Borussia Dortmund: Arrest confirms monetary lust, not Islamic extremists, behind team bus attack

Sayantan Maitra
borussia dortmund

A suspect was nabbed by the German Federal Police's GSG 9 (a special operations unit) on Friday April 21 in connection with the Borussia Dortmund team bus attack on April 11. The suspect, identified as Sergej W, is a 28-year-old German-Russian citizen. He was caught by the special operations police unit in Tubingen.

Sergej faces charges of attempted murder, attempt of causing serious bodily harm and causing an explosion.

The series of explosions near the team bus ahead of the Champions League 1st leg match against AS Monaco on April 11 left Borussia Dortmund defender Marc Bartra with an injury in the arm, while the rest of the team members were left in shock.

This could have turned out to be one of the reasons Dortmund couldn't put up a good challenge against Monaco over the two legs of their Champions League quarterfinal tie as they lost 3-6 in aggregate.

"The investigations by the Federal Prosecutor's Office, the Federal Criminal Police Office and the North Rhine-Westphalian police were conducted very intensively and with extreme pressure," Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke and club president Reinhard Rauball said in a club statement.

"We are grateful for the fact that in the suspect the responsible person for the humiliating attack on our players and staff members could be taken."

borussia dortmund

Reuters

More on the team bus attack

The Federal Prosecuters are claiming that Sergej's step could have possibly been motivated by monetary lust. Islamic extremists may not have had any connection with the attack.

Sergej, who, on Tuesday evening, stayed at the Hotel L'Arrivée — the same hotel the BVB team stayed at, may have bought 15,000 put options for shares of Borussia Dortmund, according to the Federal Prosecutors. The securities had a term until June 17 2017.

borussia dortmund

Reuters

"The buyer of so-called put options speculated on falling prices. Put options entitle the holder to hold a fixed quantity for a given period: up to 17 June 2017: 15,000 shares of a specific security: To sell the Borussia Dortmund share at a pre-determined price," explained the Federal Prosecutor's statement.

"The amount of the profit depends on the amount of the share price loss. In the event of a massive decline in the Borussia Dortmund share, the profit would have been multiplied by the provisional calculations.

"A significant drop in the price would have been expected if, as a result of the attack, players were seriously injured or even killed."

A total of 700 officials from the Federal Criminal Police Office, the North Rhine-Westphalian police and the Baden-Württemberg police were involved in the investigation.

More from the statement on the attack

  • The three sprinkle sets were mounted over a length of 12 meters in a hedge along the route of the team bus. The explosive effect of the explosions was directed to the bus. The sprinkling sets were ignited with optimum timing. The front and rear explosives were placed near the ground. The mean was about one meter high. He was thus too high to be able to unfold his full effect. The sprinkler sets were equipped with metal pins. The metal pins are about 70 mm long, have a diameter of 6 mm and a weight of about 15 g. A metal pin was still found at a distance of 250 meters. The ignition took place according to the present state of knowledge for each explosive set separately via a spark-triggered electrical circuit. The nature of the explosive used is not yet known.
  • The crew bus was not equipped with tank but with safety glass. At the time of the attack he had a speed of about 23 km / hour. The bus has damage in the front and rear area. Among other things, several window panes are broken. In the headrest of the second seat in the rear row one of the metal pins installed in the sprung sets was found.
  • At the scene of the crime, three texts of the same kind were found. One of the letters was attached to one of the posts in the hedge. The other two letters were placed in the hedge. No finger or grip marks could be detected on the writing. The writings claim a radical Islamist motive for the attack. The affidavit was examined by Islamic scholars. There are considerable doubts about a radical Islamist origin.
  • On the 13th of April 2017, a right-wing extremist letter was sent at the Tagesspiegel and at WELT / N24. Writing has contradictions and inconsistencies. There is currently no indication that it comes from the perpetrator.

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