‘This is my favourite killer outfit’: Face of Kosovan Muslim alleged to have shot dead two U.S. airmen at Frankfurt airport The Daily Mail
By Allan Hall
Last updated at 3:51 PM on 3rd March 2011
‘Warrior’: Arid Uka, nicknamed Abu Reyann, is believed to be behind the fatal shooting of two U.S. airmen at Frankfurt airport
This is the face of the man suspected of killing two U.S. soldiers in Germany in an Islamist rage.
The photo is from Arid Uka’s Facebook page – once listed under his real name but changed recently to that of Abu Reyann, his chosen ‘warrior’ name.
The site is littered with references to Holy War, hatred of ‘non believers’ and has his favourite saying – ‘may the eyes of the cowards never sleep’ – by Khalid Bin Walid, an ancient Islamic fighter who united Arabia for the first time.
‘This is my favourite killer outfit when rolling the dice on black ops,ha ha,’ he boasts to his friends on the social networking site – probably more a reference to the computer game of the same name that he played avidly than any attack like that he carried out in Frankfurt which left two Americans dead and two severely wounded.
‘Way to go, you old killer!’ posts friend Kastrijot Ferizi on the photo that was added to his page in December last year. Another writes that Abu Reyyan was his nickname that he knew him by.
There are hate-filled rants against Jews and a cry to Jihad which said: ‘If someone would call you to Holy War… yeah, and?
‘That is part of this beautiful religion. One is allowed to fight the unbelievers when attacked.’
In August last year the 21-year-old answered an online question about what his favourite weapon was – it turns out to be a Barrett M82 sniper rifle.
‘The miserable non-believer’ is an anti-western song on the website that he also makes reference to.
‘Germans are afraid of Islam and its spread and would rather we believe in Santa Claus,’ he rambles.
Shock: Family members Rexhep Uka, 70, left, and Behxhet, 48, said all they knew was that Arid failed to return home from his job at Frankfurt airport
Attack: A bullet hole in the side window of the U.S. military bus which ferried service personnel to the military base at Ramstein
Fatal: The bus is towed away from outside Frankfurt Airports Terminal 2 after two soldiers were killed and one badly injured in the shooting
He calls Chancellor Angela Merkel an ‘unbeliever’ too, claiming she has sided with Israel which he described as ‘a declaration of war’.
The photo has also been published by German newspaper Die Welt.
HOW KOSOVO HAS BECOME A FERTILE RECRUITING GROUND FOR AL QAEDA
With a young Muslim population in the newly-independent state of Kosovo, al Qaeda sees it as a fertile recruitment ground.
With an average age of under 30 it has one of the youngest populations in Europe and Muslims make up around 80 per cent of the population which stands at around two million.
The independence of Kosovo was secured in 1999 after a Nato-led coalition bombed the country.
Advancing U.S. troops at the time were greeted with flowers and cheers as the state secured its independence from Yugoslavia.
The country declared independence in 2008 and it was recognised by the U.S. at ambassadorial level.
However, former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic claimed that rebels were assisted by al Qaeda in their fight.
German federal prosecutors said the attack appears to have been motivated by Islamic extremism.
Prosecutors said in a statement today that ‘because of the circumstances there is a suspicion that it was an Islamist motivated act’.
The federal prosecutors took over the case early in the day and are working with Frankfurt and federal police, as well as American investigators.
Uka, whose family come from the northern town of Mitrovica, was born and educated in Germany where his family moved to some 40 years ago.
Rexhep Uka said the suspect’s grandfather was a religious leader at a mosque in a village near Mitrovica.
A cousin, Behxhet Uka, said he spoke to the suspect’s father, Murat Uka, several times by telephone from Frankfurt after the family was contacted by Kosovo police.
The father said all he knew was that his son did not come home from his job at the airport on Wednesday.
Behxet Uka said he would be ‘shocked’ if Arid Uka was behind the shooting, saying that like the vast majority of Kosovo Albanians, the family is pro-American.
