TheBlaze's national security adviser Buck Sexton on Thursday revealed the fascinating history behind the word "assassin," which he said "has its roots in Islamic terror."
"The assassins first arrived on the scene in the late 11th century," Sexton began. "They terrorized the Crusaders, but also many of the Muslim groups in the region found them to be a terror as well. They would kill people on both sides, and it was known that they would hire themselves out to the highest bidder."
Sexton said the first assassins were part of a group called the Nizari Ismailis who followed a religious figure named Hassan I Sabbah.
"He had a castle ... in what is now Iran, then Persia, and from that castle he had a number of individuals who were so devoted to him that they would give their lives in the process of taking lives," Sexton said.
There is some dispute over the exact etymology of the word, but some say it comes from "the followers of Hassan," or hashashin, meaning "hashish eaters."
"The original assassins used subterfuge and close-quarters tactics to try to kill anybody that was a political target," Sexton concluded. "They would get an individual very close to that person and then he would be killed with a dagger. That was their preferred method."
The Mongols wiped out the last of the original assassins, Sexton added, but the word and its significance remain to this day.
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