BERLIN – Germany’s government presented the nation’s highest civilian award Monday to two Americans who helped apprehend an Islamic extremist after he attacked a U.S. Air Force bus last year and killed two airmen.
Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich awarded the Federal Cross of Merit to U.S. 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 could face 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 U.S. Ambassador Philip Murphy.