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September 5: Black September and the Munich Olympics

September 5, 2010

blacksept_munichPalestinian guerillas of the Black September Organization (BSO) raided the Olympic Village in Munich, Germany on this date in 1972 and killed or captured Israeli Olympic athletes. The BSO demanded release and safe passage for 234 men jailed in Israel as well as for Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof of the Red Army Faction, who were imprisoned in Germany. By the day’s end, eleven athletes and coaches, five of eight terrorists, and one German police officer would be killed, mostly during an ineffectual airport rescue raid mounted by the West German military. Three captured terrorists would be released a month later when hijackers of a German Lufthansa jet demanded it. One of them would be hunted down and killed by Israel in 1973. Abu Daoud, who claimed to mastermind the Olympics attack, died of natural causes in Syria in July of this year. According to Daoud’s autobiography, Mahmoud Abbas, current head of the Palestinian Authority, was responsible for financing the Black September raid.

“Between 1972 and 1979 more than a dozen Palestinians were assassinated, ensuring the total eradication of Black September.” —Noam Shalev