10 Brutal Moments In The Conquests Of Genghis Khan

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10 Brutal Moments In The Conquests Of Genghis Khan



For 30 years, Genghis Khan and his Mongolian horde swept through Asia, slaughtering over one-tenth of the people on Earth and conquering nearly one-quarter of the land. His was the most violent reign in all of human history.

Most people know Genghis Khan through the statistics, but the details are just as mind-boggling. Some stories from his life and his battles are outright unbelievable—and among the most brutal stories you will ever hear.

Featured image credit: Taringa

10He Killed His Brother For Not Sharing His Food


Photo credit: World History

Genghis Khan was born the son of a powerful chieftain, but his situation changed when his father was poisoned by an enemy tribe. The young boy and his family were cast out of their home and forced to scavenge for food, mostly eating plants and discarded carcasses they found on the roads.

When he was 14, Genghis Khan found a fish and brought it back to his family, only to have his half brother Behter snatch it from his hands and refuse to share a bite with anyone else. Furious, Genghis Khan stalked his brother until he was alone—and murdered him with a bow and arrow.

Genghis Khan didn’t get away with his first murder completely, though. History reports that his mother “scolded” him, so he at least got a good talking-to about how, in this family, we don’t murder our siblings.


9He Beheaded People For Being Over 90 Centimeters (3′) Tall


When Genghis Khan was 20, he led an army against the tribe that killed his father and got his revenge. The Tatar army was crushed, and Genghis Khan set about exterminating the people in an incredibly unusual way.

Every Tatar man was lined up and measured against “the linchpin of a wagon,” which is the axle pin in the middle of the wheel. Anyone who was taller than these pins—which were 90 centimeters (3′) high—was to be beheaded.

In effect, Genghis Khan’s order slaughtered every male Tatar but the infants.

8His Victims’ Bones Were Mistaken For Mountains


In 1211, Genghis Khan turned his focus to modern-day China and attacked the Jin Empire. It was a reckless decision. The Jin Empire controlled 53 million people, and the Mongols had one million. Still, Genghis Khan won.

Within three years, the Mongols had made their way to Zhongdu (now Beijing). The city walls were 12 meters (39 ft) high and stretched 29 kilometers (18 mi) around the city. It seemed impossible to get in, so they didn’t try.

Instead, the Mongols starved Zhongdu out. By summer 1215, the people there were so hungry that cannibalism was running rampant inside its walls. Finally, they surrendered, and the Mongols sacked and burned the city.

The massacre was horrific. Months later, a passing eyewitness wrote that “the bones of the slaughtered formed white mountains and that the soil was still greasy with human fat.”


7An Enemy Archer Shot Genghis Khan, So He Made The Archer A General


Photo credit: World History

While at war with the Mongolian Tayichigud clan, Genghis Khan’s horse was hit. An arrow sailed into the animal’s spine, and the horse fell beneath the warlord’s legs, nearly killing him in the process.

His army marched on and won the battle, and Genghis Khan went out for revenge. He demanded to know who had fired the arrow. He didn’t expect anyone to confess, so he was probably looking for an excuse for another genocide.

But the archer Jebe stepped forward, confessed to the deed, and told Genghis Khan to kill him if he wanted to. Genghis Khan was impressed, so he made Jebe a commander in his army.

Jebe later rose to be a general and one of the Genghis Khan’s most trusted friends—all as a reward for nearly killing him.

6He Made His Allies Marry His Daughters And Then Got Them Killed


Photo credit: Polyvore

One of the biggest ways Genghis Khan seized power was by marrying off his daughters to the kings of his allies. When Genghis Khan was behind it, though, even marriage was a death sentence.

For the privilege of marrying one of Genghis Khan’s daughters, the kings were required to cast out every other wife they had. This wasn’t because he was dedicated to monogamy. It was to make sure that his daughters were the only people in line for the throne.

The kings were then sent to the front lines of the Mongolian army. Almost every one died in combat, and his daughters took over their kingdoms. By the time of Genghis Khan’s death, his daughters ruled an area stretching from China’s Yellow Sea to Iran’s Caspian Sea.

5He Exterminated 1.7 Million People To Avenge One Person


Photo credit: Bill Taroli

The marriages might have been strategic alliances, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t any love involved. One of Genghis Khan’s daughters loved her husband, a man name Toquchar. Genghis Khan loved him, too, as his favorite son-in-law.

