When the man accused of murdering two U.S. airmen near a Frankfurt airport confessed to the crime in a German court today, he said the night before the rampage, he had seen a gruesome video that purportedly showed American soldiers raping a Muslim girl.
But the video was not real. Rather, it was a clip from the 2007 Brian de Palma anti-war movie "Redacted" which had been taken out of context.
"I thought what I saw in that video these people would do in Afghanistan," terror suspect Arid Uka told the court, according to media reports.
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Uka said that the clip had pushed him over the edge after months of sitting at home, playing video games and watching radical Islamist videos online. But even while riding the bus on the way to the airport that March 2, Uka said he did not know if he would actually go through with his plot to attack Americans.
"On the one hand, I wanted to do something to help the women, and on the other hand, I hoped I would not see any soldiers," he said.
Minutes later, however, Uka did see American servicemen and asked one of them, 25-year-old Nicholas Alden, if his group was headed to Afghanistan, according to a prosecutor's account later reflected in the indictment against Uka. When Alden said they were, Uka pulled out a handgun and executed Alden with a shot to the head.
Prosecutors said Uka then boarded the bus and shot the driver, 21-year-old Zachary Cuddeback, in the head before turning his gun on the other airmen on the bus. After wounding two others, the handgun jammed and Uka attempted to flee. He didn't get far before the survivors of the attack chased him down and tackled him.
Uka said today he doesn't know why he did it and how he lost control over himself.
"If you ask me why I did this, I can only say... I don't understand anymore how I went that far," he said.
The film became the center of some controversy after its release the next year, sparking online protests and a letter from House Services Committee member Rep. Duncan Hunter to the Motion Picture Association.
"Unfortunately, Brian de Palma's new movie 'Redacted'... portrays American service personnel in Iraq as uncontrollable misfits and criminals," Hunter said at the time, according to a report by The Washington Times. "While incidents of criminal behavior be members of our military should never be ignored, the isolated incident on which this film is based negatively portrays American service personnel and misrepresents their collective efforts in Iraq."
De Palma responded to the controversy at the time, saying the movie was an attempt to end the war in Iraq "by trying to show the reality of what this war is."
Uka is charged with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder.
ABC News' Stephen Iervolino and The Associated Press contributed to this report.