It's Terrorism, Stupid!

April 14th, 2014 - "Heil Hitler", the man shouted when he was done. By then, he had shot to death three people: a 14 year old boy, his grandfather, and an unidentified woman. All three were Jews. All three had been killed at a Jewish community center near Kansas City. The killer, Frazier Glen Miller, is the founder and leader of the "Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan" as well as the "White Patriot Party".

There can be no doubt that this deed, which occurred on Sunday, was motivated by antisemitism  and that the perpetrator is a rightwing extremist and a racist. Yet no-one seems to be willing to call this an act of terrorism. Instead, the NYT, The Washington Post and CNN are calling it a "shooting" or a "shooting spree".


Why does this attack not qualify as an act of terrorism? There are many definitions of terrorism, but most combine two elements: The victims are civilians, and the motif is political and/or ideological. Is that not true in this case? Of course it is.

Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the Boston bombing, which was perpetrated by two brothers of Chechen background and of Muslim faith. In their case, there never was any doubt that they had perpetrated an act of terrorism. When Mohamed Merah killed seven people in Southern France in March 2012, among them soldiers as well as members of the Jewish community, everybody called it terrorism.

To be sure, the Boston attackers had used explosives against people - what other than terrorism could that possibly be? And Merah claimed he was a member of al-Qaida (which could never be substantiated).

But I still don't see why the Kansas City attack would be something entirely different.

I am not talking about judicial terms that may be applicable here. I am talking about journalistic reflexes. Because there is a hidden pattern behind this not calling the attack an act of terrorism. An Islamist who commits an act of violence and is being called a terrorist is being made and interpreted as a part of something larger - a group, a scene, a movement - by this very designation. By the same token, failing to call the Kansas City attack an act of terrorism will let Frazier Glen Miller and his deed appear unconnected to anything larger or broader.

The Boston bombers were not connected to other militant extremists in any meaningful way. They planned their attack by themselves. Of course there is still a connection between what they did and what other Islamist extremists did elsewhere in the world. But that connection is not factual; it is a connection in the sphere of phenomenology.

Is that any different in the case of the Kansas City attack? I believe not.

I believe that Miller's attack is, for example, as connected to the Nazi-Terrorist series of ten murders committed by the NSU in Germany as the Boston Bombing is connected to, say, the Jihadist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.

Or to put it differently: If we (and not unrightly so) connect militant Islamists with one another because they shout "Allahu Akbar" while they are killing people, we should also see the connection between people shouting "Heil Hitler" while murdering Jews. We talk about the "Global Jihadist Movement" all the time. There also is a global anti-semitic, far-right movement that resorts to violence against civilians.

I am not trying to allocate blame here. I am just concerned that some of us journalists have not been able to insulate themselves fully from the impression that since 9/11 terrorism is an exclusively Islamist phenomenon. Whereas in fact, as we all know, the majority of terrorist attacks world wide are not committed by Islamists.

PS: In the interest of full disclosure, I was inspired by Thomas Hegghammer's tweet when blogging this. Here is how his tweet went: "@Hegghammer Convicted white supremacist massacres Jews, shouts Heil Hitler, but is still not a "terrorist" to CNN and KS police:" 

PPS: Also see for a similar take. 

PPS: This is a slightly edited version of a German blog post that I published earlier today at DIE ZEIT's website, the paper that I work for. 

No Recipes and Old Recipies

April 4, 2014 - Can I be honest with you? As a (half-) Jordanian who has friends in Syria and knows that country pretty well, I find it harder and harder every day to log on to my Twitter timeline in the morning. I have been covering terrorism for more than a decade now and during the worst years of the Iraqi insurgency I would spend my mornings in the newsroom watching decapitation videos, so it's not that I am not used to graphic images.

But in the case of Syria, what makes me take in my timeline with eyes half-shut only is images of dead or wounded children that will stay with me no matter what. Such is the extent of brutality and arbitrary as well as targeted violence in this conflict that I can't help but feel sad, lost, angry and helpless at the same time almost every single day.