When Toquchar was killed by an archer from Nishapur, his wife demanded vengeance. Genghis Khan’s troops attacked Nishapur and slaughtered every person there. By some estimates, 1,748,000 people were killed. Other historians dispute that number, but there’s no doubt that his armies killed everyone they found.

Women, children, babies, and even dogs and cats were tracked down and murdered. Then they were beheaded, and their skulls were piled into pyramids—a request by Genghis Khan’s daughter to ensure that no one got away with a simple wounding.


4The Mongols Had A Victory Feast On Top Of The Russian Nobility


Photo credit: mongolcom.mn

In 1223, the Mongolian army was making its way through Russia and had just won the Battle of the Kalka River. The Russian army had surrendered, their towns had been captured, and the Mongolians decided to celebrate.

The generals and nobility of the Russian army were forced to lie down on the ground. Then a heavy wooden gate was thrown on top of them, chairs and tables were set on top of the gate, and the army sat down for a feast.

They held their victory celebration on top of the still-living bodies of their enemies, eating and drinking while Russian princes were crushed to deathbeneath their feet.

3He Diverted A River Through An Enemy’s Birthplace To Erase It Off The Map


When Genghis Khan found the Muslim kingdom of Khwarezmia, he did something unusual: He took the peaceful route. A group of diplomats were sent to the city, hoping to establish a trade route and diplomatic ties.

The governor of Khwarezmia, though, didn’t trust them. He thought the diplomats were part of a Mongolian conspiracy and had them executed. He killed the next group they sent, too.

Genghis Khan was furious. He had tried to be nice, and he’d been repaid with dead diplomats. He set up an army of 200,000 soldiers, attacked, andcompletely destroyed Khwarezmia.

Even after he’d won, Khan sent two armies to burn down every castle, town, and farm they found to make sure that no hint of Khwarezmia survived. According to one story, he even diverted a river to run through the emperor’s birthplace, just to make sure it would never appear on a map again.

2He Nearly Erased A Kingdom From History For Not Sending Troops


Photo credit: Epic World History

When Genghis Khan attacked Khwarezmia, he asked the conquered kingdom of Xi Xia to send him troops. They refused. Xi Xia tried to take a bold stand against their oppressor, and they quickly regretted it. The Mongolian army swarmed through Xi Xia, destroying everything that they found. They systematically exterminated every member of the population.

By the end, Xi Xia was erased from history. They hadn’t written down their own stories, so the only records of their existence came from neighboring countries. Their language wasn’t recovered for more than 700 years. It took until the mid-20th century for archaeologists to unearth stones that had their writing on them. In the meantime, every word they had spoken was forgotten.

Genghis Khan died during the battle, most likely from being thrown from his horse. Still, the Mongolian army carried out his work. They slaughtered every person they found, even after their leader was dead and their enemy had surrendered.

1Everyone Involved In Burying Him Was Killed


Photo credit: deadline.com

When Genghis Khan died, he wanted to be buried where no one could find his corpse. In honor of his wishes, his body was carried miles into the wilderness by a group of slaves escorted by soldiers.

The slaves buried Genghis Khan in a place no one would ever find. To make sure the slaves would never divulge the secret, the warriors massacred them and threw them into the grave. Then the soldiers rode their horses over it and planted trees on top of it to hide the spot.

When the warriors who buried him made their way back to camp, they were promptly slaughtered as well, just to make sure they would never talk. And so Genghis Khan died in a massacre like the ones that pervaded his life,hidden away in a tomb that has yet to be found.

10 Facts About The Talking Knots Of Ancient Peru

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10 Facts About The Talking Knots Of Ancient Peru



When the Spanish arrived in Peru, they discovered the greatest Native American empire in history, stretching from the mountains of Ecuador to the deserts of Chile and the jungles of Brazil. But, alone among history’s great empires, the Inca had no written language. Instead, they administered the empire using bundles of knotted cords known as quipus. Long dismissed as mere mnemonic aids, it’s now becoming clear that the “talking knots” were a far stranger and more advanced technology than we ever suspected.

10They’re Incredibly Rare (But Still Respected)


The Spanish recognized that the quipu were more formidable and accurate than their own system of record-keeping. They also realized that they were extremely important to the prestige and history of the local people. They didn’t care for either fact and declared quipu satanic in 1583, burning every example they could find. At the time, quipu were extremely common, with every village in the empire using them. Today, only around 750 examples remain.

