Devastating Political Assassinations That Changed History

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5. Anwar Sadat

Leading Egypt for eleven years, Sadat would initially be hailed as a hero in the Arab world for his conflict with Israel in his attempts to regain the Sinai Peninsula. And although he would successfully win back the land, Egypt would ultimately suffer heavy losses and sign the 1979 Egyptian–Israeli peace treaty. This peace was welcomed by the majority of Egyptians but rejected by the majority of the Arab world as it recognized Israel as a legitimate state.

Egypt’s membership in the Arab League would soon be suspended and the country’s Islamists now felt betrayed by Sadat’s peace with Israel and his courting of the United States, so a fatwa was issued. On 6 October 1981, while attending an annual victory parade to commemorate the eighth anniversary of Egypt’s crossing of the Suez Canal, Egyptian army officer Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli and a few others sprang up from the back of a truck in the parade and shot Sadat dead.

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