I also feel defeated, for there is nothing in sight, no power, no credible force, no convincing idea or concept for a solution, that would allow me to believe that this is going to be over any time soon. Instead I am afraid that things may yet get worse for the people I care about most - civilians who just want to go about heir lives. This can't only be about taking sides between the parties in the armed conflict (like Russia and Iran supporting the regime, and Saudi and Qatar supporting the armed opposition). It should be about the people of Syria.

The Lebanese civil war lasted from 1975 until 1990. I have reached a point at which I wouldn't rule out any more that the Syrian civil war might last as long. What a terrible outlook.

I feel personally closer to Syria, but I also love Egypt. During the revolution, in early 2011, I spent almost three weeks there. It was a great experience. But not much of that spirit seems to be left.

Instead, the new regime of the day has decided to crack down on the Muslim brotherhood and to frame that as an Egyptian version of the War on Terror. I am aware of the Egyptian debate and why this idea may resonate with a large number of Egyptians.

But this is not what this post is about. I am trying to make a different point here: If we have no recipe in the case of Syria, we have ample reason to interpret what the Egyptian government is doing as a bad recipe.

A recipe that has failed before, decades ago. Failed in such a spectacular way that it helped Al-Qaida grow. Failed in such a way that it turned people into militants who weren't militants before.

I understand that there is even less space for interference in the Egyptian case. But this post is not really about how we - the international community - should react. Instead, it is about how in both theaters we should be aware that what lies ahead us may be even worse than what we have seen so far.

I hate to spell it out. I don't want it to be true. I hope I will be proven wrong. But at this point my conclusion is that in Syria and Egypt many more people will die at the hand of militant Islamists (and in the Syrian case, of course, by the hand of the regime, too.)

What this means for the Global Jihadist Movement, for Al-Qaida and other Islamist networks is something that I am very interested in - but not in this post. In this post I am just expressing my sadness. Two great countries, two great peoples -- and many more lives that will be lost in vain.

I am dreading tomorrow morning's logging onto Twitter. Do you know what I am talking about?

Snowden Remarks for DIE ZEIT

February, 13th, 2014 - As most of you know, I work for DIE ZEIT, a German weekly newspaper that is issued every Thursday. In this week's edition we have a very interesting 2-page spread with testimonials of some very interesting international Whistleblowers, some famous, some less famous, but all of them important in their own way.

We have approached and received contributions or comments from seven whistleblowers who have passed on information about wrongdoings in organizations as diverse as the NSA, the Mi5, Enron, the Danish military or a particularly interesting case from Germany, in which a veterinarian blew the whistle about indications of mad cow disease that nobody wanted to persue and that she then felt the moral obligation to pass on the media.

Among those who have responded to our outreach was Edward Snowden. In case you are interested, following is his original English contribution. 

(NB: Please do bear in mind that this is a contribution exclusive to DIE ZEIT with (c), so if you want to quote from it, please make that clear - and/or contact us, especially if you work for a professional media organization.)

"Whistleblowers are elected by circumstance: they are a product of wrongdoing, rather than the source of it. After all, Ellsberg didn't engineer the invasion of Vietnam, and I didn't authorize the wiretapping of so many innocent Germans and then conceal it from the public. We were witnesses to injustice. The furious response of embarrassed governments to whistleblowers often conceals this simple truth: it is not the revelation of wrongdoing that is responsible for the backlash, but the wrongdoing itself.

"I believe that exceptionally serious matters -- such as the massive, indiscriminate national surveillance programs sweeping the world today -- must be debated and decided in the light of day. People cannot consent to programs and policies about which they were never consulted.  Real democracy requires that citizens be partner to government, rather than merely subject to it."

Another German Jihadist Killed by Drone

January 14th - In February 2012, a German Jihadist by the name of Patrick N. was killed by a drone in Waziristan according to a two-part audio message issued by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). The news was first reported on Sunday; I have now had a chance to take a look at the message and to speak to a few people about it.

First of all, there is little reason to dispute the basic facts presented by German IMU member and unofficial spokesman "Abu Adam". Patrick N. travelled to Pakistan with his wife and two children in October of 2011. There is older footage in IMU tapes in which he is shown smiling and suggesting that other German Muslims follow his example. He says he was about to depart for training camp next, so this footage seems to have been recorded fairly early after his arrival. Three months later he was dead. According to "Abu Adam", he was killed in a drone strike that, he maintains, killed ten other people from different nations alongside Patrick N.

