A look back at the Olympic terrorist attack – KIRO 7 News Seattle
During Friday’s opening ceremony of the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, a moment of remembrance was held for the 11 victims of a terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
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During the 20th Olympic Games, eight members of the Black September Palestine Liberation Organization splinter group invaded the Israeli team’s area of the Olympic Village, according to Reuters.
A weightlifter and wrestling trainer were first killed and nine others were held hostage as gunmen demanded that Israel release 236 prisoners, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, family members of the victims said they were beaten, Times reported.
Eventually, the armed men tried to flee the country from the military airfield in Fuerstenfeldbruck, but the police shot at the hostage takers, Reuters reported. BBC News called it a failed rescue attempt. During the exchange of gunfire, the nine hostages were killed in two helicopters that transported them from the Olympic site to the airport.
When the shooting ended, five armed men and a policeman were also dead. Three other gunmen were captured but were freed when Palestinian hijackers took control of a Lufthansa airliner in October 1972. They were airlifted to Libya and greeted as heroes. Contract killers were sent by Israel in retaliation for the attack, killing the men behind the attack. But not everyone they killed was linked to the attack, and they didn’t have everyone involved in the hostage-taking in Munich.
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Mohammed Daoud Odeh, the mastermind of the terrorist attacks in the Olympic Village, died in Damascus in July 2010 at the age of 71, BBC News reported at the time. He had survived an attack on life in Warsaw in 1981, BBC News reported.
He wrote a book in 1999 claiming responsibility for the attacks, BBC News reported. He also spoke about the event in 2006 with the Associated Press, saying the attack was a turning point for Palestine. “Before Munich, no one had a clue about Palestine.” He also didn’t like the word “terrorists” being used to describe Black September.
Israel has also not officially claimed responsibility for the assassinations that killed PLO members blamed for the Munich attack.
The games were delayed for a day and a memorial ceremony was held for the victims at the Olympic stadium. But the games continued with the President of the International Olympic Committee, Avery Brundage, declaring: “Every civilized person recoils in horror at the barbaric criminal intrusion of terrorists into the peaceful Olympic grounds. We mourn our Israeli friends, victims of this brutal aggression. The Olympic flag and the flags of the whole world fly at half mast. Unfortunately, in this imperfect world, the bigger and more important the Olympic Games become, the more they are exposed to commercial, political and now criminal pressures ”, Reuters reported.
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