Bomb attack on German soccer team was thought to be terror. Prosecutors now call it part of a get-rich-quick scheme

A 28-year-old Russian immigrant in Germany was arrested on Friday and charged with attempted murder for a bungled attack last week against one of the country’s top soccer teams, in what authorities say was a nefarious attempt to drive the club’s share price down through a stock market gambling scheme.

Despite various claims of responsibility by Islamic State, as well as far-right extremists in Germany for the April 11 attack that seriously wounded one player and a police officer, police say that simple greed was behind the three explosions that hit the Borussia Dortmund team bus.

It was a bizarre twist to resolve what was an unsettling mystery behind the attack, which had kept the country on edge. Police have been quoted in German media saying some of the players could have been killed had the three small bombs exploded just seconds earlier or if the bus had passed closer to the bushes where the explosives had been planted.

“That someone evidently wanted to get rich by killing people in order to manipulate the stock market price is an especially repulsive form of greed,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said after praising the police work that led to the arrest at dawn Friday by anti-terror forces. Prosecutors identified the bomber only as Sergei W., a dual national with Russian and German citizenship.

The bombing occurred as the team was heading to a Champions League game against AS Monaco in the western city of Dortmund. In addition to attempted murder, the suspect also was charged by federal prosecutors with inflicting serious bodily harm and staging an attack with explosives.

“The evidence is overwhelming,” de Maiziere said . “It is especially perfidious that this man played on public fears by acting like a terrorist.”

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