The terrorists handed a communiqué to the police, in it they demanded the release of more than two hundred revolutionary prisoners from jails in Germany, Israel and else where. Black September spent weeks planning the assault on the Olympic Village but their original 9 a.m deadline for the release of the 200 prisoners was hopelessly optimistic. By 8.45 a.m no progress had been made in meeting the demands of the terrorists and Olympic officials scrambled to secure a meeting with the terrorists in order to extend the deadline. A police officer Anneliese Graes who was acting as an intermediary set up a meeting between the terrorist leader Issa and a small delegation of senior German, Olympic and foreign officials. As these officials approached the building it was very clear that the terrorists were in total control of the situation.
When negotiators made their way to the scene they knew nothing about the terrorists except for what they could see. Three terrorists were visible at any one time, Issa the leader of the group, his face blackened with shoe polish and two other gunmen who were seen pointing assault rifles from the windows of the hotel room. The Munich chief of police Schreiber said “on the first floor balcony was a man wearing a balaclava and pointing a sub machine-gun towards us, towards me!” (p57) The negotiators were clearly dealing with a very delicate situation and the atmosphere between the men was described as incredibly tense. It was clear to Schreiber the chief of police that these were very dangerous men that they were dealing with. Not only were there two men on the balcony pointing guns at the negotiators but the leader, Issa had a hand grenade in his hand through-out the negotiations.
Schreiber described the leader, “Issa expressed his demands in a staccato manner and at times sounded like a fanatic or one of those people who aren’t completely anchored in reality or totally aware. He was very cool and very determined, clearly...
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