2 Americans honoured for catching terrorist suspect

Arid Uka, a 21-year-old Kosovo Albanian, is currently on trial for the March 2 slayings and has admitted to the charges.

Updated: Jan 17, 2012, 10:24 AM IST

Berlin: Germany`s government presented the
nation`s highest civilian award on Tuesday to two Americans who
helped apprehend an Islamic extremist after he attacked a US
Air Force bus last year and killed two airmen.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich awarded the
Federal Cross of Merit to US Air Force Staff Sgt. Trevor
Brewer and civilian airport employee Lamar Conner, both of
whom chased the suspect until police could apprehend him,
saying their deeds "were an example for all of us."

Arid Uka, a 21-year-old Kosovo Albanian, is currently on
trial for the March 2 slayings and has admitted to the
charges. He faces up to life in prison, and a verdict and
sentence are expected Thursday.

It was the first Islamic extremist act carried out on
German soil, and Friedrich said Brewer and Conner set an
admirable precedent.

"It was an important signal that in the first Islamic
extremist act in Germany the suspect was stopped in the course
of committing his crime by courageous people and arrested,"
Friedrich said at a small ceremony in the Interior
Ministry attended by US Ambassador Philip Murphy.

Uka gave a teary confession as his Frankfurt state court
trial opened in August, saying that the night before the
attack he had seen a video on Facebook that purported to show
American soldiers raping a teenage Muslim girl. It turned out
to be a scene from the 2007 Brian De Palma anti-war film
"Redacted," taken out of context.

Uka told the court the video prompted him to do anything
possible to prevent American soldiers from going to
Afghanistan. Under German law, the court is still required to
hear all evidence in the case, even though Uka has confessed.

PTI