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Frankfurt shooting suspect jailed on murder charges
Question of the Day
“There are signs that this is about a radicalized Muslim,” he said.
The suspect’s Facebook photo features a silhouette of Kosovo, with the phrase “There is no God but God and Mohammad is his prophet” written above it in Arabic. Mr. Rhein said the suspect recently changed his profile name from his real name to the nom de guerre “Abu Reyyan.”
One of his Facebook friends said he knew little about him.
“He was very unremarkable and low-key,” Kerem Kenan wrote to the Associated Press. “We had no personal contacts. I’m appalled by the incident.”
One airman remained in critical condition after being shot in the head, but the other injured airman was not in a life-threatening condition, the DAPD news agency reported. None of the victims has been identified publicly, pending notification of next of kin.
At the home of the suspect’s father in Frankfurt, a man yelled at reporters to “go away” Thursday and threatened to call police. Neighbors described Mr. Uka as a loner who kept to himself but was never unfriendly.
“I do think he was religious, but he is just a normal young guy — completely normal,” neighbor Katharina Freier told AP Television News. “We were all shocked.”
Kosovo is mostly Muslim, but its estimated 2 million ethnic Albanians are strongly pro-American because of the United States’ leading role in NATO’s 1999 bombing of Serb forces that paved the way for Kosovo to secede from Serbia.
The U.S. Embassy in Pristina said the attack “will in no way affect the deep and abiding friendship between our two countries.”
Mr. Uka’s uncle, Rexhep Uka, said that the suspect’s grandfather was a religious leader at a mosque in a Kosovo village near Mitrovica and that Arid Uka was a devout Muslim himself. But he also said the family was pro-American and did not understand what their nephew was involved with.
“I love the Americans because they helped us a lot in times of trouble,” he told the AP.
Behxhet Uka, a first cousin of the suspect’s, said he had spoken with the suspect’s father in Frankfurt several times, and the family told him all they knew was that their son did not come home Wednesday from work at the airport.
“We could not imagine something like this would happen because Americans are our brothers,” he said.
Deutsche Post said the suspect was a part-time employee in an airport mailroom. Spokesman Dirk Klasen told DAPD the suspect had a clean police record.
“Otherwise, we would not have hired him,” Mr. Klasen said, noting the suspect’s contract was to run out in a few weeks.
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