According to the IMU message N. grew up in a children's home after the death of his mother and his grandparents. He is said to have converted in Islam at the age of 14 in 2001.

N. would be the 5th German drone victim so far.

By now it also transpired that N. was arrested briefly by the German police (and let go without any charges) very shortly before he left for Pakistan.

What remains unclear at this time is who else was killed in said drone strike and what, if any, "high value targets" were among those targeted. Patrick N. is unlikely to have been such a HVT, firstly given his arrival only three months prior and secondly given the IMU's assurances that he never took part in any actual fighting.

More as or rather if more news trickle in. 

A German Fighter with the "Islamic State"

December 4th, 2013 - It was bound to happen some time, and it happened last Saturday: The "Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria" (ISIS) presented their first German language video, introducing in it their first German recruit in Syria (that we know of): A young man calling himself "Abu Osama".

By now it has been established that "Abu Osama" is a 26 year old convert named Phillip B. from the West German city of Dinslaken. According to our information at DIE ZEIT he left Germany roughly half a year ago. He seems to have been part of a group of five or six, all of whom have by now returned to Germany, except, of course, for him. 

In the 10 minute video, "Abu Osama" calls upon Muslims in Germany to join the cause since fighting Jihad in Syria is an obligation. He says "Syria is a blessing" and that there are safe areas, even for children and families. He says he chose his kunya out of adoration for Osama Bin Laden, but he does not threaten Germany. 

He shares with his audience the information that he embraced Islam about four years ago and that his journey is the answer to his questions about the meaning of life. He poses with an assault rifle, but he doesn't divulge anything about participating in combat. 

"Abu Osama" isn't the first German Islamist to show up in Syria by a long shot. The official estimate  here is now at "above 220" according to the head of domestic Intelligence, Hans-Georg Maaßen, whom we are quoting with this number in tomorrow's edition of DIE ZEIT. Please note, though, that this number isn't a head count. 

The question now of course is: What does it mean that we have at least one German member of ISIS? Because before last Saturday, we weren't sure at all where they end up. There were signs of a cluster of Germans forming around a media unit calling itself Sham Center, but that was pretty much it. 

I think that it is troubling. ISIS is by far the most ruthless and brutal of organizations in Syria. It also is the group where I believe the issue of an internationalist agenda may come up first. In addition, Germans in Waziristan have shown a clear tendency to follow one another and then form little groups around those who got there first. We therefor may see more Jihadists from Germany within ISIS ranks soon. 

What adds to this concern is another piece of information we learned about during our research for our ZIET-story: According to our sources, Mohamed Mahmoud, an Austrian who already spent years in jail for terrorism charges and is known to have AQ-connections, tried to establish a German batallion of fighters under ISIS command but was turned down by that group for reasons unkown. What we do know is that he himself never made it into Syria but has nor for quite some time been held in Turkey under less than harsh conditions, meaning that he is still able to communicate with Jihadists in Syria, Iraq and Germany. 

Mahmoud is considered to be part of the loosely knit network that also former Berlin Gangster rapper Denis Cuspert a.k.a. "Abu Talha al-Almani" belongs to. Abu Talha was injured in Syria a few weeks ago in an air strike. It is unclear what group, if any, he is associated with, but in the light of the ISIS video and the Mahmoud story he is definitely a person of interest. 

In the mean time, I want to close this post with two more quotes of Hans-Georg Maaßen, head of the German domestic Intelligence agency "Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz" (BfV) -- for all those of you who are interested in Germany's take on this. 

On the issue that most Foreign Fighters active in Syria travel through Turkey, Maaßen says: "Turkey is an important factor in the region. We hope for and expect a significantly closer cooperation." 

If you think those are the least subtle words you have heard so far from a German official, you may be right. 

On the other other hand, Maaßen maintains that co-operation with the US remains unimpaired by the NSA affair: "Co-operation in fighting international terrorism is continuing unchanged. Information flows both ways, also with a view to Syria and travel pattern to that country."

And with that I will leave you for tonight. Even though something tells me we shall be discussing German Islamists in Syria again soon. 

