Islamic Extremist Gets Life for Killing 2 US Airmen
Arid Uka shot at servicemen in Frankfurt last year
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 10, 2012 9:52 AM CST
The defendant Arid Uka (C) sits between his lawyers Jens Joerg Hoffmann (L) and Michaela Roth in the courtroom of the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt/Main, central Germany on August 31, 2011.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – An Islamic extremist who killed two US airmen bound for Afghanistan at Frankfurt airport last year and injured two others was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison today. The state court in Frankfurt convicted 22-year-old Arid Uka of two counts of murder. It also found him guilty of three counts of attempted murder and serious bodily harm for wounding two other servicemen and taking aim at a third before his 9mm pistol jammed.

Uka, an ethnic Albanian from Kosovo, killed Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden, 25, from South Carolina, and Airman 1st Class Zachary R. Cuddeback, 21, from Virginia, in the March 2 attack on the Afghanistan-bound servicemen as they were boarding a bus at the airport. The judge ruled that Uka bears "particularly severe guilt," citing the nature of his ambush on the soldiers, the fact he shot unarmed people from behind, and the severity of the injuries he inflicted. That means he won't immediately be eligible for parole after 15 years as is usual in Germany.