Black September (group)

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The Black September Organization (BSO) (Arabic: منظمة أيلول الأسود‎, Munaẓẓamat Aylūl al-aswad) was a Palestinian terrorist secular group, founded in 1970. It was responsible for the detention and murder of eleven Israeli athletes and officials, and fatal shooting of a West German policeman, during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

Contents

Origin

The group's name derives from the Black September conflict begun on 16 September 1970, when King Hussein of Jordan declared military rule in response to a fedayeen coup d’état to seize his kingdom  — resulting in the deaths or expulsion of thousands of Palestinians from Jordan. The BSO began as a small cell of Fatah men determined to take revenge upon King Hussein and the Jordanian army. Recruits from the PFLP, as-Sa'iqa, and other groups also joined.

Structure of the group

There is disagreement among historians, journalists, and primary sources about the nature of the BSO and the extent to which it was controlled by Fatah, the PLO faction controlled at the time by Yasser Arafat.

In his book Stateless, Salah Khalaf (Abu Iyad), Arafat's chief of security and a founding member of Fatah, wrote that: "Black September was not a terrorist organization, but was rather an auxiliary unit of the resistance movement, at a time when the latter was unable to fully realize its military and political potential. The members of the organization always denied any ties between their organization and Fatah or the PLO."

Abu Iyad's claim was contradicted by Mohammed Daoud Oudeh, also known as Abu Daoud, a BSO operative and former senior PLO member, who, according to a 1972 article in the Jordanian newspaper Al-Dustur, told Jordanian police: "There is no such organization as Black September. Fatah announces its own operations under this name so that Fatah will not appear as the direct executor of the operation." A March 1973 document released in 1981 by the U.S. State Department seemed to confirm that Fatah was Black September's parent organization.[1]

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