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 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 2 Art Garfunkel: Paul Simon is a 'monster' with a Napoleon complex
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Isis 'jihadi bride' claims forced sex with Yazidi girls is never rape because Koran condones it
Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...