Al-Qaida revisited

November 15th, 2013 - Folks, the following is an article on the state of al-Qaida in 2013 that I was asked to contribute to the "Security Times", a special edition of the "Atlantic Times". The original online link is here (and the original layout is nicer, of course, too). I hope you enjoy it - and I am excited about your comments. I would also like to thank some of you for your input, namely Leah Farrall, Will McCants, Greg Johnson, Aaron Zelin, Andrew Lebovich and Raffaello Pantucci. Don't hold them responsible for any of what I say here, though - they were just kind enough to comment on the draft! 

In September 2013, al-Qaeda published a five page Arabic document called “General Clarifications for Jihadist Action.“ It was authored by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Amir or leader of al-Qaeda, who had been Osama Bin Laden’s deputy and became his successor after the Saudi was killed by US Navy Seals in May 2011. The document is fascinating for many reasons, but especially because it isn’t addressed to a Western audience as speeches by al-Qaeda’s leadership often at least partly are for propaganda purposes. Instead it is, in Zawahiri’s own words, addressed to “the leaders of all entities belonging to al-Qaeda and to our helpers and those who sympathize with us” as well as to “their followers, be they leaders or individuals.”

This is a large group of people. And it is noteworthy that al-Zawahiri doesn’t seem to be placing a lot of emphasis on the brand name of his group. Instead everybody is invited to feel addressed. So what is al-Qaeda in 2013? An open network? Or still a hierarchical organization? Is it a network of networks? Or a system of franchise operations?

The truth is that al-Qaeda in 2013 is all of the above. Al-Qaeda can be structured as it is in Yemen. But it is also open, given that the central leadership has repeatedly asked sympathizers in the West to act in its name and on their own initiative. Al-Qaeda’s presence and influence can be obscure as is the case with the co-operation with al-Shabaab in Somalia. Or opaque, as it is in relation to various local Jihadist groups across the Arab world calling themselves Ansar al-Sharia, whose agendas overlap with al-Qaeda’s. Then again, the central leadership can appear like a company’s headquarters, for example when the North African branch, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), reprimands fighters for not filling in forms properly. Wile in other instances al-Qaeda even hides behind other names – like Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria.

At first glance this may seem erratic. But from al-Qaeda’s point of view it is an asset to be able to appear in whatever form may be best at a given place or moment in time. The case of Jabhat al-Nusra, now probably the strongest faction in Syria’s civil war, illustrates that: Even though the group was set up by al-Qaeda in Iraq, it didn’t use that group’s name so as to not alienate Syrians. Only after its support base had solidified, did the group admit to being part of the al-Qaeda nexus.

It is partly by this means that al-Qaeda over the past two years managed to establish bridgeheads in Arab countries destabilized by rebellions. In Libya and in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula for example it is quite evident that al-Qaeda plays a role – in all but name. Should al-Qaeda cadres one day feel they would benefit from the brand name, they will introduce it there.

The exploitation of the unstable situation following the Arab rebellions is currently al-Qaeda’s most important project. At first the uprisings weakened al-Qaeda because the Jihadists had always claimed they would be the ones to cause the fall of the “tyrannical“ Arab regimes, or “the near enemy.” But this ideological defeat has since been compensated for by a huge influx of volunteers, an active role in Syria’s civil war and large areas elsewhere in which the network can operate fairly freely for lack of state control.

After roughly a decade in which al-Qaeda’s main interest was to plot spectacular attacks against Western targets, or “the far enemy,” the pendulum is now swinging back toward the near enemy. This is not only a strategic decision by the central leadership. It is also what most new recruits are interested in.

This is not to say al-Qaeda is no longer interested in launching attacks on the West; Al-Zawahiri called for them. And al-Qaeda’s branch in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP), headquartered in Yemen, is likely still devoting resources to that end. Of all groups in the nexus they have the greatest capabilities to do so. With Ibrahim al-Asiri they have a master bomb maker in their ranks who has already proven his expertise when AQAP tried to down a US jet in 2009 and two cargo planes in 2010. Furthermore, AQAP’s Amir Nasir al-Wuhayshi has recently been promoted to al-Qaeda’s overall Number 2. He will want to prove his ability, and an attack outside the region is hard currency in this regard.

