German neo-Nazi 'helped Munich massacre mastermind'

The self-proclaimed Palestinian mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre among Israeli athletes was aided by a German neo-Nazi, Spiegel online reported on Sunday.

Documents made public after a request from weekly news magazine Der Spiegel show that in July 1972, police sent the domestic intelligence service information showing that an "Arab-looking" man called Saad Walli had met with neo-Nazi Willi Pohl.

Saad Walli was a cover name for Abu Daoud, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the September 5, 1972 operation.

Pohl at the time had contacts with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and offered logistical support to Daoud, providing him false passports and various documents, the report said.

The attack by Palestinian militants called Black September led to the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes, one German police officer and five of the militants.

Der Spiegel said the PLO's leadership asked Pohl to carry out vengeance attacks for the five dead militants. Several possible attacks were considered, including a hostage-taking at the cathedral in Cologne, western Germany, the magazine said.

Pohl and an accomplice were arrested in Munich in October 1972 while in possession of automatic weapons, grenades and a threatening letter signed by Black September and addressed to a judge investigating the surviving militants, Der Spiegel said.

The group had used the same sort of grenades -- made in Belgium from Swedish explosives -- to kill the Israeli hostages, the magazine said.

Pohl was sentenced in 1974 to two years in prison for possession of illegal weapons.

Today, Pohl is a crime writer. He said he had driven the Palestinians throughout then West Germany, according to the report.

Daoud, whose real name was Mohammed Daoud Odeh, died in July 2010 aged 73.

He claimed responsibility for the attack in his book "Palestine, from Jerusalem to Munich", published in 1999.

He defended the act as a military operation against athletes who were military reservists.

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