At 4:30AM on September 5, 1972, five Arab terrorists wearing track suits climbed the six and 1/2 foot fence surrounding the Olympic Village in Munich, Germany. Once inside, three others who had gained entrance with credentials met them. Within 24 hours, 11 Israelis, five terrorists, and a German policeman were dead. Just before 5:00AM, the terrorists knocked on the door of Israeli wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg who opened the door, realized immediately something was wrong and shouted a warning. Weinberg and weightlifter Joseph Romano attempted to block the door while their members escaped, but the terrorists killed them.
The Arabs then rounded up nine Israelis to hold as hostages. At 9:30AM, the terrorists announced that they were Palestinian Arabs, and demanded that Israel release 234 Arab prisoners in Israeli jails and Germany release two German terrorist leaders imprisoned in Frankfurt. They also demanded their own safe passage out of Germany. After hours of negotiations, a deal was struck with German authorities and a trip to the NATO air base at Firstenfeldbruck, by bus and then two helicopters was arranged, in order to board a plane for Cairo.
German sharpshooters were standing by with orders to simultaneously kill all the terrorists without harming
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Three of the Palestinian Arabs terrorists were captured alive and held in Germany. On October 29, Palestinian terrorists who demanded that the Munich killers be released hijacked a Lufthansa jet. The Germans capitulated and the imprisoned terrorists were freed. (2) Who were the Munich terrorists? The Munich operation was ordered by Yasser Arafat and carried out by Fatah, Arafat’s faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The Fatah terrorists called themselves Black September in order to safeguard Fatah’s international image and the PLO’s political interests.
Although Salah Khalaf (aka Abu Iyad) officially headed the organization, Black September refrained from publishing official statements, and its leaders kept their identity hidden. Abu Iyad’s book, Stateless, explains that Black September was closely tied to Fatah. Abu Iyad frequently refers to his personal involvement in the organization and drops transparent hints to this effect: (3) (2) and (3) both the paragraphs are taken from http://www. palestinefacts. org/pf_1967to1991_munich. php on May 16, 2007 How the 1972 Olympics became the foundation of the modern terrorism: Definition, Origins, Motivations, and Types of Modern Terrorism:
The terrorist phenomenon has a long and varied history, punctuated by lively debates over the meaning of the term. By ignoring this history, the United States runs the risk of repeating the plethora of mistakes made by other major powers that faced similar threats in the past. This section begins with an explanation of the definition of terrorism, then proceeds to an examination of terrorism’s origins, major motivations, and predominant types. Definition of terrorism: Terrorism is notoriously difficult to define, in part because the term has evolved and in part because it is associated with an activity that is designed to be subjective.
Generally speaking, the targets of a terrorist episode are not the victims who are killed or maimed in the attack, but rather the governments, publics, or constituents among whom the terrorists hope to engender a reaction— such as fear, repulsion, intimidation, overreaction, or radicalization. Specialists in the area of terrorism studies have devoted hundreds of pages toward trying to develop an unassailable definition of the term, only to realize the fruitlessness of their efforts: Terrorism is intended to be a matter of perception and is thus seen differently by different observers. (4) (4) On the dif? culty of dening terrorism, see, for example, Omar Malik, Enough of the De? nition of Terrorism!
Royal Institute of International Affairs (London: RIIA, 2001); and Alex P. Schmid, Political Terrorism: A Research Guide (New Brunswick, N. J. : Transaction Books, 1984). Schmid spends more than 100 pages grappling with the question of a de? nition, only to conclude that none is universally accepted. Although individuals can disagree over whether particular actions constitute terrorism, there are certain aspects of the concept that are fundamental.
First, terrorism always has a political nature. It involves the commission of outrageous acts designed to precipitate political change. (5) At its root, terrorism is about justice, or at least someone’s perception of it, whether man-made or divine. Second, although many other uses of violence are inherently political, including conventional war among states, terrorism is distinguished by its nonstate character—even when terrorists receive military, political, economic, and other means of support from state sources. States obviously employ force for political ends: When state force is used internationally, it is considered an act of war; when it is used domestically, it is called various things, including law enforcement, state terror, oppression, or civil war.
Although states can terrorize, they cannot by de? nition be terrorists. Third, terrorism deliberately targets the innocent, which also distinguishes it from state uses of force that inadvertently kill innocent bystanders. In any given example, the latter may or may not be seen as justi? ed; but again, this use of force is different from terrorism. Hence the fact that precision-guided missiles sometimes go astray and kill innocent civilians is a tragic use of force, but it is not terrorism.
Finally, state use of force is subject to international norms and conventions that may be invoked or at least consulted; terrorists do not abide by international laws or norms and, to maximize the psychological effect of an attack, their activities have a deliberately unpredictable quality. (6) (5) Saying that terrorism is a political act is not the same as arguing that the political ends toward which it is directed are necessarily negotiable. If violent acts do not have a political aim, then they are by definition criminal acts.
Thus, at a minimum, terrorism has the following characteristics: a fundamentally political nature, the surprise use of violence against seemingly random targets, and the targeting of the innocent by no state actors. (7) All of these attributes are illustrated by recent examples of terrorism—from the April 2000 kidnapping of tourists by the Abu Sayyaf group of the Philippines to the various incidents allegedly committed by al-Qaeda, including the 1998 bombings of the U. S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the September 11 attacks. For the purposes of this discussion, the shorthand (and admittedly imperfect) definition of terrorism is the threat or use of seemingly random violence against innocents for political ends by a no state actor.