Abstract and Keywords
The idea that the Ismaili Assassins, historically flourishing during the eleventh‒thirteenth centuries, provided by their suicidal attacks on prominent Muslim and Crusader figures a type of inspiration for contemporary suicide attackers has been a popular one in recent literature. While the Ismaili attacks were targeted rather than terroristic in nature, there is no evidence that the assassins either sought death or that their actions could be accomplished solely through the deaths of their perpetrators. Their assassinations in fact can be explained within the context of Ismaili religious thought of that time and constitute an abortive development in the doctrine of Shi`ite jihad.
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