Posted: November 27th, 2013


















The term terrorism is referred to an act of violence committed by either a group or an individual thinking they have been victimized by a wrong probably of historical ancient. The groups usually have no connections with the government. They are fond of staging violence and unexpected attacks on people. Examples of such attacks are the 1972 Munich Olympics attack and the Beslan School attack and they have both similarities together with differences.

On September 1 2004, Beslan’s secondary school number one suffered an attack. The attack was organized by a group of Islamic terrorists. Around thirty-two terrorists participated in the attack and held around three hundred and thirty four people hostage before killing them. On the other hand, on September 4 1972 there was a terrorist attack in the Olympic Games. The attack caused two deaths and held nine people hostage. Both terrorist attacks were caused by Muslim descendants though from different regions and lead to hostages and deaths. The terrorists were all believed to have been working closely with the al-queda (Weldon, 2005). In the Beslan attack, the attackers were of Chechen origins who are Muslims. In the 1972 Munich attack, the terrorists were Palestinians.

The attacks were both held during the months of September at sports arenas. The 1972 attack took place in Germany at the Olympic Games. The Palestine nationals stormed into the building housing the Israeli athletes causing their deaths and kidnapping the rest while the 2004 Beslan attack took place in the school within the gymnasium arena. Both attacks led to fierce shootouts and deaths. Both attacks lead by the Muslim descendants caused collisions between the security forces. The collision was brought about by the attackers due to their resistance. In both scenarios, the security force had pleaded with them to set the hostages free but they had declined hence resulting to a fierce shoot out.

In the 1972 attack, the attackers spend a day negotiating with the force for exchange of prisoners and transport facilities. The German government denied the attackers permit to go with the hostages to Egypt and instead set a trap. The trap was set in order to get hold of the culprits and set the hostages free. When plans failed, the culprits and the security force engaged in a shootout killing five attackers and the nine hostages. In the Beslan attack, the culprits engaged in a three-day shootout after taking the people into hostage and refusing to set them free. Eventually the shootout caused many deaths.

The reasons for starting the attacks are similar since both groups of Islamic attackers were seeking releases of their members. In the 1972 massacre, the attackers were in demand of the release of the Islamic prisoners who were jailed in the Israeli country. The attackers were members of the black September. Their demand was the release of Palestinians and non-Muslims who had been jailed in Israel. On the other hand, the Beslan attack was caused in demand of an end to the second Chechen war. They were sent by the Chechen warlord to pass across the message. The attackers never expressed their demands openly but it was later found that they wanted the Russians troops to completely withdraw from Chechen and recognize Chechen. In addition, they demanded the presence of several people within the school vicinity.

Both attacks led to shooting of the lead culprits. In both the attacks, the attackers did not evade the gunshots though only a minimal number were sentenced to jail. In the 1972 Munich attack, only five attackers were shot dead leaving three. The three were taken into custody by the German government while in the Beslan attack lead to death of thirty-one terrorists leaving only one alive (Klein 2007). The surviving terrorist was however taken into custody and later believed to have been killed.

The two attacks however had differences that can be identified. In the Munich attack, all the hostages were killed by the culprits though at different intervals. The first shootout caused deaths of the two Israeli athletes and the second caused the deaths of nine hostages and five attackers (Sonneborn, 2003). Nevertheless, in the second attack that is the Beslan attack, not all hostages were killed though a large number. The hostages were left in the building and it was set on fire, a series of explosions caused the deaths of a large number of people excluding only a few.

Judgment of terrorists in the two attacks was handled differently. In the Munich attack, the surviving terrorists were taken into custody by the German government. They were sentenced for their crimes but were later set free after they hijacked a plane and threatened to blow it up. The government set the culprits free in order to secure the safety of its citizens. Moreover, in the Beslan attack, the surviving terrorist was taken into custody by the government and it was later assumed that he was killed within the prison walls.

In the Munich massacre, only adults who athletes were taken into hostage but in the Beslan massacre adults together with children were taken into hostage. In Munich massacre, the adults were killed and in the Beslan massacre, the adults together with the children lost their lives. The children who lost their lives were estimated an average of one hundred and eighty. They died due to the fire that was set on the building after the terrorists left (Weldon, 2005).

The duration of the attacks in both terrorist attacks varies. The first attack lasted for an average of three days. On the first day, the attackers took an average of twelve hundred people, which the government expressed as only two hundred. On the same day, the hostages were singled out according to their capability and strength and locked in separate areas. The second and third day the hostages were still locked in the gymnasium (Giduck, 2005). In the Munich terror attack, the duration was short lived; it only took one day and great damage had been caused.

A major difference noted in the two attacks is the presence of female personalities. The Munich attack had no female counterparts present in the massacre but in the second attack named the Beslan attack, there were presence of female terrorists. After the attack, the identities of the three female were reveled to the public. Roza was identified as the Chechen woman who was suspected as being the suicide bomber. She was responsible for burning up the building and for committing other crimes beside the attack. Other female personalities were Mairam and Khaula belonging to the Chechen region.

The two attacks have very many similarities though occurring in two different areas and at different intervals. Both attacks caused great losses of great people and damage to personal property. The terrorist attackers however served their sentences though some were freed at the end. However, there are differences among the two terrorist’s attacks. The differences range from the number of terrorists, their main aim and the duration the massacres lasted. Terrorism has lead the government and world leaders to spending huge amounts of funds in ensuring the presence of security. It has become a global threat especially to non-Islamic nations. Terrorism attacks affects every individual within the society, the approach used must be universal in order to combat fights and terrorism safely. The Muslim nations should enact other ways of communicating their requests. They should not cause massive deaths in pursuit of seeking to be heard. They should engage nations in dialogue in order to reduce the number of deaths.



Giduck, J. (2005). Terror at beslan: a Russian tragedy with lessons for American schools. Washington, DC: Deer Creeks Awards Publishers

Klein, A. (2007). Striking back: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israeli Deadly Response. New York, NY: Random House Trade Paperbacks

Sonneborn, L. (2003). Murder at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group

Weldon, C. (2005). Countdown to terror. Washington, DC: Regnery publishers

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