Terrorist Who Masterminded Munich Massacre in Which 11 Israeli Athletes Died is Wounded in Warsaw
Menu JTA Search

Terrorist Who Masterminded Munich Massacre in Which 11 Israeli Athletes Died is Wounded in Warsaw

Download PDF for this date

Palestine Liberation Organization leader Abu Daoud, the man believed to have masterminded the 1972 Munich massacre in which 11 Israeli athletes lost their lives, was seriously wounded last Saturday in Warsaw.

Daoud was shot by an unidentified gunman five times, with bullets entering his head, chest and stomach. Polish authorities contacted by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency said his condition is “highly critical.”

Daoud was reportedly shot while he sat by himself in the cafeteria of the Intercontinental Hotel. According to Polish news sources, a man who sat at an adjacent table walked past the Fatah leader, fired six bullets and calmly walked out where he was picked up by a waiting car. One of the bullets missed its mark and wounded a Polish woman who was sitting at another table.

Polish police set up road barriers but failed to locate the car which, according to the hotel porters, was of a current Polish make.


While the incident took place Saturday it was only revealed today by the PLO representative in Poland. He said that Daoud’s chances of survival are still “very slim.” The Palestinian representative blamed “an Israeli agent” for the attack.

The incident is the first of its kind reported from an East European capital and the Polish security services reportedly have taken utmost measures to try and identify the gunman and his possible accomplices. A Palestinian delegation is due to arrive in Warsaw tonight to help the Polish authorities with their investigation. The PLO representative said Daoud was in transit in the Polish capital but other sources said he had booked a room at the Intercontinental for five days.

Daoud, who is reportedly the number three man in the PLO and the main leader of the Fatah branch, is generally credited with having planned and carried out the Munich attack. He was arrested in France in January 1977 when police discovered him hiding under a false name in a Paris hotel.

He claimed at the time that the French government knew his real identify and had granted him permission to enter France to attend the funeral of a murdered PLO representative. In spite of Israel’s protests and West Germany’s extradition request he was freed and expelled four days later. The incident provoked a major crisis in Franco-Israeli relations.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund