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Frankfurt gunman in US airmen killing kept radical company on Facebook

Arid Uka, who confessed to killing two US airmen at the Frankfurt airport Wednesday, had links with radical groups online but is believed to have acted on his own.

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German police stand at the federal court in Karlsruhne, Germany, on Thursday, where the suspect in the slaying of two US airmen at Frankfurt airport was brought. German federal prosecutors said Wednesday's attack on a busload of US airmen that killed two and wounded two others at the Frankfurt airport appears to have been motivated by Islamic extremism.

Thomas Lohnes/dapd/AP

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Arid Uka was a typical product of Frankfurt, a city where a third of the population is not originally from Germany. An ethnic Albanian born in Kosovo and raised Muslim, he grew up in a middle-class family in Germany and lived with his parents and siblings. It was only recently that he turned to radical Islam, apparently connecting with extremists on Facebook and online jihadi forums.

On Wednesday, Mr. Uka became the first person to successfully carry out a terrorist attack in Germany since 9/11. He has been charged with killing two US airmen and wounding two others at the Frankfurt airport in an act that German prosecutors say Uka carried out on his own. In court Thursday, he confessed to the killings and said he shot the four men because he felt America was at war with Islam.

"We have a new ... perpetrator of terrorism, the lone wolf," says Bernd Georg Thamm, a security expert based in Berlin. "Terrorism experts have dreaded this for a while, and now it’s happened. And it won’t be the last case."

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