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On this day: Terrorism comes to the Olympics


It was the second week of the 1972 Summer Olympics. On the morning of September 5, a group of Palestinian terrorists stormed the Olympic Village apartment of the Israeli athletes, killing two and taking nine others hostage.

The terrorists were part of a group known as Black September, in return for the release of the hostages, they demanded that Israel release over 230 Arab prisoners being held in Israeli jails and two German terrorists. The demands were refused, but it was agreed that the terrorists and the hostages would be taken to the Furstenfeldbruck airport by helicopter and given a plane.

The German government planned an ambush at the airport, stationing sharpshooters around the runway and officers in the airplane.

The ambush was carried out. Three terrorists were taken out in the first wave of shots, but the others were able to hide out of range. One threw a grenade into a helicopter where five hostages were still tied up, instantly killing them all. Another terrorist fired his machine gun into another helicopter, killing the remaining hostages.

In the aftermath the Israeli government hired a group of Mossad agents to track down and kill the Black September assassins.

The 2005 Stephen Spielberg movie Munich was based on these events.

history, olympics, Terrorism


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