Operation OPEC - Terrorist attack in Vienna


Length: 52 min
Format: HD 16:9
Language: German, French
Directed by: Dirk Laabs
TV co-producer: ZDF/ARTE
Year: 2008

21.12.1975 – it was one of the most sensational terror attacks of the twentieth century. Six terrorists attack the OPEC conference in Vienna and take eleven OPEC ministers and dozens of their co-workers hostage. Never before or since have so many powerful politicians been in the hands of a terrorist commando for so many days. This coup kicked off the era of international terrorism: Palestinian and Libyan terrorists were involved in this attack. The group was masterminded by top terrorist “Carlos” from Venezuela; German left-wing terrorists Gabriele Tiedemann and Hans-Joachim Klein were under his commando. Their mission: the assassination of the Saudi Arabian Minister for Oil and Mineral Resources, Ahmed Zaki Yamani, one of the most powerful men in the world at that time.

The documentary “Operation OPEC” reconstructs the spectacular hostage-taking in Vienna in minute detail. Hostages, police officers, and former terrorists recount the dramatic episode during which three people were shot dead. Prize-winning filmmaker Dirk Laabs spent a year in the Middle East and in Europe researching the background of this hostage-taking, evaluating secret service documents, police reports and court proceedings. Lawyers, police officers and judges are interviewed as well as the German ex-terrorist Hans-Joachim Klein, Palestinian commando members and the assassins’ accomplices.

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