World News

Mar 3, 2011 6:12 PM by Bob Orr (CBS News)

Killer of U.S. airmen is radical Muslim, German official says

The evidence suggests that Arid Uka, the gunman accused in the slaying of two U.S. airmen in Germany on Wednesday, is a radical Muslim who deliberately targeted US servicemen.

However, sources say searches of Uka's computer, phone records, and home have turned up no evidence so far connecting him to any terror group or any broader terror plot.

Uka has confessed, telling German investigators he acted alone. Authorities have found nothing to refute that. Prior to the shooting, Uka was totally under the radar. Sources say he had no police record and his name was not on any US terror watch list.

Investigators believe that Uka, a 21-year-old Kosovo national, became radicalized in recent months. He was a prolific poster on Facebook, visited multiple Jihadist chat rooms and apparently interacted with other Islamic radicals. However, investigators say they have not found any indications that Uka spoke with or took directions from any terrorists.

The motive appears to be revenge for US involvement in wars in Muslim countries. Sources say during the shooting Uka proclaimed "Allahu Akbar," or "God is Great" in Arabic. When he was tackled by police he offered this explanation for the shooting of the airmen, saying simply: "They're at war with us."

Sources say Uka used a nine millimeter semi-automatic handgun in the attacks. He fired nine bullets and only stopped firing when he ran out of ammunition.

One of the dead airmen was a vehicle operator at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, and the second was part of a security forces team based in the U.K., an Air Force spokesman said.

Zachary Cuddeback (pictured above) was one of those killed, his grandfather, Daniel Cuddeback, told reporters. It's not clear if he was the vehicle operator or the member of the security forces team.

The two wounded troops remain in a Frankfurt hospital, one in critical condition and the other in serious condition, an Air Force spokesman said.

(March 2, 2011) Two members of the United States Air Force have been killed and two were wounded during a shooting incident on Wednesday at Frankfurt International Airport in Germany.

Initial reports indicate that the shooting occurred on a bus carrying several U.S. troops as they prepared for deployment.

CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports that a single gunman boarded the bus and opened fire. He then fled from the bus into a terminal where he was tackled and detained by German authorities. He remains in German custody.

The suspect is believed to be a Kosovo citizen; there are reports that the suspect's uncle told reporters that he is a German-born devout Muslim who works at the airport.

The U.S. Air Force reports that the four airmen were based at RAF Lakenheath in England. There were 13 airmen on the bus, members of an Air Force security team on their way to Afghanistan, reports CBS News correspondent David Martin.

The names of the deceased are being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin.

President Barack Obama said he was "saddened and outraged" by the attack and said Americans "are united in expressing our gratitude for the service of those who were lost."

He said the United States will "spare no effort in learning how this outrageous act took place and in working with Germany authorities to ensure that all of the perpetrators are brought to justices." He also called the attack "a stark reminder" of the sacrifices made by those in uniform and the dangers they face.

Mr. Obama added that he and his wife have the victims' families and friends in their prayers and extended condolences on behalf of the American people.

American forces in Germany have been targeted in attacks in the past, including a 1986 bombing at a disco in then-West Berlin that was known to be frequented by U.S. servicemen. Two soldiers and one civilian were killed, and 230 others injured in that attack, which a Berlin court in 2001 ruled was organized by the Libyan secret service and aided by the Libyan Embassy in then-communist East Berlin.

The leftist terrorist Red Army Faction was also responsible for a string of attacks on Americans in the 1970s and 1980s before the group was disbanded in 1998.

More recently, German police thwarted a plot in 2007 to attack U.S. facilities by members of the extremist Islamic Jihad Union. Four men had been planning to attack American soldiers and citizens at facilities including the U.S. Air Force's Ramstein Air Base in Germany but were caught before they could carry out the plot.