Via Spiegel Online, By Felix Bohr, Gunther Latsch and Klaus Wiegrefe:
Eleven Israelis and one German police officer died in the Munich massacre of 1972, when Palestinian terrorists took Israeli athletes hostage at the Olympics. Now, government documents suggest that Germany maintained secret contacts with the organizers of the attack for years afterward and appeased the Palestinians to prevent further bloodshed on German soil.
In the busy streets of Beirut, the Lebanese capital, hardly anyone noticed the three Buick sedans that came to a stop just before the corner of Rue Verdun. Several couples got out of the cars. They were dressed casually and looked like tourists. Some of the people were in fact wearing blonde wigs and women's clothing, which wasn't recognizable from a distance.
In fact, the couples were all men, members of an Israeli special forces unit operating in enemy territory.
At about 1:30 a.m., they entered an apartment building. They rushed up the stairs to the upper floors, pulled Uzi submachine guns and explosives out from under their baggy clothing and received a radio message from their commander ordering them to blow open the doors to several apartments. They immediately opened fire, shooting and killing Abu Youssef, Kamal Nasser and Kamal Adwan, three senior officials with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Youssef's wife and a female neighbor were also killed.
At the time, Operation Spring of Youth, carried out by Israel's Mossad intelligence agency and the Israeli army in the early morning hours of April 10, 1973, was probably the most spectacular counterterrorism operation in the history of the Jewish state. After the attack, the men fled in their Buicks to the Beirut sea front, where they boarded inflatable boats and were taken back out to a waiting speedboat. The episode was vividly portrayed as a high-speed escape in the dead of night in director Steven Spielberg's film "Munich."