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Germany Shooter No Longer Believes in Jihad


Arid Uka (L) talks with his lawyer Michaela Roth as he arrives for the start of his trial at the higher regional court in Frankfurt (file photo)

Arid Uka (L) talks with his lawyer Michaela Roth as he arrives for the start of his trial at the higher regional court in Frankfurt (file photo)

The Kosovo Albanian man on trial for killing two U.S. airmen at Germany's Frankfurt Airport in March says he no longer believes in jihad, or holy war.

While Arid Uka still prays and considers himself a Muslim, he said Wednesday he was duped by extremist propaganda and no longer believes his religion permits violence, except in self-defense. He added that shooting the airmen was not permitted by his religion.

Uka is on trial in Frankfurt for two counts of murder. He is also facing three counts of attempted murder after wounding two other airmen and firing at a third, who survived when Uka's gun jammed.

Uka, 21, confessed to the attacks at the opening of his trial, saying he was motivated by Islamist websites calling for jihad against American military forces. The day before his attack Uka watched a website video he believed showed U.S. soldiers raiding a home in Afghanistan and raping an Afghan girl. The video was actually a scene from an American anti-war movie Redacted that was taken out of context.

U.S. federal prosecutors say Uka chanted "God is great" in Arabic while he was shooting.

U.S. officials believe he acted alone and was not a part of any terrorist group.

If found guilty, Uka faces a possible life sentence. A verdict in the trial is not expected until early 2012.

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