less than 1 minute read


Defining Assassination, Assassination And The Law, Causes And Patterns, The Impact Of Assassination, Bibliography

In the eleventh century the Shiite Ismaeli convert Hasan ibn-al-Sabbah (c. 1050–1124), "the Old Man of the Mountain," appeared in Islamic Persia and for nearly fifty years led the struggle against both Sunni orthodoxy and Turkish rule. Persecuted and hunted, he established the mountain fortress of Alamut, which "became the greatest training center of fanatical politico-religious assassins that the world has known" (Franzius, p. 45). Hasan sent young men ( fidais, "devoted ones") singly or in small bands to kill military, political, and religious leaders aligned against him. Such was the suicidal fanaticism of Hasan's skilled killers that it was widely believed they must be stimulated by hashish. They were called "hashish-eaters," apparently shortened in Arabic usage to Assassins, which may also connote Asasi ("followers of the Asas," the true teacher) and perhaps in addition, "followers of Hasan" (Franzius, pp. 47–48).


Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal Law