Despite their virtual eradication, many Andean people retained an enormous respect for quipu, although they lost the ability to truly read them over time. In the Peruvian village of San Cristobal de Rapaz, the locals carefully preserve a quipu in a ceremonial “quipu house” that must be approached with offerings and invocations. They regard the ancient record as a holy object that allows them to communicate with the nearby mountains, which allow the rain to come in their time of need.


9They Might Be Writing


Photo credit: Wikimedia

Until recently, Western historians dismissed the quipu as numerical records, barely more advanced than abacuses. But early Spanish chroniclers frequently referred to the quipu as containing words as well.

The Jesuit missionary Jose de Acosta specifically recorded that the native Peruvians considered the quipu “authentic writing,” adding that “I saw a bundle of these strings on which a woman had brought a written confession of her whole life and used it to confess just as I would have done with words written on paper.” Others came across an old man who treasured a quipu recording “all [the Spanish] had done, both the good and the bad.” (Naturally, they seized and burned it.)

It took an unusual combination to overturn the consensus. Robert and Marcia Ascher were a married couple who also happened to be an archaeologist and a distinguished mathematician. In the 1980s, they teamed up to analyze the quipu and confirmed that at least a fifth of them had “non-arithmetical” elements.

This was huge, because if quipus are hiding a writing system, then it’s one like no other in the history of the world. For one thing, it’s three-dimensional. For another, the quipus don’t seem to represent sounds, so the Inca developed a notation system entirely separate from their spoken language, perhaps like computer binary (more on that later).

But before all of that, let’s get down to basics. How did the quipu work?

8They Used A Base-10 System


Photo credit: kairotic.org

The most straightforward use of the quipu was to record numbers using clusters of knots. These are relatively easy to decipher, since the Inca used a base-10 positional number system much like the one we use today.

In our system, the symbol “5” can represent the number five or 50 or 5,000 depending on its position. In the number “555,” the digit 5 stands for the number five in the first column, the number 50 in the second column, and the number 500 in the third column. In this way, we can represent very large numbers using only 10 symbols (0 to 9).

The Inca had a similar system, in which the value of a cluster of knots changed depending on its position on the cord. So a tight cluster of three knots by itself represented the number three. But a cluster of three knots followed by a second cluster of three knots represented the number 33 (rather than simply adding up to 6). So the number 431 would be recorded on a quipu as four knots pressed together, followed by three knots clustered together, followed by a single knot at the end.


7They Understood Zero


All cultures have the concept of nothing, but the actual use of zero as a number was one of the most important breakthroughs in mathematics. The concept was considered so startling that in 1299, the Italian city of Florence banned Hindu-Arabic numerals such as zero entirely.

Most importantly, zero is used as a placeholder number. For example, in the number 2099, the zero indicates that there is a “hundreds” column, but that it has no value. Without zero, writing the number 2099 would require all sorts of convoluted symbols. We couldn’t write the number 20 at all, except by giving it a symbol of its own or writing “19 plus 1.”

The Romans lacked zero and consequently had to use a complicated system with symbols for 10, 50, 100, and so on. So in Roman numerals, 70 was written as LXX (50 plus 10 plus 10). The number 1939 had to be written as the deranged MCMXXXIX, which works out to 1,000 plus [1,000 minus 100] plus 10 plus 10 plus 10 plus [10 minus 1]. This made basic math ridiculously hard—-compare teaching a child to add LXXXI to XL to teaching 40 plus 81.

Inca math was advanced enough to include placeholder zero, which they represented as a space with no knots. So 209 would be indicated by two knots, followed by a space (0), followed by a clump of nine knots. This meant that the knots had to be exactly spaced so that it was easy to see when a space stood for zero.

6They Had Multiple Levels


In fact, the knots in a quipu were so perfectly spaced that the half-Inca chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega made them sound something like a spreadsheet: “According to their position, the knots signified units, tens, hundreds, thousands, ten thousands and, exceptionally, hundred thousands, and they were all as well aligned on their different cords as the figures that an accountant sets down, column by column, in his ledger.”

Quipus also had multiple levels. The basic design of a quipu was a thick horizontal rope with smaller strings hanging from it. These are known as pendant cords. However, some cords were attached on the opposite side of the central rope. These are known as top cords and often seem to contain the sum totals of the numbers being collected on the pendant cords below. Top cords and pendant cords can be seen clearly in the image above.

