A 21-year-old Kosovo Albanian confessed today to killing two US airmen at the Frankfurt airport in March, saying in emotional testimony at the opening of his trial that he had been influenced by radical Islamic propaganda online. Arid Uka is charged with two counts of murder for the slaying of Senior Airman Nicholas Alden, a 25-year-old from South Carolina, and 21-year-old Airman 1st Class Zachary Cuddeback of Virginia. He also faces three counts of attempted murder in connection with the wounding of two others.
The night before the crime, Uka said that he followed a link to a video posted on Facebook that purported to show American soldiers raping a teenage Muslim girl. It turned out to be a scene from the 2007 anti-war Brian De Palma film Redacted, taken out of context. He said he then decided he should do anything possible to prevent more American soldiers from going to Afghanistan, and, according to the indictment, went to the airport armed with a pistol, extra ammunition, and two knives. Inside Terminal 2, he spotted two US servicemen who had just arrived, followed them to their bus, asked one of the men for a cigarette, then began shooting. (Read more Germany stories.)