The Kosovar man who admitted to shooting two American soldiers at the Frankfurt airport last year was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.
Arid Uka, an ethnic Albanian from Kosovo, is a lone wolf Islamic extremist. He was working in the mailroom at the Frankfurt airport when he shot five Afghanistan-bound U.S. airmen as they boarded a bus at the airport on March 2, 2011.
Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden, 25, from South Carolina, and Airman 1st Class Zachary R. Cuddeback, 21, from Virginia, died in the attack. Two others were wounded and a third escaped injury when Uka's pistol jammed.
The Frankfurt court convicted Uka of two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.
“I’m satisfied. I’m at peace. There’s a huge weight off our shoulders,” Nicholas Alden’s brother, Joe, told reporters after the ruling.
“I think justice has been served -- I think he got what he deserved and I think the court did a great job,” he added. “I wish there was more they could do but he got the maximum.”
According to prosecutors, Uka planned the attack after watching an online video that allegedly showed American soldiers raping a Muslim girl in Iraq. The footage was actually a scene from Brian De Palma film “Redacted,” but Uka began looking for other propaganda videos and literature online.
Police have found no links between Uka and radical Islamic groups.
Uka admitted to and apologize for the killings. The court determined that Uka bears 'particularly severe guilt for the crime, which reduces his chances of being eligible for parole after 10 years.
Looking back, I don't understand myself, Uka told the court.