Asked in EgyptHistory of the Middle EastAssassinations and Assassination Attempts
Was the assassination of Anwar Sadat a result of terorism?
November 23, 2009 3:25PM
No. It was not.
Terrorism has been defined as targeting civilians in military or violent actions in order to achieve political ends.
This action did not in any way target civilians.
Sadat's Assassination could have been the result of several factors. In the months leading up to his assassination, he was hugely unpopular in the Middle East for making peace with Israel, which was considered a 'traitorous' move against the Palestinians. There were several criticisms and death threats made against him and his family, and the country was becoming very tense. In an attempt to control his critics, Sadat initiated a massive crackdown on almost anyone with religious connection - whether they were Muslim or Christian, it didn't matter. The crackdown on the religious institutions of Egypt made everyone hate Sadat, including the Christians; Sadat specifically ordered that the Egyptian (Coptic) pope be exiled to a remote monastery in the desert and tried to re-establish the Church leadership using a 'holy council' made up of bishops selected by Sadat. Basically, he was trying to control the Church.
It was no surprise to many that he was assassinated, but the circumstances under which he was assassinated are still peculiar. Many reports have claimed that Egyptian Security forces knew well in advance that an attempt on Sadat's life would be made, but did little to stop it. Some even claimed that Egyptian Security forces helped train the would-be assassins. Some see this as a plausible scenario, since the assassins were able to bypass several layers of checks and inspections prior to the military parade in Cairo.
The very fact that the assassins were able to bypass the several inspections with live ammo is a strong indication that it was an inside job. Little investigation has been conducted into the incident however. It is not possible to say that Sadat's death was only a result of terrorism, since there were so many other factors that ultimately lead to his death.