Additionally, smaller strings could be tied to top cords and pendant cords. These are known as subsidiary cords and contained supplementary information to the main cord. If you scroll back up to the previous entry, you can see subsidiary cords in the top right of the image. Between pendant cords, top cords, and subsidiary cords, quipus were extremely complicated devices. And we’re only just getting started.

5Color And Space


Color also helped to give the quipu meaning. According to the half-Inca Garcilaso de la Vega in 1609, quipu knots were “tied in several cords of different thicknesses and colors, each one of which had a special significance. Thus, gold was represented by a gold cord, silver by a white one, and fighting men by a red cord.”

Space was also used, with groups of cords representing a particular location or category. In the image above, you can clearly see that the pendant cords are separated into groups with spaces in between them. If the Inca wanted to know how many weapons their army had, then each group of cords mightrepresent a regiment, with a different color of cord for every type of weapon.

Or let’s say the Inca wanted to know how many animals had been born in a village that year. Each group of cords would represent the animals owned by one particular family. Red cords would represent llamas, green cords alpacas, and brown cords guinea pigs. The knots on each cord would be the number of animals born that year. If there was no red cord in a group, it would mean that family didn’t own llamas. If there was a red cord, but it had no knots, it would mean the family had llamas, but they didn’t give birth that year.


4They Did Contain Words


Photo credit: AgainErick/Wikimedia

Think back to the examples from the last entry. We have seen how the quipu could be used to record complex numerical information, but surely it’s not much use to record that a regiment is low on javelins without recording the name of the regiment? Traditionally, it was assumed that the Inca simply had to remember that information, since the quipu could only record numbers. But it’s now all but certain that the quipu could record at least some non-numerical information.

As well as colors and space, the Inca used at least three different types of knots to encode data. A figure eight knot was used to indicate that it was the last digit in a number, a bit like a numerical full stop. In the 1950s, a treasure trove of preserved quipus was found at an Inca administrative center called Puruchuco. Some of the quipus clearly summarize the numbers found on other, larger quipus. It’s likely that these summary quipus were intended as reports to be sent to the Inca capital at Cuzco.

Interestingly, the summary quipus always start with a single cord containing three figure eight knots. Since figure eight knots indicate the last digit, three figure eights in a row don’t make sense as a number. Quipu researchers like Gary Urton now believe that the three knots represent the place name “Puruchuco.” This is the first non-numerical information decoded from quipus. It is likely that other such “zip codes” exist for locations throughout the empire, but they are likely less easy to detect than Puruchuco’s clearly non-numeric figure eight knots.

3They Might Be Binary


Photo credit: mobebu/Wikimedia

Quipus had other elements that probably helped give them meaning. Garcilaso de la Vega specifically mentions the thickness of the cords, but we don’t know exactly what that meant. Additionally, researchers have focused on the material used (cotton or wool) and the style of weaving the cords (two distinct patterns known as S-spun and Z-spun). These might be meaningless, but the distribution of S-spun and Z-spun cords does seem unusual enough that it might not be random.

Gary Urton, a leading quipu researcher, has suggested that the Inca used a binary code similar to modern computer binary. According to Urton, each quipu represents a series of seven binary choices (for example, cotton vs wool and S-spun thread vs Z-spun thread). Combined with color, Urton argues that this allows quipus to indicate up to 1,500 distinct arrays—-far more than Egyptian hieroglyphs—-and therefore contain lengthy narratives, much in the same way that computers can encode whole books in a series of zeroes and ones.

Urton is at pains to emphasize that the binary code is just a theory and it hasn’t gained wide acceptance among his peers. Notably, it’s not clear how the binary code reconciles with the decimal numbers we know are definitely recorded by the quipus.

2The Royal Quipu Theory


Photo credit: incaglossary.org

In 1996, an Italian historian named Clara Miccinelli claimed to have made an amazing discovery in the archives of her noble Neapolitan ancestors. A book written by 17th century Jesuits made several startling revelations about the conquest of Peru. Among other things, the book claimed that several “royal quipus” were actually written in a forgotten syllabic language.

According to the book, each thread on a royal quipu began with a knot or symbol indicating a particular deity. The thread then contained a number indicating a syllable in the god’s name. It specifically cites the god Pachacamac, saying that his symbol followed by one knot is the syllable “pa,” while two knots is the syllable “cha” and three knots would be “ca.” In this way, it would have been possible to write a short story or song across a full quipu.

