Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot on Germanwings Flight 9525, which is believed to have purposefully crashed by him into the French Alps on 24 March, killed himself along with 149 people onboard.
While phrases like "deliberately crashed," and "wanted to destroy the plane," should evoke terrorism, German officials have been quick to deny that Andreas had any sort of link to terrorist activity.
According to statements by German Minister of Interior Thomas de Maizière on 26 March, "this was not a terrorist act", saying he found "no indications of any kind of terrorist background" to the crash.
As Quartz reporter Annalisa Merelli analyses in her report, it's surprising that the terrorist motive was excluded so quickly, especially when in the event of such tragedies the official approach is always not to exclude any possibility.
But then again, this tragedy appeared to lack what, since 9/11, has emerged to be considered the 'conditio sine qua non' (essential element or condition) of terroristic attacks: the pilot was not Muslim.
"Andreas was not Muslim, how could he possibly be a terrorist?"
While it's being reported that Andreas was suffering from depression and reportedly hid his mental illness from his employer, Germanwings and its parent company, Lufthansa; according to his alleged ex-girlfriend, he had previously vowed to "do something" after which "everyone will know" his name.
This new information, if true, could change the entire western media narrative, which has downplayed terroristic motive on Andreas part.
As Mohamad Najem, a Lebanese Muslim, wearing a traditional Arab headdress in his profile picture, commented on a Facebook story about Andreas, "I can't imagine what would happen if he shared my name!" Indeed, can you imagine? As Annalisa further analyses:
If a Muslim—or an Arab—were flying the plane, this would be a terroristic attack, until there were proof to the contrary (and even then, Muslims would probably be held responsible).
Authorities would call it a "suspected" attack, but certainly the narrative in the less scrupulous media would be terrorism, jihad, fight against the West.
The ancestors of the pilot would be identified, the members of his family or friends with extreme ideologies would be scrutinized in search of a confirmation of fundamentalist influences and motives.