Image: Defendant Arid Uka sits with his lawyer Roth as he awaits sentencing at higher regional court in Frankfurt
Ralph Orlowski  /  Reuters
Defendant Arid Uka, right, sits with his lawyer Michaela Roth as he awaits sentencing at the higher regional court in Frankfurt Friday.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 2/10/2012 9:38:40 AM ET 2012-02-10T14:38:40

An Islamic extremist was convicted Friday of killing two U.S. airmen at Frankfurt airport last year.

The state court in Frankfurt found 22-year-old Arid Uka guilty and sentenced him to life in prison for the March 2 attack on Afghanistan-bound servicemen as they boarded a bus at the airport.

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.

News agency DAPD said he was also convicted of attempted murder and serious bodily harm for wounding two other servicemen and taking aim at a third before his pistol jammed.

'Particularly severe guilt'
The court found that Uka bore "particularly severe guilt," meaning he won't immediately be eligible for parole after 15 years as is typical in Germany.

Uka, who was raised in Germany, earlier confessed to the attack and said he acted after seeing a video apparently showing U.S. soldiers raping Muslim women.

Video: Islamist motivation behind U.S. airmen attack? (on this page)

"The accused has been convicted to a life sentence for two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder," presiding judge Thomas Sagebiel said, according to a report posted on English-language Germany news website The Local.

"He would have shot at a third, but the weapon got jammed," he added.

The Local said Uka had apologized to his victims and their families.

"On March 2, I killed two people and opened fire on three others. Today I can't understand myself how I could have acted this way," he said, according to the report. He said he had been influenced by "lies" and "propaganda."

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Video: Islamist motivation behind U.S. airmen attack?

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments