At the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich Germany, 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by eight Palestinian terrorists after a hostage siege. Many people consider this the birth of modern-day terrorism.

Terrorists from the Black September organization kill 11 Israeli athletes and trainers during the Munich Olympic games. Palestinian terror has reached new heights.

ABC Sports anchor Jim McKay, who narrated the unfolding drama before a worldwide audience on Sept. 5, 1972, is one of them. When terrorists struck last year [Sept. 11, 2001], “my instant thought was of Munich,” McKay said. Munich was “the fuse” that started Arab terrorism, he said.

Unlike Munich, in which gunmen demanded the release of 200 Arab guerrillas jailed in Israel, Sept. 11 2001 took terrorism to a new level, McKay said. “It was pure horror. There was nobody fighting with anybody. No one winning or losing except for the terrorists who saw it as a victory.”

The attack at the Olympic Village stands as one of sports’ most horrifying episodes. The eight terrorists, representing a branch of the Palestine Liberation Organization, breached the apartments where the Israeli athletes were staying before dawn on Sept. 5, 1972. That began an international nightmare that lasted more than 20 hours and ended with a disastrous failed rescue attempt.

The treatment of the hostages has long been a subject of speculation, but a more vivid ― and disturbing ― account of the attack is emerging.

Among the most jarring details are these: The Israeli Olympic team members were beaten and, in at least one case, castrated.

“What they did is that they cut off his genitals through his underwear and abused him,” Ms. Romano said of her husband, Yossef. Her voice rose.

“Can you imagine the nine others sitting around tied up?” she continued, speaking in Hebrew through a translator. “They watched this.”

Source:  Johnson, Peter. “ABC returns to Munich Olympics, the ‘fuse’ of terrorism.” USA Today.  August 29, 2002.