Suspect 'acted alone' in airport shooting
Friday 04 March 2011
A 21-year-old gunman who allegedly shot dead two American airmen and seriously wounded two others after boarding a military bus at Frankfurt airport was almost certainly a lone operator motivated by Islamic extremist beliefs, German investigators said yesterday.
Federal prosecutors identified the man who carried out Wednesday’s attack as a Kosovo Albanian called Arid Uka whose family had been living in Germany for 40 years. They claim that under questioning he had confessed to targeting US servicemen.
“According to our investigations so far, he appears to be a lone perpetrator,” said Boris Rhein, the regional state interior minister heading the German investigation. “We have reasons to believe that he is a radical Muslim,” he added.
Uka is reported to have had an argument with a US military employee standing in front of the bus before he boarded the vehicle chanting “Allahu Akbar!” and opened fire at random.
The bus was carrying 15 airmen who had just arrived from their base at Lakenheath in England. Police overpowered and arrested Uka minutes later after he ran into the terminal building brandishing a knife.
Mr Rhein said a preliminary examination of Uka’s computer suggested that he had contact with other radical Muslims on a social network site, although there was no indication that he was a member of a terrorist cell.
Investigators said he had recently changed his name on Facebook “Abu Reyyan” – his apparent nom de guerre. They said he had been working part time in a mail sorting room at the airport before he carried out the attack.
Contacted at his home in Frankfurt yesterday, Uka’s father said he was shocked by the attack. He apologised to the families of the victim’s and the American people. Uka's uncle admitted that his nephew was a devout Muslim, but insisted that his family was pro-American and utterly dismayed by the attack.
Investigators remained baffled by the fact that the apparent culprit's family background appeared to be staunchly pro-American. Kosovo’s estimated 2 million ethnic Albanians are largely sympathetic to America after it played a leading role in Nato’s 1999 bombing of Serbia forces, which later paved the way for Kosovo to secede from Belgrade.
A cousin said all Uka's family in Frankfurt knew at first was that their son failed to come home from work at Frankfurt airport on Wednesday night. Neighbours described him as “religious – but completely normal.”
- 1 King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Ukip Jelly Babies cause uproar on Amazon
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...
£250 - £300 per day: Investigo: Growing international marketing business requi...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ORM Consultant is required t...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of educat...