Prosecutor: Frankfurt attack may be linked to Islamism

By REUTERS
March 3, 2011 14:16

Gunman shoots down two US airman, wounding two others in an American Army bus; German press: Shooter may be part of a terrorist cell.

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Police near US military bus in Frankfurt, Germany

Germany US Attack 311 Reuters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

FRANKFURT/BERLIN - The gunman who shot dead two US airmen and wounded two others in a US Army bus at Frankfurt airport on Wednesday may have been motivated by Islamism, German state prosecutors said on Thursday.

German and American authorities are urgently investigating whether further attacks on US soldiers in Germany are planned, according to media reports.

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"In the United States, there are even fears the man could be part of a terrorist cell and there is the threat of further attacks on US-targets in Germany," Der Spiegel magazine wrote.

Police arrested the man, whom authorities have identified as a 21-year old Kosovo national, after the attack.

"There is suspicion that the killing may have been motivated by Islamism," prosecutors said in a statement.

Media said he shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) during the shooting.

US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he was outraged by the attack and the Kosovo government condemned the shooting. The Kosovo parliament held a minute of silence.

The United States has had troops in Kosovo since 1999, when a NATO bombing campaign pushed out Serbian forces. The US troops there now are helping to oversee a fragile peace that has held since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

On Wednesday evening, people lit candles in Kosovo's capital Pristina and in the town of Mitrovica where the assailant is thought to be from. Kosovo newspapers said the attack had damaged the country's reputation.

The US embassy in Pristina however said "the act of a single individual will in no way affect the deep and abiding friendship between our two countries".

The US Army bus had been transporting a team based in Britain from the airport to the Ramstein base, the US airforce said. The team had been on its way to Afghanistan.


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