[QODLink]
Europe
Kosovan admits killing US airmen in Frankfurt
Arid Uka tells German court he regrets shooting two US airmen at airport and was influenced by Islamist "propaganda".
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2011 20:08
Prosecutors say Uka acted alone in carrying out the attack on US servicemen at Frankfurt airport [Reuters]

A Kosovo man has told a German court he regrets shooting dead two US airmen and wounding two more at Frankfurt airport in March, and does not understand why he did it.

Charged with two counts of murder and three of attempted murder, Arid Uka, 21, a Kosovo Albanian who grew up in Germany, told the court he was influenced by Islamist "lies and propaganda that blinded me". 

"What I did was wrong, but I cannot undo what I did," Uka said at the opening of his trial on Wednesday.

Prosecutors believe Uka acted alone in carrying out the attack in Germany, if found guilty he could face a life sentence.

Uka told the court he felt he had to act after he was shocked by a video the night before the attack that appeared to show US soldiers raping Muslim women.

In fact, the video was a scene from Brian De Palma's anti-war film, Redacted.

"I had to do something, I had these pictures in my head," said Uka when questioned by prosecutors.

"I thought what I saw in that video these people would do in Afghanistan, I killed two people and opened fire on three others, today I can't understand myself how I could have acted this way."

He said some people viewed his actions as good but they were subject to the same "lies and propaganda that blinded me".

Acted alone

Uka was working at the airport's international postal centre when he fired on the airmen at point-blank range with a 9mm pistol.

The attack shocked US citizens and US President Barack Obama expressed outrage.

German prosecutors believe Uka acted alone but he refused to tell the judge where he obtained the pistol.

Prosecutors have described how Uka walked up to airmen boarding a US army bus and asked one of them for a cigarette.

After establishing the soldiers were heading to fight in Afghanistan, Uka shot the 25-year-old man in the back of the head.

Prosecutors say he then boarded the bus, shouted "Allahu Akbar" or "God is great" and shot dead a 21-year old airman sitting in the driver's seat. He wounded two others and pulled the trigger on a fifth target when his gun jammed.

The airmen on the bus had just flown in from Britain and were about to travel to the nearby US airbase at Ramstein, a hub for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A panel of three judges will deliver the verdict at the end of the trial, scheduled to last until January.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.