TERRORISM: Horror and Death at the Olympics

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(10 of 10)

For the rest of the world, an equally urgent question was whether the Black September brand of violence could be stopped. President Nixon last week formed a special intelligence committee composed of CIA, FBI and State Department experts to cope with international terrorism. Secretary of State Rogers, on Nixon's orders, launched a diplomatic drive to persuade Arab governments to deny sanctuary to the fedayeen. But the guerrillas are popular heroes in many Arab countries, and the Arab governments' range of action is severely limited by the political consequences of a crackdown. The difficulty of concerting international action was demonstrated last week when 17 nations met in Washington to seek agreement on measures against skyjackers —and failed. Even if governments could agree, the Black September gangsters would be hard to eliminate, since they move so stealthily. Quite probably, the world will have to endure more Munichs before it learns how to curb them.

To counter the guerrilla terror, governments everywhere will have to pay far closer attention to security—not only on airliners, as they are learning to do, but at almost any public event or occasion that terrorists could disrupt, as they did the Olympics. Perhaps the ultimate significance of last week's horror in Munich is that the historic, bloody conflict between the Israelis and Arabs has now been exported from the Middle East to the rest of the world, first to Western Europe, and maybe eventually even to the U.S.

*The eleventh victim, Weight Lifter David Berger, was a U.S. citizen who had moved to Israel last year. A U.S.A.F. C-141A StarLifter was dispatched to bring his body home hurriedly for burial in Cleveland before the Sabbath, as required by Orthodox law.

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