It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
"This sect, the most terrifying ever seen, had been founded in 1090 (C.E) by a man of immense culture, a devotee of poetry profoundly interested in the latest advances of science. Hasan ibn al-Sabbâh was born around 1048 in the city of Rayy, close by the site where the town of Tehran would be founded a dozen years later. Was he really, as legend claims, an inseparable companion of the young poet Omar Khayyam, himself a devotee of mathematics and astronomy? It is not known with certainty. On the other hand, the circumstances that led this brilliant man to dedicate his life to organising this sect are known in detail."
"When Hasan bin Sabbah arrived in Iran from Egypt, the fortress of Alamut was in possession of an Alid, called Hussain Mahdi, who had it as a fief from the Seljuq sultan Malikshah. Hasan Mahdi was a descendant of Hasan bin Ali al-Utrush (d. 304/916), one of the Alid rulers of Tabaristan, also known as al-Nasir li'l-Haq, who had established a separate Zaidi community in the Caspian Sea....Sabbah moved to Ashkawar and then Anjirud, adjacent to Alamut, and on Wednesday, the 6th Rajab, 483/September 4, 1090, he stealthily entered the castle of Alamut. He lodged there for a while in disguise, calling himself Dihkhuda and did not reveal his identity to Hussain Mahdi, but as the days rolled away, the latter noticed that he was no longer obeyed, that there was another master in Alamut. The bulk of Alamut's garrison and a large number of the inhabitants had embraced Ismailism, making Hussain Mahdi powerless to defend himself or make their expulsion, but himself left the fortress. Thus, Alamut was occupied without any massacre and taken to be known as daru'l hijra (place of refuge) for the Ismailis."
"The bastion, the 'eagle's nest', was situated in a practically inaccessible region of the Albruz Mountains near the Caspian Sea. Once he commanded this inviolable sanctuary, Hasan set about establishing a politico-religious organisation whose effectiveness and spirit of discipline would be unequalled in all history.
All members, from novices to the grand master, were ranked to their level of knowledge, reliability and courage. They underwent intensive training courses of indoctrination as well as physical training. Hasan's favourite technique for sowing terror among his enemies was murder. The members of the sect were sent individually - or more rarely, in small groups of two or three - on assignments to kill some chosen personality. They generally disguised themselves as merchants or ascetics and moved around in the city where the crime was to be perpetrated, familiarising themselves with the habits of their victims. Then, once their plan was ready, they struck. Although the preparation was always conducted in the utmost secrecy, the execution has to take place in the public, indeed before the largest crowd. That was why the preferred site was a mosque, the favourite day Friday, generally at noon. For Hasan, murder was not merely a means of disposing an enemy, but was intended primarily as a twofold lesson for the public: first, the punishment of the victim, and, second, the heroic sacrifice of the executioner, who was called fidâ'î (plural : fidâ'în, or fedayeen), or 'suicide commando', because he was almost always cut down on the spot."
"The medieval Arabic historians called them Hashishiyun or more usually Batinia."
"The resulting picture of the Assassins differs radically both from the lurid rumors and fantasies brought back from the East by medieval travelers, and from the hostile and distorted image extracted by nineteenth century orientalists from the manuscript writings of orthodox Muslim theologians and historians, whose main concern was to refute and condemn, not to understand or explain. The Assassins no longer appear as a gang of drugged dupes led by scheming impostors, as a conspiracy of nihilistic terrorists, or as a syndicate of professional murderers. They are no less interesting for that."