The widow of an Israeli victim of the Munich massacre of the 1972 Olympic Games claims she is "not at all surprised" by leaked reports in German daily Der Spiegel claiming the terrorist perpetrators of the attack against Israel athletes were aided by German neo-Nazis.
Ilana Romano, whose husband Yosef was one of 11 Israeli Olympians killed by the Palestinian Black September group in Munich, claimed it was “obvious that the terrorist organisation has support from all kinds of places”, in response to the report based on thousands of documents, declaring that neo-Nazis had supplied the group with forged passports to enable them to enter Germany ahead of the Games.
Crime writer Willi Pohl allegedly colluded with terrorists, helping to transport them around Germany in the weeks leading up to the attacks, according to the claims based on extensive information from German’s domestic intelligence agency Verfassungsschutz (BfV).
The newspaper revealed that Pohl, who has since "credibly distanced himself from terrorism," met with Saad Walli, an "Arab-looking man" who claimed links to the radicalised arm of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) seven weeks before the massacres, according to information supplied by police in the western city of Dortmund.
Saad Walli is now known to have been an alias of Abu Daoud, considered to be one of the key masterminds behind the attack. The documents do not record any suggestion that German authorities acted on the advance warnings of the Dortmund police.
Pohl was subsequently arrested by the police in October 1972, when he was found to be in possession of grenades, arms and munitions thought to be held on behalf of Black September to be used in a retaliatory attack on German targets. He was sentenced to two years in prison, but escaped to Beirut four days after sentencing. Police also discovered on Pohl’s arrest a letter in his possession, threatening a judge who investigated three terrorists involved in the massacres. German authorities were widely criticised for subsequently releasing the three terrorists after the PLO hijacked a Lufthansa plane later that year.
The radical Islamist group Hezbollah, which has claimed responsibility for terrorist attacks in the Middle East and South America, is not outlawed in Germany - in contrast to the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and Israel who classify it as a terrorist organisation - where it has an estimated 900 active members.
Speaking ahead of the 40th anniversary of the attacks, and amidst ongoing international controversy over the refusal of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to officially commemorate the anniversary at this summer’s London 2012 Games, Romano said: “I don’t remember Yossi just during the moment of silence; the opposite – during the moment of silence we cry out against terror so that the world will hear. But day to day, it’s my own private disaster.”
Last week, Canada entered into the debate over the IOC’s decision not to hols a minute silence in honour of the victims of the attacks to voting unanimously in favour of such a memorial. The vote, the first universal backing for the appeal spearheaded by Munich widows of the massacres, joins previous appeals by the Israeli foreign office, cross-party British politicians and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, as well as the Anti-Defamation League.