But the focus is now on the Arab world – and on Africa, where the expansion politics of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, started years ago, are now paying off. In the conflict that shook Mali in 2012, AQIM’s fighters played an important role, in alliance with other Jihadist networks. They have been driven out of Mali’s towns since, but are still in the region. In addition, Jihadist veteran and training networks now connect Northern Africa not only with Mali but also with Nigeria. Add to that a large number of weapons that were acquired from the Libyan army’s depots, and it becomes quite clear that a string of African states in which militant Islamists are active may witness eruptions of violence instigated or supported by AQIM in the years to come.

In Somalia meanwhile al- Shabaab may be under pressure; but as the attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya in September 2013 demonstrated, the group is capable of high profile terror attacks. They may have been helped by AQAP. But in either case there is little reason to assume that strikes like this will not happen again as long as African Union forces are fighting al-Shabaab in Somalia.

In the Middle East prospects are equally bleak. The demise of the Assad regime is clearly not the only aim that Jihadists are pursuing in Syria. They want to establish an Islamist proto-state; and they are enthusiastic about the proximity to Israel. Approximately 6,000 non-Syrian Jihadists are currently in the country, many have battlefield experience. They constitute a troubling long-term problem in any scenario. Concerns over what they may plan to do in the future are rising in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey – even more so as al-Qaeda in Iraq is perpetrating mass casualty attacks at almost the rate seen in 2005 and 2006 while at the same time maintaining a presence in Syria.

In Egypt another pressing issue exists: Since the military unseated President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, Islamists there feel disenfranchised. Al-Qaeda is interested in winning them over. It is partly for this reason that al-Zawahiri in his “guidelines“ portrays al-Qaeda as a group that will not use excessive violence and has a clear agenda. Egpytian Muslim brotherhood supporters are not natural allies of al-Qaeda, but a more focused, more civil version of that group may be attractive to some. A lot has been written in the past few years about the alleged end of al-Qaeda. Certainly, the US drone campaign has killed many important leaders and diminished the group’s capabilities.

But al-Qaeda is once more proving to be very resilient – because it is able to adapt. Just as it did, for example, at the beginning of the Afghanistan war when the group all but gave up its safe haven and ordered most cadres to go back to their home countries to continue the project from there. This is how AQAP and AQIM came about.

We are presently witnessing another transformation, as al-Qaeda not only shifts focus but also allows for more co-operation and integration with local groups at the expense of micro-management by a central leadership, which can’t be maintained under these circumstances. Of course this transformation comes at a risk: Al-Qaeda is lacking coherence and leadership. In almost every theater there are severe internal conflicts. AQIM has splintered; al-Shabaab assassinates dissident cadres; in Syria al-Qaeda is present with two groups at the same time, one loyal to al-Zawahiri, the other to the AQIM leadership.

All of this has weakened al-Qaeda. The organization is not in good shape – as an organization. But what could be called the global Jihadist movement – with al-Qaeda at its helm – is faring well. The net result is as troubling as it is evident: Al-Qaeda and its allies are as big a threat to global security as they have ever been.

Yassin Musharbash is a Berlin-based investigative reporter and terrorism analyst with the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit.

(c) The Security Times, Yassin Musharbash 

Pancakes & Propaganda

October 15th 2013 - At what point does an authentic self portrayal turn in propaganda? In the case of extremists, it is often hard to tell. People who fully commit to an extremist ideology tend to see themselves less as individuals and more as examples; whatever happens to them is interpreted as a symbol. Whatever they do, is considered a signal.

And yet, no text and no personal account can ever be 100 per cent propaganda. Somebody describes something, an every day experience, a thought, an encounter - and unless the entire text is just one big lie, it will reveal parts of a deeper truth that lies beyond the realm of propaganda. Studying it can be telling.

Last month a young German woman started a blog, describing in it her life as the wife of a Jihadist fighter in Syria; I believe her blog is a case in point.

She describes herself as "the wife of a Mujahid, a mother of mini-Muhajirin and a neighbour of Ansar, Muhajrin and Mujahidin. It is a story like out of a picture book. No, it is even better. It is just like the story of our beloved prophet and his family and the sahaba."

There are five blog entries so far, all from September. They touch pancake recipes as well 9/11, the sound of gunfire in the night as well as the family cat called "Nonah".

