Terrorist lived in Germany for years after 1972 massacre of Israeli athletes – report

According to a report in a Germany daily, circulated by AFP, the Palestinian terrorist remained in the country with full knowledge of the German authorities.

By World Israel News Staff

One of the Palestinian terrorists responsible for the 1972 Munich massacre of 11 Israeli athletes remained in the country for several years with the knowledge of German police, the Suddeutsche Zeitung reported on Saturday, according to AFP.

On September 5, 1972, eight members of the Black September terror group – an offshoot of the Palestinian Fatah movement, currently led by PA President Mahmoud Abbas – scaled a fence surrounding the Olympic Village in Munich. They shot dead two Israeli athletes and took another nine as hostages. During a bungled rescue operation, all nine captives were killed along with five of the eight terrorists and a police officer, AFP notes.

The three remaining hostage-takers were captured but released several weeks later in an exchange, when terrorists hijacked a Lufthansa plane on Oct. 29, 1972.

According to the Suddeutsche Zeitung, citing a report in the Munich police archives, one of the three terrorists resided in Berlin for years following his release.

“The Munich police – in charge of investigating the attack – was told by the BKA federal police that the Palestinian in question was living in West Berlin and that he went to East Berlin almost daily, to work at the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO),” AFP writes, citing the German daily.

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Word has it that then-West Germany facilitated the release of the terrorists in order to avoid further attacks on German soil.

“We can pose the question if the police really wanted to act or if they wanted to give up arresting someone to avoid a new attack by Palestinian militants” in West Germany, German historian Dominik Aufleger, who had access to the same documents as the paper for his research on the attack, told the Germany daily, AFP reported.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said it was “shameful” that it took Berlin 50 years to reach a compensation agreement with the families of the Israeli victims.

Speaking at a commemoration ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Olympic Games, Steinmeier stated:

“As the head of state of this country and in the name of the Federal Republic of Germany, I ask your forgiveness for the woefully inadequate protection afforded to the Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich and for the woefully inadequate investigation afterwards – for the fact that it was possible for what happened to happen.”

The German government also  confirmed that the families of the 11 Israeli athletes will receive a total of 28 million euros in compensation.

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Over the years, victims’ relatives worked hard to obtain an official apology from Germany, access to official papers and greater compensation than the €4.5 million offered to the families of the 11 slain Olympians, AFP reported in the weeks leading up to the agreement.