'Neo-Nazi helped Black September Munich attack'

German intelligence agency files implicate German neo-Nazi, who was later convicted on weapons charges, 'Spiegel' reports.

June 17, 2012 16:58
2 minute read.
11 Israeli athletes killed in 1972 Munich attack

The 11 Israeli athletes killed in 1972 Munich attack 370 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS / Handout)


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BERLIN – Newly released files from Germany’s domestic intelligence agency Verfassungsschutz (BfV) reveal that neo- Nazis worked with the radical Palestinian group Black September in the 1972 Munich terror attack, according to a Der Spiegel magazine story on Sunday.

According to the online report, police in the city of Dortmund sent a notice to the BfV, in which they noted that “Saad Walli, an ‘Arab-looking man’ met conspiratorially with the German neo-Nazi Willi Pohl.”

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Saad Walli was the cover name for Abu Daoud, who is widely believed to be the ringleader of the plot that resulted in the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic games. Pohl allegedly bragged to his employer about his contact with the extremist PLO wing.

According to the BfV documents, which Der Spiegel obtained in advance of the 40th anniversary of the murders, there are no indications that the German authorities acted on the information provided to them by the Dortmund police. That helps explain, said Der Spiegel, how the Palestinians prepared the attack in the Federal Republic without being caught.

Pohl, who is now a crime fiction author, told Der Spiegel that “I chauffeured Abu Daoud through the entire Federal Republic where he met in different cities with Palestinians.” Pohl also helped Daoud obtain false passports and other documents. Der Spiegel added that Pohl has now “credibly distanced himself” and claims that he was involved in the preparation for the attack without his knowledge. The meeting between Pohl and Daoud took place roughly seven weeks before the killings of the Israeli athletes.

It is unclear why the German domestic intelligence agency and the state and federal criminal police authorities failed to act on the information from the local Dortmund police officials. Critics have long accused German authorities of a lax enforcement policy toward radical Islamic groups. The Iran-backed radical Islamic entity Hezbollah, which has engaged in terror attacks in the Middle East and South America, is a legal political organization in Germany, with an estimated 900 active members.

In connection with another slated PLO attack in Germany, the PLO’s secret service head – Abu Ijad – assigned Pohl to plan kidnapping operations at the Cologne cathedral and in the city halls of a number of German cities. In late October 1972, the authorities arrested Pohl and an accomplice in Munich, and the police confiscated machine guns, hand grenades and other military equipment. In one suitcase, police found a threatening letter by the Black September group. The letter was directed toward a judge who investigated three PLO terrorists involved in the 1972 attacks.


After the PLO hijacked a Lufthansa plane in 1972, German authorities released the three terrorists. Critics say Germany had failed at the time to clamp down on Palestinian terror activity in Germany. Despite the overwhelming proof of Pohl’s terror activity, Der Spiegel noted that Pohl was given a mild sentence of two years and two months in prison for weapons possession. Four days after the sentence was imposed on Pohl, he fled to Beirut.

He currently writes his crime novels under a new name in Germany.

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