Great Moments in Etymology

Robert Pape, author of Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism talking about suicide attacks on NPR’s Morning Edition on July 19, 2005. This quote comes from 1:06 into the story.

The next most famous group in history to use suicide attacks were the Ismaili assassins in the eleventh and twelfth century. They, uh, would attack a sultan and leave a message, uh, which would say there would be further attacks unless you leave our community alone. This was where we get the word assassin from, because of their propensity to assassinate enemy leaders with a suicide attack.

He’s sold me.