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' deaths.

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 said.

One example of the group's operational problems were that its members had even had trouble finding a vacant hotel room.

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