Unfortunately, most mainstream historians suspect that the book is aforgery, since it makes several outlandish claims, including that Francisco Pizarro conquered the Inca via some nefariously poisoned wine. It also uses the term “genocide” to describe the conquest, even though that word wasn’t invented until several hundred years later. Clara Miccinelli, who was known for somewhat eccentric scholarly interests, has largely refused to release her documents for careful study and testing, leaving the royal quipu theory unsubstantiated.

1They’re Completely Alien To Us


Photo credit: Craig Cutler

In days gone by, historians used to refer to the “paradox” that the Inca alone managed to build a giant empire without any form of writing to administer it. But it’s now clear that the quipu were more than up to the task. Whatever else they were, the quipu were a terrifyingly complex apparatus: pendant threads, top threads, subsidiary threads, knot styles, weaving style, cord thickness, color, spaces, and unknowable other factors combined to create a strange nexus of information which we may not even have the tools to understand.

The Inca were an empire built on textiles and the quipu were arguably their finest work. We know from the Puruchuco quipu that they contained at least a few words. But even if that was as far as it went, they were still incredible devices, allowing for complicated arithmetic and a system of record keeping that rivaled any in the world.

In 2007, a Wired Magazine profile praised Gary Urton as the first to treat the quipu as “advanced, alien technology.” Urton himself recounted a key trip he made to work with traditional Bolivian weavers: “For an expert weaver, fabric is a record of many choices, a dance of twists, turns, and pulls that leads to the final product. They would have seen a fabric—-be it cloth or knotted strings—-a bit like a chess master views a game in progress. Yes, they see a pattern of pieces on a board, but they also have a feel for the moves that led there.”

10 Deadliest Assassin Organizations In History

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10 Deadliest Assassin Organizations In History



The idea of the assassin often invokes the image of the lone gunman, working on his own to eliminate whoever he views as a threat. But a handful of groups have recruited enough of these individuals to assemble into entire organizations—made up of those willing to kill for what they believe in.

10The Vishkanyas

The vishkanya, deadly and beautiful assassins, were developed in ancient India to end conflict between kings without widespread violence. According to the ancient literature, one way of grooming a girl was to dose her with poison a bit at a time, until she built up an immunity to it. She would then be sent into an enemy camp or tasked with getting close to a rival king, administering poison to him while being able to eat and drink from the same vessels to allay suspicion. In other cases, the girl might be purposely infected with a poison (spread through blood or sexual contact) or an infectious disease, before being dispatched to the rival capital or camp.




The Werwolves were a group of around 5,000 volunteers selected from the most promising members of Hitler Youth and the Waffen SS. They were trained in sabotage and silent killing then were left behind in territories taken from Nazi control and placed in Allied hands. While there are a few, sporadic reports of Werwolf cells being effective, they were, for the most part, crippled by many of the same problems that plagued the mainstream Nazi armies at the end of the war.

In the spring of 1945, there were a rash of assassinations of civil officials and Allied-appointed mayors in towns once held by German forces. The most famous was the assassination of Franz Oppenhoff, appointed head of Aachen. Officially called Operation Carnival, the assassins disguised themselves as downed German pilots to get close enough to Aachen’s mayor to shoot and kill him.

8The Mercenaries Of Calippus Of Syracuse

Callippus and Dion were both students of Plato’s and returned to Syracuse as comrades. Callippus had less than honorable intentions, however, and not long after they returned, he started planning Dion’s murder.

Rumors of a plot circulated but were ignored. During the feast of Demeter and Chore, assassins from Callippus’s group of mercenaries entered Dion’s chambers and killed him as his own guards looked the other way.

Callippus seized power, but his rule over Syracuse only lasted 13 months before he and his mercenary assassins were chased out of town. Stripped of his position and power, Callippus remained at the head of the company as they marched across Italy and took control of Rhegium. When Callippus mistreated his assassins, it was a fatal mistake: They killed him with the same sword that killed Dion.


7Sarasota Assassination Society


Photo credit: Wikimedia

Founded in 1884 as a political club, the Sara Sota Vigilance Committee was renamed the Sarasota Assassination Society by the New York Times. By then, nine of the 22 members were on trial for two murders.

