The German government had advance warning of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, Der Spiegel reported online on Sunday.
A few weeks before the massacre, in which 11 Israeli athletes were
killed by the Palestinian terrorist organization Black September, the
report indicates that German intelligence and the German foreign
ministry received information indicating that a terror operation was
being planned at the Olympics.
A few days before the Olympics, an Italian paper reported the same threat.
Despite these advance warnings, the report says that the German
government took no advance precautions and when the attackers came to
the Israeli athletes quarters, they simply walked right in without
meeting any extra security whatsoever.
Another layer of the surprising report is what Der Spiegel
implies was a
systematic cover-up by the local and federal German authorities of their
pre-knowledge of the attack and their failures to prevent the athletes'
According to Der Spiegel
, shortly after the attack, a memorandum was
distributed within the government directing officials to refrain from
any criticism of other officials, self-criticism and to refrain from
providing information regarding the attack to the public.
After the attack, the German government also learned that Black
September had been poorly organized, despite in public saying that the
group had acted "with precision," Der Spiegel
One example of the group's operational problems were that its members had even had trouble finding a vacant hotel room.