Since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the US, there have been about a half-dozen other jihadist plots that were either thwarted or failed — including a 2007 plan to kill Americans at the U.S. Air Force's Ramstein Air Base.
COMMENT: What should be fully understood in this case is that Uka went to the airport with the deliberate intent "to kill an indeterminate number of American soldiers, but if possible a large number," prosecutor Herbert Diemer told a court in Frankfurt.
Cooperating with authorities and confessing can help reduce a defendant's sentence in Germany, but Uka refused to tell the court where he obtained the 9mm semi-automatic pistol he used, which could jeopardize his confession. Prosecutors introduced evidence from Uka's laptop, cell phone and iPod, which included hundreds of files containing jihadist videos, literature, sermons and songs.
The indictment indicates that Uka went to Frankfurt Airport armed with a pistol, extra ammunition and two knives. Inside Terminal 2, he spotted two U.S. servicemen who had just arrived and followed them to their U.S. Air Force bus. After 16 servicemen, including the driver, were on the bus, Uka approached one of the men for a cigarette, prosecutors said. He confirmed they were U.S. Air Force members en route to Afghanistan, then turned around, loaded his pistol, cocked it and got on the bus to continue with his plan to shoot as many airmen as possible. He was later arrested after one of the airmen contacted police in the terminal.
Family members of those killed on the bus and survivors are also expected to testify during Uka's trial.
As we approach the 10th anniversary of the events of 9/11, it is important that we all remember that committed radical Islamic terrorists continue in their global effort to attack both Islamic and non-Islamic cultures, as demonstrated by attacks and attempts in Indonesia, Bali, Germany, Spain, Turkey, the Philippines, the UK, Kenya, Tanzania, the US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and most recently at the UN headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.