The airmen shot in Frankfurt were stationed at the Lakenheath airfield in England, home to the 48th Fighter Wing, the only F-15 fighter wing in Europe.
German police are probing whether Uka had accomplices but believe so far he was acting alone.
Officials said the gunman shouted out ‘Islamic slogans’ before opening fire.
Investigation: Police and U.S. soldiers talk outside the airport after the fatal shooting yesterday
En route: The soldiers had just arrived in Germany having left their Lakenheath base in Britain
He shot his first victim as the soldier stood in front of the bus at Terminal 2 of Germany’s busiest airport, before turning the weapon on the driver sat behind the wheel.
A third man was seriously injured and a fourth suffered light wounds and are being treated at the city’s University Clinic Hospital.
A German official told Fox News that one airman was smoking a cigarette when the suspect pulled out a firearm and shot him.
Another was gunned down as he returned a luggage trolley.
The attacker, reportedly wielding a knife and handgun, then boarded the bus and fired at the driver before being taken down by police.
Deadly: The troops had just got off a flight and were being taken to barracks when they were shot
Investigation: Firemen attach blankets to the U.S. military bus. The driver was sat behind the wheel when he was killed
The airport, continental Europe’s second biggest after Paris, is routinely used by American soldiers based in Germany for arrivals and departures.
ABC News reported that when the gunman opened fire, he shouted ‘Allah Akbar’ which is Arabic for ‘God is Great’.
He was said to have fired nine times before his gun jammed and he was taken down by police.
City police spokesman Manfred Füllhardt said the bus load of airmen, from the Security Forces Team, had just arrived from Lakenheath base in England.
They had boarded the bus to go to the American military base at Ramstein, a few dozen miles to the southwest of the Frankfurt Airport.
In Washington, President Obama said he was ‘saddened and outraged’ by the attack.
‘We will spare no effort in learning how this outrageous act took place and in working with German authorities to ensure that all of the perpetrators are brought to justice.
‘But this is a stark reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices that our men and women in uniform are making all around the world to keep us safe, and the dangers that they face all around the globe.’
German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the shooting and called it a ‘terrible incident’.
‘We’ll do everything possible to find out what happened,’ she pledged.
Armed police threw a cordon around part of the terminal and sniffer dogs were used to check if any bags bearing bombs had been left in the airport building.
Eyewitnesses said the man ‘infiltrated’ himself among the GIs before shouting out radical Islamic slogans and then reaching into a bag for his gun.
Hail of bullets: The gunman is alleged to have shouted in Arabic before opening fire
Kosovo Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi said that the gunman had been identified as Arif Uka a Kosovo citizen from the northern town of Mitrovica. He had recently been living in Germany.
‘This is a devastating and a tragic event,’ Mr Rexhepi said.
‘We are trying to find out was this something that was organised or what was the nature of the attack.’
Investigators spend the afternoon carrying out a finger-tip search of the scene. The wheel of the bus where the driver had been sitting was swathed in sheets.
Only last year the interior ministry in Berlin put Germany on high alert for a terror attack after receiving information that al-Qaeda was planning ‘a bloodbath’ because of German involvement in Afghanistan.
The bus was a U.S. military model and thought to have come from the massive Ramstein air force base near Cologne in the west of Germany.
The U.S. military base at Ramstein regularly runs shuttles to Frankfurt for commercial flights.
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.
The last time American forces in Germany came under deadly attack was in the 1986 bombing of a disco frequented by U.S. servicemen.
Two soldiers and one civilian were killed and 230 others were injured. A Berlin court later ruled the bombing was organised by Moammar Gadhafi’s Libya.
A leftist terror group, the 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 planned to attack American soldiers and citizens at the Ramstein Air Base and other locations but were caught before they could carry out the plot.
The U.S. has drastically reduced its forces in Germany over the last decade, but still has some 50,000 troops stationed here.