Of course the blog is partly propaganda. For example when she celebrates the anniversary of 9/11 with "American pancakes" that "fly into our mouths", while expressing hope that other ingenious heads will device new plans for different planes and calling Osama Bin Laden an "honorable Sheikh".

But more interesting are those passages in which it becomes palpable what she finds attractive about the Islamist-Jihadist ideology which she of course considers to be the purest form of her religion: "In the land of the Kuffar, you are subject to their laws, you do, what your boss tells you, unless you are busy filing for welfare. But here the laws of Allah prevail. Here you don't work for Hans-Peter from 7 to 4, having to pray in sometimes dirty and inappropriate places. Here you work for Allah in full concentration for 24 hours per day. Allah's religion is not an aside, it is the centre."

The "dunya", the worldly life, she considers to be "trashy" and worthless: "It makes you forget how close death is. But here you won't forget, because of the sounds of bombs, hitting afar and close by… and suddenly you realize your mistakes and you ask yourself whether you are ready for the Akhira (the afterlife). Do I please God? Am I among the saved ones?"

All the known factors of radicalization mix right here: Seemingly simple answers to the complicated questions of life; a radical break with an earlier life; a vacuum that is suddenly filled with meaning. 

Unfortunately we don't learn about how she got to know her husband and who may have been the driving for of radicalization. But is is quite clear that the author is very happy with her life as the wife of a Mujahid: "'Get ready, we will go to a nice place and eat Fallafel and Kebab', my husband said. We packed and took to the river. We, the women, sat in own place, the men in another. Food was great. We had salad with it and water from the well. Suddenly shots rang out. Our men were aiming at an orange object on the other side of the river with their assault rifles. That was fun! And it was a wonderful feeling to see my own husband shoot his rifle. A real man,  a Mujahid. Not a blue helmet or a German soldier." 

She also talks about her bad conscience when the family needs to evacuate because of a bush fire and the emergency bag, which is her responsibility, isn't properly packed. 

But of course in the end all is well: "What might my brothers and sister in Germany be doing right now? It is late at night. I am hearing bombs hitting the ground, answered by barking dogs. And there is the sound of chirping crickets, of course. Just like every night." 

This is what Jihad romantic looks like. 

German authorities believe there are now as many as 170 fighters from Germany in Syria, numbers still rising. We don't know how many women are among them, but she is certainly not the only one. 

We also don't know with what groups the German fighters end up in many cases.  In the case of the blog author, there is some indication that she is with a larger German colony, as her blog is hosted by Sham Center, a media enterprise that has German members. They also seem to have connections to "Jund al-Sham". There is no way of telling whether they participate in battle. But the fact that the blog author hasn't posted anything for almost three weeks may be an indication that the situation got tougher. 

Of course five blog posts aren't enough for a full profile of any person; neither are they enough for full-on generalizations. But I think that something transpires here nonetheless: For some who have gone to Syria, it is not necessarily all about killing. And surely not all about the demise of the Assad regime, either. For some the battlefield is apparently attractive for other reasons: As a stage to enact role models inhaled at home. As an ultimate test allowing them to prove they are serious about their convictions. Perhaps also as a place to flee to from a sense of being under attack, but also maybe to flee to from doubts. And lastly as a kind of virtual time machine that seemingly makes it possible to re-invent oneself in a pseudo-7th-century kind of environment where you are free to imitate the examples you have heard so much about. 

The price, of course, may be your own death - and the death of your own children; but apparently the factors pulling some of these people in are stronger than that fear. 

I find it difficult to understand all that. But at the same time I am convinced it is important we don't ignore this sentiment. More Western Islamists, male and female, will travel to Syria. Many will come back. Once they are here again, it will be decisive we have an idea what drove them there and what may be driving them now. 

PS: It is not easy to verifiy this blog is actually written out of Syria. In theory it could be a fake. I don't think so, though. The content, the stlye, the place it is published - all of this seems authentic and plausibel to me. I asked other experts, and they agree. Should I change my opinion in this regard, I will let you know. 

PPS: This is an English version of my German blog post at DIE ZEIT online, where I work. It can be found here. 

PPPS: I have to thank @lizzypearson who came up with the English headline for this post after reading the German version.