Man gets life term for shooting that killed 2 U.S. airmen in Germany

Story highlights

  • Arid Uka, 22, fired on airmen boarding shuttle at Frankfurt International Airport last year
  • He was charged with 2 counts of murder, 3 counts of attempted murder and serious bodily harm
  • Court cites "severe nature" of Uka's crimes in denying eligibility for customary bail in 15 years
A German court has sentenced an Islamic extremist responsible for the deaths of two U.S. airmen at a Frankfurt, Germany, airport to life in prison.
Arid Uka, a 22-year-old ethnic Albanian from Kosovo who went on a shooting rampage in March of last year, was charged with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder and serious bodily harm.
After 11 days of court proceedings, the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court ruled that "on March 2, 2011, the perpetrator -- who was born in Kosovo, grew up in Germany and had no prior convictions -- executed an Islamically-motivated attack on a group of members of the U.S. Air Force. He killed two U.S. soldiers and seriously wounded two other soldiers in an attempt to kill them," according to a news release.
The airmen, who were bound for Afghanistan, were caught off guard outside Frankfurt International Airport when Uka began firing at them while they boarded a shuttle to Ramstein air base. Two U.S. airmen were shot dead and others injured before Uka's 9 mm pistol jammed.
Because of the especially "severe nature" of his crimes, the court denied Uka eligibility for bail in 15 years, as is otherwise customary in Germany.