In the wake of the Germanwings flight that went down in the French alps Tuesday, killing 150, investigators and the media are focusing in on co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who apparently locked the pilot out of the cabin and intentionally crashed the plane. Was he mentally ill? Was he suicidal? Or was he, perhaps, a secret Muslim jihadist?!

Apparently some people really want him to be. Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review contributing editor and author of The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, tweeted this Gateway Pundit story to his 20,000 followers Friday:

Let's take a closer look at what the "report indicates."

Gateway Pundit writes, "A German news website claims Andreas Lubitz was a Muslim convert. reported: 'According to Michael Mannheimer, a writer for German PI-News, Germany now has its own 9/11, thanks to the convert to Islam, Andreas Lubitz.'"

It also cites "the comments at German PI"—on a story about Lubitz that mentions nothing about Muslims, Islam, or IS—as a source for the claim that "Andreas Lubitz was Muslim convert from his Facebook page."

"PI" is a site called Politically Incorrect News, which is not exactly Der Spiegel, and they didn't even run a story about Lubitz's supposed conversion to Islam. That story came from PI-News blogger Michael Mannheimer's personal website, where he put together the following information:

  • Lubitz trained as a pilot in Bremen, which is also the home of a mosque that was investigated in December for alleged supporting the Islamic State. (This is true, according to Der Spiegel.)
  • Lubitz took a few months off at one point before returning to work and getting recertified to fly. (This is also true: Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr confirmed that Lubitz "took a break in his training six years ago. Then he did the tests again. And he was deemed fit to fly.")

From these two data points—a mosque recently under investigation and a break Lubitz took six years ago—Mannheimer concluded (and this is roughly translated from the German by Google): "Probably Lubitz converted to Islam during this interruption."

If that seems like a tremendous leap, and you're wondering whether Mannheimer perhaps has a particular anti-Muslim axe to grind, here's how he introduces his post:

All evidence indicates that the copilot of misfortune machine in its six-month break during his training as pilots in German Wings converted to Islam and subsequently either by the order of "radical", ie ,. devout Muslims received for carrying out this mass murder, or withdrew the order from the book of terror, the Koran, of his own accord. ... One can bet that the apologists (media, politics, "Islamic Studies") will agree to assign this act a "mentally unstable" man ...

Funny he should mention mental illness: German news reports have described Lubitz as having a history of mental illness, and he reportedly tore up a doctor's note before going to work on the day of the crash. (The significance of that note has yet to be determined, as doctors in Germany commonly issue them even for minor illness.)

Investigators told the New York Times they'd found no "indication of any political or religious motivation."

As for the Facebook page mentioned in the PI-News comments that allegedly proves Lubitz was Muslim, here it is:

A freshly-created French page calling Lubitz a "Hero of the Islamic State." Well, gee, I guess that settles it.

Although all of this information was available at the time Andrew McCarthy posted his tweet, he added that the Gateway Pundit "report" he shared with thousands of people had not been "confirmed authoritatively," and we'll all just have to wait and see if Lubitz was Muslim or what.

It's totally a "reasonable suspicion," though, even though there's no "proof."