Terrorism and the Olympics — A Look Back at the History of Olympic Terror as Many Fear London 2012 Attacks

We have recently spent a lot of time talking about all of the fear that is surrounding the beginning of the London 2012 Summer Olympics that commence in 10 days from the writing of this article.  There are a lot of reasons why London seems an especially vulnerable target, but we at Common Sense Conspiracy wanted to take a moment to look back at previous acts of terrorism that have haunted the Olympic Games and are the reason for many of the security precautions that are in place today.

The tragedy at Munich changed the face of the Olympic Games for good.

By far the worst event in Olympics history took place in 1972 at the Munich Olympics.  This was not only the first major terrorist attack in Olympics history, but also the first time a major sporting event of any kind was targeted.  It was also one of the first major world events to unfold in the live television era.  A group of Palestinians dubbed “Black September” executed an elaborate plot targeting the Israeli Olympic team.  Previously, the Israeli government had imprisoned 200 Palestinian political prisoners and would not release them.  As retaliation, “Black September” was able to infiltrate Olympic security, waiting until just six days of competition remained.  The terrorists immediately killed two of the Israeli team and took the remaining nine hostage.  The concept was to use the hostages to negotiate the release of the political prisoners in Israel.

The negotiations were not successful, and it was decided by the Palestinians that the hostages would be transported to the Middle East to be held captive longer.  German forces opened fire at the airport as the hostages were being put on the plane.  After the battle, all of the hostages were dead.  This is by far the worst event in the history of sports, not to mention one of the worst terrorist attacks against Israel on record.

Better security is credited with stopping any future attacks until 1996.  The Olympics were in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States this time.  A 40-pound pipe bomb, the largest ever detonated in America, exploded during a music concert at the Olympic Park.  The explosion killed only one person and injured over a hundred.  Eric Rudolph, an ex-Navy man, was eventually captured and convicted of being responsible for the Olympic bombing.  He famously opposed abortion and was also implicated in abortion clinic bombings and murders.

Fortunately, these are the only two terrorist attacks during Olympic events.  As for the United States, no sporting events except for the 1996 attack on the Atlanta Olympics have ever been targeted.  Worldwide, attacks such as this are much more commonplace, especially regarding soccer.  Hopefully, the 2012 London Summer Games will run their course without us having to add any more passages to the history of Olympics and terrorism.