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Islamist goes on trial over U.S. airmen killings

FRANKFURT: A 21-year-old Kosovan man will go on trial Wednesday charged with the murder of two U.S. soldiers in a shooting that marked the first deadly Islamist attack on German soil.

The March 2 assault occurred at Frankfurt airport, where Arid Uka is accused of opening fire on a group of U.S. soldiers on their way to fight in Afghanistan. Two airmen were killed and two wounded.

Uka faces a possible sentence of life imprisonment for murder and attempted murder.

Prosecutors believe the young man, who was born in Mitrovica in northern Kosovo but who grew up in Frankfurt, acted alone and did not belong to a terrorist network.

He is said to have done poorly at school, to be addicted to violent computer games, and to have sought out Islamist propaganda.

He reportedly told investigators it was on the morning of the attack that he decided to go out and kill as many U.S. soldiers as possible in revenge for the alleged rape of Afghan women by U.S. troops, as claimed in an online video he had just watched.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 30, 2011, on page 11.

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