German police have arrested a man suspected of carrying out the Borussia Dortmund bus bombing. The German-Russian’s motive is believed to have been financial, rather than linked to terrorist groups.
The 28-year-old suspect was arrested by the German GSG 9 elite counter-terrorist unit on Friday morning, near the university town of Tubingen, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office (GBA) confirmed in a statement.
The man, identified in local media as German-Russian dual national Sergey W., was charged with attempted murder as well as inflicting serious bodily harm through the use of explosives.
Financial motives are now thought to have been behind the triple bombing on the Borussia Dortmund football team last week, which happened as the team made its way to its home stadium for the Champions League quarter-final match against French team Monaco.
The prosecutor’s office says Sergey W. had bought 15,000 shares in the club just before the bombing, and planned to speculate on them if the stock price plummeted.
The so-called ‘put options’ he bought would have allowed him to sell the shares at a pre-determined price, entitling him to as much as $4.3 million (€4 million) if their value fell, according to Bild.
The investigators also say the man bought the shares while staying in L’Arrivee hotel – where Dortmund players were staying before their match – citing examination of his IP address.
He was also booked into the same hotel during the day of the attack, and his room overlooked the street where the explosions hit the bus. The blast injured Dortmund player Marc Bartra and a police officer. The GBA’s statement said that the bus had no armored protection or bulletproof windows.
It is yet to be established if the explosive devices used in the attack, packed with nails to increase the effect, were detonated remotely from inside the hotel. It is reportedly likely that Sergey W. stayed at the L’Arrivee even after the blast.
Following the explosion, which caused panic and chaos among terrified hotel guests, the suspect went to the L’Arrivee restaurant and ordered a steak, Bild reported.
Previously, the investigation struggled to establish a motive behind the attack.
Three identical letters full of threats “in the name of Allah” were found at the scene, but their wording made investigators suspicious.
“The letters were full of contradictions and inconsistencies,” the GBA’s statement said, adding that “there is considerable doubt about radical Islamists [being involved in the attack].”
Another letter claiming responsibility for the attack was posted online, first thought to have been composed by German left-wing activists, but was later discounted by police as well.