The shooter who killed two United States military personnel in Frankfurt, Germany on Wednesday may have been motivated by Islamic radicalism, according to German prosecutors and an American military official.
"The circumstances raise suspicion that the attack had an Islamic motivation," the federal prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe, Germany, said in a statement on Thursday.
"I don't know if he's tied to a group," an American military official said on the condition of anonymity. "But there is enough information at this point to indicate that he identifies with Islamist terrorist ideology."
German federal prosecutors said Wednesday that it appears the suspect, Arif Uka from Kosovo, acted alone and was radicalized over the last few weeks. Uka was expected to make a court appearance Thursday. Germany's federal prosecutor is working with Frankfurt and federal police and American authorities.
Boris Rhein, interior minister of the German state of Hesse, said Uka told interrogators his aim was to kill American troops. Uka opened fire after ensuring that the servicemen were American military personnel, Rhein said Thursday.
Previous reports say he boarded a bus filled with U.S. Air Force personnel, asked who they were and shouted "Allahu Akhbar" before opening fire.
Family members said Uka was a devout Muslim, born and raised in Germany. However, German police claim he was born in Kosovo. Kosovo Interior Minister Barjram Rexhepi stated Arif Uka is a Kosovo citizen from the town of Mitrovica.
According to an article published Thursday in Germany's Spiegel Online, authorities found a profile on Facebook which they believe could belong to Arif Uka. One post on the Facebook wall links to a jihadist fighting song. The Facebook page also shows links to dozens of people and Muslim organizations that have been recently investigated by German authorities, according to an article published Thursday in the Wall Street Journal. One of Uka's Facebook friends is Sven Lau, deputy chairman of Invitation to Paradise. German officials are trying to ban the group due to its call to impose Islamic law in the country and for its support for extremist ideology. The Facebook page is no longer accessible and appears to have been taken down.
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he was "saddened and I am outraged by this attack that took the lives of two American and wounded others," and vowed to "spare no effort in learning how this outrageous act took place."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters Wednesday that her government will do "whatever is needed to determine what happened" in the "terrible event." Kosovo's government also condemned the attack.