International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

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Journalist Profile

Frederik Obermaier

Frederik Obermaier, Germany, is a book author and investigative reporter at Germany’s leading daily, the Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung (

He studied political sciences, sociology, cultural geography and journalism in Eichstätt (Germany), Bogotá (Columbia) and Sanaa (Yemen). Before joining Süddeutsche Zeitung he worked for the news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa), the newspapers taz, Frankfurter Rundschau and the magazines Zeit Campus and Neonand Polityka (Poland).

His work focuses largely on Middle East politics, terrorism, and intelligence issues. In 2010, he published the definitive book Land am Abgrund: Staatszerfall und Kriegsgefahr in der Republik Jemen (Country on the brink: State failure and the threat of war in the Republic of Yemen).

He was part of the ICIJ team that investigated the Offshore Leaks documents. Among other stories, he revealed the secret companies of billionaire and playboy Gunter Sachs in tax havens like the Cook Islands. His articles about the offshore-companies of Herbert Stepic led to the resignation of the Raiffeisen CEO in May 2013.

 He has received numerous awards for his work. In 2011, he won the CNN Award for his report about the Columbian guerilla group FARC and its European members. The German magazine Medium Magazin listed him as one of the "Top 30 journalists under 30 years." In 2013, he won the renowned Wächterpreis 2013 for a weekend-special about Germany's weapons industry. 

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