Their politics was an angry divide between the North and the South. With so many Northerners heading down to enjoy the business opportunities in the South, there was quite a bit of bitterness. The group’s official purpose became ridding the state of those the law wouldn’t touch, “the removal of all obnoxious persons.”

It is not clear how many of these obnoxious persons the society got rid of, but the murder of a postmaster named Charles Abbe catapulted the society to the front page of the national news. Abbe’s body was dumped in the Gulf of Mexico and was never recovered, and the prison sentences handed out to society members were enough to lead to the organization’s downfall.

6The Black Hand


Photo credit: Wikimedia

When 10 men from Serbia formed The Black Hand in 1911, they did so with a very straightforward goal: using violence and terrorist activities to create a unified Serbia.

That started with sending out assassins to kill first Emperor Franz Josef then the governor of Bosnia-Herzegovina, General Oskar Potiorek. Both attempts failed, but membership in the group rose. By 1914, one man in particular needed to go: Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Three Black Hand assassins set up along the motorcade’s route to ensure someone’s success, and Gavrilo Princip succeeded, where Trifko Grabez and Nedeljko Cabrinovic failed. All three had been inducted into the group by members recruiting from Belgrade cafes.

5The Sicarii


Photo credit: Codrin.B/Wikimedia

The Sicarii were Jewish assassins named for their weapon of choice, a curved dagger called a sica. They received the name from ancient Greek historian Josephus, who wrote about the anti-Roman group’s preferred method of killing. While they were known for their large-scale raids as well, they are more commonly associated with their tactics of simply hiding their weapons in their clothes and stalking their targets through what would normally be rather inconvenient public locations.

The group were known as followers of Judas of Galilee, and their goal was a simple one: incite rebellion against Rome. A revolt did happen, in Jerusalem in 65 BC, but the unsuccessful revolt began the eventual disappearance of the group. They last appeared at an attack on the ancient fortress at Masada. Eventually, the term “sicarii” was broadened to refer to any type of Jewish terrorist.


4Harmodius, Aristogiton And The Tyrannicides


Photo credit: Wikimedia

According to Cicero, assassination of a political leader is sometimes justified, if that act meets certain criteria. If the leader has committed atrocities against their people and against the common good, if the death will advance the common good, and if the act is a last resort, it can be justified—and those who commit the assassination are the tyrannicides.

The original tyrannicides were Harmodius and Aristogeiton, a pair of lovers who murdered the brother of Athenian tyrant Hippias. Even though they failed to kill their target, their actions were glorified by Athenian history, and their motivation was elevated to an Athenian ideal. After their martyrdom, Athenian citizens vowed to assassinate any future tyrants, and tyrannicides (and their descendants) were granted rewards like tax exemptions, free meals, and front row theater seats.

3Murder, Inc.


Photo credit: FBI

Murder, Inc. was a branch of the National Crime Syndicate, responsible for 400–1,000 assassinations during the 1930s and 1940s.

Their headquarters were in the Midnight Rose Candy Store, a 24-hour store in Brooklyn. The store had a bank of pay phones, and assassins would wait for the phone to ring with details about the next hit. Most hits were along the East Coast, most were done with an ice pick, and most targets were either gangsters more trouble than they were worth or ordinary citizens who had the misfortune of witnessing a crime.

Murder, Inc. was run by Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, who met his own end in the electric chair in 1944. Originally, his arrest came with a 14-year sentence on drug charges, and his execution came amid conspiracy theories about just who he had killed and who he was really connected to.

2The Nokmim


Photo credit: Wikimedia

A handful of different words refer to the Jewish assassins who made it their duty to make sure unpunished Nazi war criminals paid the price for their actions. Some call the group “Nokmim,” Hebrew for “Avengers.”

The group was secretive, and the few testimonies of former members tell differing stories and give no real estimates as to how many Nazis were hunted and killed by the organization. One BBC reporter who wrote extensively on the Nokmim told stories about everything from hit-and-run incidents to one former Gestapo officer who was in the hospital for a minor operation when he came down with a fatal case of kerosene injected into his blood.

No one knows how long the Nokmim were active, but it is likely they operated well into the 1950s. Their reach was worldwide and included not just individual assassinations but massive operations aimed at eliminating scores of men with (failed) plans to poison the water supplies of entire cities.

1Hassan-Is-Sabbah’s Assassins

When Hassan-is-Sabbah died in 1124, he left behind a sect of believers in the Fortress Alamut, the heart of an assassin’s guild for the next century and a half until they were wiped out by the Mongols in 1256.

