Islamist-Motivated Violence: Attacker Gets Life for Murder of US Servicemen in Frankfurt
It was the first successful Islamist attack in Germany. Almost a year ago, Arid U. shot and killed two US servicemen at Frankfurt's airport. On Friday, he was sentenced to life in prison.
Arid U. was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for shooting two US servicemen to death last year at the Frankfurt airport.
It was just under one year ago that an Islamic extremist calmly boarded a bus at the Frankfurt airport before shooting to death two US servicemen and severely wounding two others. On Friday, a Frankfurt court sentenced the man, Arid U., to life in prison. As requested by the prosecution, the court also found that the attacker bears "particularly severe guilt," meaning that he won't be eligible for parole after 15 years as is standard in Germany.
The attack occurred soon after the US troops landed in Frankfurt from a base in the United Kingdom and were preparing to be bused to the US Air Force Base at Ramstein before flying out to Afghanistan. Particularly incriminating was the patience that U. exhibited during the crime assault. He asked a soldier for a light and inquired if they were indeed heading for Afghanistan.
Upon receiving an affirmative answer, he opened fire, killing Senior Airman Nicholas J. Alden of South Carolina and Airman 1st Class Zachary R. Cuddeback from Virginia. He also shot Staff Sgt. Kristoffer Schneider, who has had extensive facial reconstruction surgery and who still suffers significant after-effects, and Senior Airman Edgar Veguilla, who was hit in the jaw and arm. U.'s gun jammed as he aimed at the head of a fifth soldier.
'I Don't Understand Myself'
Periodically during the trial, Judge Thomas Sagebiel expressed frustration at U.'s apparent unwillingness to cooperate, and the accused refused to reveal how he had obtained the 9 mm pistol used in the attack. In August, U. told the court: "Looking back, I don't understand myself."
As Sagebiel read out the sentence on Friday, U. sat motionless, his arms crossed in front of him. "Yes, this is indeed the first Islamic-motivated terror attack to have happened in Germany," the judge intoned.
cgh -- with wire reports
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