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.