Saturday 20 January 2018

Dortmund bus bomb suspect 'a loner who lived in small flat with parents'

A cameraman films Dortmund team bus after the bombing. Photo: AP
A cameraman films Dortmund team bus after the bombing. Photo: AP

Justin Huggler in Berlin

The man accused of bombing members of a German football team in a plot reminiscent of a James Bond movie is a quiet loner who lived with his parents, it has emerged.

A 28-year-old dual Russian and German national, named only as Sergei W under local privacy laws, is facing charges of attempted murder over a bomb attack on the Borussia Dortmund team bus two weeks ago.

German prosecutors allege he hoped to profit from the attack in a scheme similar to the plot of 'Casino Royale', by trading in shares in the football team. But far from living up to the image of a Bond villain, he was a quiet, unassuming man who lived in a two-bedroom flat with his parents.

"He had his own room, with a flowery curtain at the window," Ahmet Teker, a caretaker at the block of flats in the south German town of Freudenstadt, told 'Bild'.

"He always seemed unapproachable. He was polite, but he didn't let anyone get close. He was not ostentatious, he wasn't interested in status symbols."

But a school friend told the newspaper of another side to Sergei W. "He was ambitious, but he never showed it," the unnamed friend said. "His dreams were elsewhere, but they were unattainable."

Sergei W was born in Russia and moved to Germany with his parents in 2003, at the age of 14. He did well at school, qualified as an electrical engineer and got a job at a heating plant for a hospital. "He was a loner and a success, but he didn't want to work all his life," his school friend said.

Sergei W liked to place bets online, he said. "He always bet cautious amounts. But a year-and-a-half ago he gave it up. He said he always loses."

A change appears to have occurred in Sergei W at around this time. He cut ties with many acquaintances on Facebook shortly after. There are indications Sergei W may have been leading a double life. He had rented a room in Rottenburg, a three-hour drive from his home town.

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