by Dortmund fans", reports The Independent.

The hashtag #bedforawayfans went viral on social media as local supporters offered up their spare rooms, adds the paper. Monaco has also offered to compensate its supporters.

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