The Western image of the Shia Islamic sect, founded in the late 11th century and called Nizari Ismailis, popularly known as Assassins, was mostly based on legends.
The fortress of Alamut, the capital of the medieval Nizari Ismailis located in modern-day Iran, was conquered in 1090 by Hassan-i Sabbah, considered the founder of the Order of Assassins.
The devoted members of the Order, the fida’is, also known as Fedayeen, were trained to murder the military and political leaders of the Crusaders and the hostile Muslim states. Often with the intention of intimidating people they killed their targets in public spaces.
Assassins were also the master of deception. They often operated as “sleeper agents” perfectly assimilating into their targets’ wider or inner circle before taking action.
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