Munich Olympics Massacre

Before the 1972 Munich Olympics, security for major international events was often lax, and terrorism was generally not a major concern among civilians. Much changed in 1972, when a group of Palestinian terrorists kidnapped nine Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.

The hostage drama, which resulted in the death of 11 athletes, took place almost entirely under the glare of the media cameras. The world watched, horrified, as terrorism was brought into their homes for the first time. Neither security considerations, media coverage of terrorist incidents, nor the way the Western world views terrorism has ever been the same since.

The Beginning

At around 5:00 A.M. on September 5, 1972, five terrorists hopped over the six-foot-six-inch fence surrounding the Olympic Village in Munich. Although they were seen by several people, athletes routinely hopped the fence and no one thought it was odd. ...

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