No Motive Yet in Killing of US Airmen in Germany

Suspect is a 21-year-old Kosovo citizen
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2011 6:07 PM CST
Frankfurt Shooting: No Motive Yet Known in Killing of Two US Airmen
Rexhep Uka 70, left, with his son Behxhet 48, at their home in Mitrovica, northern Kosovo on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, as they talk about their family member Arif Uka.   (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

(Newser) – Hours after a gunman killed two US airmen on a bus outside the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, more questions than answers are in play. Some wire highlights:

  • The suspect: He's identified as 21-year-old Arif (or Arid) Uka, a Kosovo citizen who worked at the airport. His relatives tell AP that he's a devout Muslim from a pro-American family. He's been charged with murder and attempted murder but nothing related to terrorism so far. There are conflicting reports on whether he was born in Germany or Kosovo.
  • The victims: The bus driver and another member of the Air Force were shot to death, and two others wounded, one with life-threatening injuries. They haven't been identified. The airmen had just arrived from Britain and were on their way to the Ramstein military base, ultimately en route to Afghanistan and Iraq.

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  • What happened: Witnesses say the suspect argued with airmen outside the bus before opening fire and briefly entering the vehicle. He then ran into the airport, where he was apprehended.
  • Terror ties? “I don’t know if he’s tied to a group, but there is enough information at this point to indicate that he identifies with Islamist terrorist ideology,” an anonymous US official tells the New York Times.
  • President Obama: Saying he was "saddened and outraged," he said the US "will spare no effort in learning how this outrageous act took place."
Click for more. (Read more Frankfurt stories.)

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