Assassination of Anwar Sadat
|Assassination of Anwar Sadat|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Anwar Sadat †||Khalid Islambouli|
|Casualties and losses|
|11 killed (including Sadat)
|1 killed, 3 wounded|
The Assassination of Anwar Sadat occurred on 6 October 1981. Anwar Sadat, the-President of Egypt, was assassinated during the annual victory parade held in Cairo to celebrate Egypt's crossing of the Suez Canal. A fatwā approving the assassination had been obtained from Omar Abdel-Rahman, a cleric later convicted in the US for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The assassination was undertaken by members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.
Following the Camp David Accords, Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize. But the subsequent 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was received with controversy among Arab nations, particularly the Palestinians. Egypt's membership in the Arab League was suspended (and not reinstated until 1989). PLO Leader Yasser Arafat said "Let them sign what they like. False peace will not last." In Egypt, various jihadist groups, such as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, used the Camp David Accords to rally support for their cause. Previously sympathetic to Sadat's attempt to integrate them into Egyptian society, Egypt's Islamists now felt betrayed and publicly called for the overthrow of the Egyptian president and the replacement of the nation's system of government with a government based on Islamic theocracy.
On 6 October 1981, a victory parade was held in Cairo to commemorate Egypt's crossing of the Suez Canal. Sadat was protected by four layers of security and eight bodyguards, and the army parade should have been safe due to ammunition-seizure rules. As Egyptian Air Force Mirage jets flew overhead, distracting the crowd, Egyptian Army soldiers and troop trucks paraded. One troop truck contained the assassination squad, led by Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli. As the truck passed, the assassins dismounted, and Islambouli approached Sadat. Sadat stood to receive his salute, whereupon, Islambouli threw three grenades at Sadat, only one of which exploded, and additional assassins rose from the truck, firing assault rifles into the stands. After Sadat was hit and fell to the ground, people threw chairs around him to protect him from the hail of bullets.
The attack lasted about two minutes. Sadat and eleven others were killed, including the Cuban ambassador, an Omani general, and a Coptic Orthodox bishop. Twenty-eight were wounded, including Vice President Hosni Mubarak, Irish Defence Minister James Tully, and four US military liaison officers. Security forces were momentarily stunned but reacted within seconds. One of the attackers was killed, and the three others injured and arrested. Sadat was airlifted to a military hospital, where eleven doctors operated on him. He died nearly two hours after he was taken to the hospital. Sadat's death was attributed to "violent nervous shock and internal bleeding in the chest cavity, where the left lung and major blood vessels below it were torn."
|This section requires expansion. (February 2011)|
In conjunction with the assassination, an insurrection was organized in Asyut in Upper Egypt. Rebels took control of the city for a few days and 68 policemen and soldiers were killed in the fighting. Government control was not restored until paratroopers from Cairo arrived. Most of the militants convicted of fighting received light sentences and served only three years in prison.
Islambouli and the other assassins were tried, found guilty, sentenced to death, and executed by firing squad in April 1982.
At first, Sadat was succeeded by Sufi Abu Taleb, who remained as the Acting President of Egypt until October 14, 1981, when Sadat's former Vice President, Hosni Mubarak, became the new Egyptian President.
- "1981 Year in Review: Anwar Sadat Killed". UPI. Archived from the original on 19 January 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- "Sadat as a president of Egypt". News Egypt. 8 October 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- BBC Timeline: Arab League
- 1979: Israel and Egypt shake hands on peace deal BBC News
- "On this day: 6 October". BBC. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- "On this day". The New York Times. 6 October 1981. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- Sageman, Marc, Understanding Terror Networks, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004, pp. 33-34
- "Sadat Assassins are Executed". The Glasgow Herald. 16 April 1982. Retrieved 16 February 2011.