!! History Commons Alert, Exciting News
Profile: Georg Sieber
Georg Sieber was a participant or observer in the following events:
Georg Sieber. [Source: Sarah Morris]Dr. Georg Sieber, a West German police psychologist, imagines the possibility of terrorists using a plane as a weapon and crashing it into the crowded Olympic Stadium when he comes up with a list of scenarios for possible attacks that could occur when his country hosts the Olympic Games. [Graff, 2011, pp. 40] In the months leading up to this year’s Olympics in Munich, organizers ask Sieber to conduct a risk analysis and predict worst-case scenarios for the games. The psychologist is “a serious student of global terrorist activity,” according to historian and author David Clay Large. For his analysis, he examines the activities of the most ruthless terrorist groups, such as the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the Palestine Liberation Organization, the West German Baader-Meinhof gang, and the Basque separatist group ETA. He comes up with 26 worst-case scenarios, which he outlines in minute detail. Most of the scenarios focus on the Olympic Village where athletes will stay during the games. They include bombings by the IRA and ETA, and kidnappings by the Italian Mafia and the Uruguayan terrorist group Tupamaros. Notably, one of the scenarios involves a 9/11-style event in which Swedish neo-fascists hire a jet aircraft and deliberately crash it into the packed Olympic Stadium in a suicide attack. The organizers, however, are unhappy with Sieber’s predictions. Manfred Schreiber, the Munich police chief, thinks they are too far-fetched and unrealistic. Sieber is asked to come up with some scenarios that are less frightening and that the organizers will consider more likely to occur. One of his imagined catastrophes, however, turns out to be eerily prescient. It involves armed Palestinian commandos getting into the Olympic Village, invading the Israeli team’s apartment, killing one or two hostages, and then demanding the release of Arab political prisoners from Israeli jails and a plane to fly the terrorists to a friendly Arab capital. [Time, 8/25/2002; Large, 2012, pp. 120] An attack almost identical to this occurs on the morning of September 5, during the Olympics. It involves eight men affiliated with the Palestinian terrorist group Black September breaking into the Israeli team’s apartment, and taking hostage 11 athletes and coaches. [Time, 9/5/2014] Sieber’s plane crash scenario will also turn out to be prescient in its resemblance to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. It “foreshadowed a September day in another city many years later,” Time magazine will comment in 2002. [Time, 8/25/2002]
Receive weekly email updates summarizing what contributors have added to the History Commons database
Developing and maintaining this site is very labor intensive. If you find it useful, please give us a hand and donate what you can.
If you would like to help us with this effort, please contact us. We need help with programming (Java, JDO, mysql, and xml), design, networking, and publicity. If you want to contribute information to this site, click the register link at the top of the page, and start contributing.