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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

FRANKFURT-U.S. AIRMEN MURDER CASE: Suspect admits killing US airmen at German airport!

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By DAVID McHUGH and DAVID RISING, Associated Press / Aug 31, 9:15 AM EDT.


AP Photo/Michael Probst.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - A Kosovo Albanian man confessed Wednesday to killing two U.S. airmen at the Frankfurt airport, saying in emotional testimony at the opening of his trial that he had been influenced by radical Islamic propaganda online.


Arid Uka, 21, is charged with two counts of murder for the March 2 slaying of Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden, 25, from South Carolina, and Airman 1st Class Zachary R. Cuddeback, 21, from Virginia. He also faces three counts of attempted murder in connection with the wounding of two others.

Although Germany has experienced scores of terrorist attacks in past decades, largely from leftist groups like the Red Army Faction, the airport attack was the first attributed to an Islamic extremist.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, there have been about a half-dozen other jihadist plots that were either thwarted or failed - including a 2007 plan to kill Americans at the U.S. Air Force's Ramstein Air Base.

Uka went to the airport with the intent "to kill an indeterminate number of American soldiers, but if possible a large number," prosecutor Herbert Deimer told a state court in Frankfurt.

No pleas are entered in the German system, and Uka confessed to the killings after the indictment was read, telling the court "what I did was wrong but I cannot undo what I did." He went on to urge other radical Muslims not to seek inspiration in his attack, urging them not to be taken in by "lying propaganda" on the Internet.

"To this day I try to understand what happened and why I did it... but I don't understand," he said.


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