The 11 Israeli athletes killed in 1972 Munich attack 370 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS / Handout)
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.”
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
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
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
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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
He currently writes his crime novels under a new name in Germany.
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