A philosopher and preacher also known as the Old Man of the Mountain, he taught that there was nothing honorable about leaders who lived a life of luxury while their people starved. The most devoted were trained to remove heads of state and military they saw as corrupt and too powerful, along with those who followed the Sunni doctrine.

The first recorded assassination was in 1092, and the order then targeted anyone they saw as unjust, including those who fought in the Crusades. Viewing themselves as judges rather than murderers, the ranks of the assassins would grow so large they would eventually occupy 70 locations and communicate through their own coded language. (There is also no verifiable, historical evidence of drug use among the assassins—that story comes from the unsubstantiated writings of Marco Polo.)

Failed Suicide Bomber Attacks Catholic Church in Medan

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Failed Suicide Bomber Attacks Catholic Church in Medan


Jakarta. A suicide bomb attempt at a Catholic church in Medan, North Sumatra, Sunday morning (28/08) has left the suspect with minor injuries after the bomb failed to detonate correctly.

Father Albert S. Pandingan was leading the Sunday service at Medan’s St. Yoseph church when the suspect, identified as I.A.H., ran towards to pulpit and attempted to stab the priest. The bomb hidden in the suspect’s vest failed to detonate, only creating sparks which injured the would-be attacker. The priest sustained only minor scratches to his arm.

I.A.H. is a 17-year-old student from Setia Budi in Medan Selayang, North Sumatra.

Members of the church congregation seized the suspect, who was carrying a knife, an axe and a pipe bomb in his backpack, before police arrived to clear and secure the venue.

“We have seized a back backpack from the perpetrator. The perpetrator is alive and injured and there are no casualties in this incident,” National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar told Beritasatu.

Boy also said police had found what a drawing that resembles the Islamic State flag. It remains unclear if the suspect is affiliated with a terror cell and police are investigating potential links.

In early July, a day before Idul Fitri celebrations, a suicide bomber targeted the Solo police headquarters but killed only himself.

Medan Catholic Church Bomber a ‘Puppet,’ Says Anti-Terror Agency Chief

Medan. The young failed suicide bomber in Sunday’s (28/08) Medan terror attack is believed to have met an identified man on the street prior to the event, preliminary investigations have found.

“We are still interrogating the suspect. He said someone he met on the street asked him to launched the attack,” Medan Police Chief Comr. Mardiaz Khusin Dwihananto said.

Medan police is currently questioning the suspect, 17-year-old Ivan Armadi Hasugian, to investigate the link.

“[Ivan] confessed he did not knew anything about the man’s identity,” Mardiaz said.

National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) chief Comr. Gen. Suhardi Alius told Beritasatu the suspect is only a “puppet,” as he is too young to have planned the attack by his own.

“Considering his young age, there has to be someone else who supports him. We are currently digging to seek his identity,” Suhardi said.

The failed attack occurred while Father Albert S. Pandingan led the Sunday service at Medan’s St. Yoseph church when the suspect ran towards to pulpit and attempted to kill the priest.

The bomb hidden in the suspect’s vest failed to detonate, only creating sparks which injured the would-be attacker. The priest sustained only minor scratches to his arm and has been transferred to a hospital nearby the church.

Members of the church congregation seized the suspect, who was carrying a knife, an axe and a pipe bomb in his backpack, before police arrived to clear and secure the venue. There are no major casualties in the incident.

Unexploded Bomb Found in Bag of Medan Church Terror Attack Suspect


Jakarta. Police discovered an unexploded bomb in the backpack of a suspect who failed in a suicide bomb attack at St. Yosef Church in Medan, North Sumatra, on Sunday morning (28/08).

The low-level explosion left the suspect, identified as Ivan Armadi Hasibuan, bloody and injured. Police arrested Ivan who revealed he is a student from Setia Budi, Tanjung Sari, Medan.

“Not all the bombs exploded as he only executed one bomb so the explosion was really low,” Parlindungan, a witness, told Suara Pembaruan. “We found material believed to be an unexploded bomb in his backpack.”

The 17 year-old perpetrator was also reported carrying a graphic image similar to the Islamic State logo. Investigations into potential links to terror groups are continuing.

The incident occurred while the priest delivered a sermon from the altar and Ivan ran towards him, throwing his backpack and creating a low explosion.

Ivan also attacked the priest with a knife, but wounded only his arm before being subdued by members of the church congregation.