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Killing of U.S. Air Force personnel a terrorist act

Thursday - 3/3/2011, 9:23am  ET

J.J. Green, wtop.com

WASHINGTON -- Wednesday's attack on a bus full of U.S. airmen was terrorism. German investigators have told reporters it was deliberate and the suspect has confessed.

An Albanian man with radical Islamic ties in Kosovo is in custody after the shooting that killed two U.S. Air Force Airmen and seriously wounded two others.

Authorities and witnesses say Arif Uka, 21, boarded the bus and started shooting. Uka has family roots in Kosovo, but now is living Germany and working at the Frankfurt airport. There are unconfirmed reports that his weapon jammed during the shooting and as he tried to run away from the scene, he pulled out a knife and attacked guards inside the airport.

Uka is reportedly from the troubled Mitrovika province in Kosovo, known to be a growing regional flashpoint along the Ibar River.

A Facebook page believed to be connected to the suspect appears to be a dead giveaway as well. A page registered to "Arid U" has several posts connected to jihadist messaging. Included on the page is a fight song referencing fighting against infidels. His last entry was Monday, Feb. 28.

Wednesday's shooting took place outside of terminal two at the airport. The bus was transporting a security forces team assigned to the Royal Air Force Lakenheath Base in Suffolk, U.K. to Ramstein Airbase in Germany.

U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan in November 2009 allegedly went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, that killed 13 and wounded 32.

The names of the deceased in Frankfurt are being with held pending the notification of next of kin. The security posture at Ramstein Airbase was raised as a matter of routine protocol.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)