It was 4:30 in the morning on Sept. 5, 1972, when five Arab terrorists wearing track sweat suits climbed the six-foot six-inch fence surrounding the Olympic Village. Although they were seen by several people, no one thought anything was unusual since athletes routinely hopped the fence; moreover, the terrorists' weapons were hidden in athletic bags. These five were met by three more men who are presumed to have obtained credentials to enter the village.
Just before 5, the Arabs knocked on the door of Israeli wrestling coach Moshe Weinberg. When Weinberg opened the door he realized something was wrong and shouted a warning to his comrades. He and weightlifter Joseph Romano attempted to block the door while other Israelis escaped, but they were killed by the terrorists. The Arabs then succeeded in rounding up nine Israelis to hold as hostages.
At 9:30, the terrorists announced that they were Palestinians and demanded that Israel release 200 Arab prisoners and that the terrorists be given safe passage out of Germany.