Jihadis, 'Assassins' and Barack Obama

If I were sentenced to live on a desert island but was allowed have two books, one would be the Bible and the other the one-volume Columbia Encyclopedia, Second Edition, 1950. One example of its greatness, clarity, accuracy and utility can be found in its entry on the Assassins, who were:   …a secret order of Shiite Moslems founded c. 1090 in the mountain fortress of Alamut, in Lebanon. The distinguishing mark of the order was not in their tenets, but in their methods of disposing of enemies by ruthless murder. Of the organization and its history, it is difficult to speak with absolute certainty, as is the case of most secret societies. The grand master of the order Sheik al-Jabal, known in English as the Old Man of the Mountain, was absolute ruler. Under him, the members were strictly organized into classes, according to the degree of initiation into the secrets of the order. The most important of the classes were one of the lower groups of the hierarchy, the...(Read Full Article)