The Assassins: ancestors of modern Muslim suicide bombers?


  • Salam Abdulqadir Abdulrahman College of Law and Policy, University of Human Development, Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region, Iraq



Assassins, assassination, suicide murdering, suicide bombing, Paradise


This article examines the methods and motivations of suicide assassination of the Assassins and draws similarity between them and modern Muslim suicide bombers. Current literature about suicide bombing often focuses on socio, economic and political factors and describes it as a revenge for injustice and bad conditions of life in general. This article does not deny the fact that there can be multiple motives and factors behind the individuals who commit acts of suicide bombing and that there are always political gains for the organisers, however it highlights the main driving force which is religion and a strong belief in the afterlife pleasure that motivates individuals to end their lives and the lives of others.

This article attempts to find ancestors for modern Muslim suicide bombers in an order called the Assassins lived from the eleventh to thirteenth centuries. The significance of this finding lies in the fact that there is something deep about suicide bombing; the Assassins lived in an environment very different from ours, yet they practiced suicide assassinations for a very long time. Agents of the Assassins were going through a long process of indoctrination and they were motivated by Paradise upon death.

In this article the history of this order is reviewed while their assassination activity is underscored. The article brings some examples from modern suicide bombers and highlights their similarities to the Assassins. It relies on the secondary sources available about the subject.

One finding is that there might be political gains for the organisers of suicide assassination or suicide bombing but for the individuals committing the act it is more the idea of Paradise and afterlife pleasure that drive them toward it. Thereby this article has its own contribution to the literature by makes recommendation to how to fight the root of this problem.


Basic format for books:
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