FRANKFURT, GERMANY-Arid Uka, the Kosovo Albanian accused of killing two U.S. Airmen and wounding two others before his gun jammed, confessed in a German Court today. He told the court that "what I did was wrong, but I cannot undo what I did." He also told the court that he had become increasingly radicalized by islamic propaganda in the weeks leading up to the shooting.
Arid Uka, who worked at the Frankfurt Airport in the International Postal Center, on March 2nd, followed two airmen that had just arrived at Frankfurt, to a bus that was waiting to transport them, along with other airmen, to another airport. Uka said he confirmed that the soldiers’ destination was Afghanistan, asked Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden, 25, from South Carolina, for a cigarette and took out a 9 mm pistol, loaded a magazine and proceeded to shoot the airman in the back of the head. Uka then boarded the bus and shot the driver, Airman 1st Class Zachary R. Cuddeback, 21, from Virginia. He then turned and opened fire on the other occupants of the bus wounding two. His gun jammed as he aimed at his third intended victim.
Uka confessed that he had been finally driven to the act by a video clip shown on an Islamic propaganda site the night before. The site had shown a clip from the 2007 movie “Redacted”. The movie clip was shown out of context, it had shown U.S. soldiers victimizing a young Afghani girl. It was then that he decided he had to prevent more soldiers from going to Afghanistan. “I thought what I saw in that video, these people would do in Afghanistan,” he told the court, his voice choking with emotion as he wiped away tears. “On the one hand I wanted to do something to help the women, and on the other hand I hoped I would not see any soldiers,” he told the court.
Some of the American airmen are expected to testify. At least one relative of the victims — Cuddeback’s mother — has joined the trial as a co-plaintiff, and officials from the State Department and Air Force are observing the trial.
This incident marks the first successful attack by an Islamic radicalist on German soil. The trial is expected to last until early next year.