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Florida man charged with plotting to bomb Target stores

OCALA, Fla. (AP) — A grand jury has charged a Florida man with plotting to set off explosions in Target stores so that he could gain financially from a plunge in the company’s stock price.

An indictment filed Wednesday in federal court in Ocala charges 49-year-old Mark Barnett with five counts of attempted arson, possession of a destructive device and unlawful possession of a weapon.

A criminal complaint says the convicted felon offered a friend $10,000 to place packages of food filled with explosives at Target stores along the East Coast in February. The friend instead went to authorities. Authorities say Barnett hoped to buy Minnesota-based Target stock after the price plunged.

Barnett was being held at the Marion County Jail and couldn’t be reached for comment. Online court records showed no attorney listed for him.

In another recent bomb plot linked to financial gain, German prosecutors say a 28-year-old man schemed to net millions by betting against a prominent soccer team and then bombing the team’s bus.

The officials said last month that the German-Russian citizen, identified only as Sergej W. in line with German privacy laws, took out a five-figure loan to bet that Borussia Dortmund shares would drop, then bombed the team’s bus April 11 when it left the team hotel in an attack he tried to disguise as Islamic terrorism.

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