According to The Associated Press, a “devout Muslim” man shot and killed two US airmen today at an airport terminal in Frankfurt, Germany. The gunman, who appears to be named Arid Uka and was born in either Kosovo or Germany, boarded a bus that carried a group of airmen who had just arrived at the airport to be transported to Ramstein Air Base, and then were to be deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan. Uka is said to have had an argument with some of the airmen, then boarded the bus and opened fire. AP has more on Uka:
Kosovo Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi identified the suspect as Arif Uka, a Kosovo citizen from the northern town of Mitrovica.
In Mitrovica, family members identified him as Arid Uka, saying that he was born and educated in Germany where his family moved some 40 years ago. However, German police said he was born in Kosovo.
An uncle, Rexhep Uka, said the suspect’s grandfather was a religious leader at a mosque in a village near Mitrovica.
And more on Mitrovica:
The northern town of Mitrovica is best known for the ethnic division between majority ethnic Albanians and minority Serbs. The former mining town has also been the focus of reports that it breeds Islamic extremists.
Western intelligence reports have said the region could be a recruitment ground for Muslims with Western features who could easily blend into European or U.S. cities and carry out terrorist attacks.
Expect links to terror groups, likely the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan or the Islamic Jihad Group, to emerge. The Balkans, along with Chechnya, were one of the first theaters for al Qaeda in the early 1990s. More recently, the IMU and IJU both have made inroads in Germany and have been plotting to carry out attacks there. A series of Predator strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas last fall targeted IMU and IJU cells that were actively plotting to strike on the European continent.
Also keep in mind that in 2007, German authorities foiled a massive Islamic Jihad Group plot to carry out terror attacks on US military targets at Frankfurt and Ramstein. Two German converts to Islam and a Turkish man were arrested for plotting the attacks.
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