The arrest of Alfred Heinz Reumayr, 50, was made possible by an Albuquerque-based informant who knew Reumayr in prison and who went to federal agents with details of the plot.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Reumayr last week in British Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
"He tried to actually go and place the devices," ATF agent Larry Bettendorf said. "The reason he was doing it wasn't for any political or ideological terrorism. It was in furtherance of a fraudulent scheme."
Reumayr intended to buy up oil futures prior to the bombings, then arrange for the bombs to go off, Bettendorf said.
"He hoped it would drive the price of oil up, and he would sell out sell off his shares," the agent said by phone from ATF regional headquarters in Phoenix.
The informant, whose name was withheld, had been asked to set the bombs for Reumayr, Bettendorf said.
"He was going to have the informant plant them all," the agent said.
Reumayr, who lives in New Westminster, B.C., had been released from a federal prison in Segoville, Texas, and deported on Jan. 30, 1990.
An affidavit filed by Albuquerque-based ATF agent Frank Ortiz III said the informant, who had met Reumayr at Segoville, told agents he began receiving a series of encrypted messages on the Internet from Reumayr in April 1998 outlining the pipeline scheme and expressing "his intense desire to get even with the United States government."
Bettendorf did not know how to reach Reumayr for comment or what attorney might be representing him.
U.S. Magistrate William Deaton signed the arrest warrant Aug. 13 in Albuquerque.
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