6 October 1981

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is murdered by Islamic extremists.

Assassination of Anwar Sadat
Date6 October 1981; 38 years ago (1981-10-06)
PerpetratorsKhālid al-Islāmbūlī and Muhammad abd-al-Salam Faraj

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 Operation Badr, during which the Egyptian Army had crossed the Suez Canal and taken back a small part of the Sinai Peninsula from Israel at the beginning of the Yom Kippur War.[1] A fatwa 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.[citation needed] The assassination was undertaken by members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.[2]


Following the Camp David Accords, Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize. However, 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).[3] PLO Leader Yasser Arafat said "Let them sign what they like. False peace will not last."[4] In Egypt, various jihadist groups, such as Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al-Jama'a al-Islamiyya, used the Camp David Accords to rally support for their cause.[5] Previously sympathetic to Sadat's attempt to integrate them into Egyptian society,[6] 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.[6]

The last months of Sadat's presidency were marked by internal uprising. He dismissed allegations that the rioting was incited by domestic issues, believing that the Soviet Union was recruiting its regional allies in Libya and Syria to incite an uprising that would eventually force him out of power. Following a failed military coup in June 1981, Sadat ordered a major crackdown that resulted in the arrest of numerous opposition figures. Though he still maintained high levels of popularity in Egypt, it has been said that he was assassinated "at the peak" of his unpopularity.[7]

Egyptian Islamic Jihad

Earlier in Sadat's presidency, Islamists had benefited from the "rectification revolution" and the release from prison of activists jailed under Gamal Abdel Nasser,[8] but his Sinai treaty with Israel enraged Islamists, particularly the radical Egyptian Islamic Jihad. According to interviews and information gathered by journalist Lawrence Wright, the group was recruiting military officers and accumulating weapons, waiting for the right moment to launch "a complete overthrow of the existing order" in Egypt. Chief strategist of El-Jihad was Abbud al-Zumar, a colonel in the military intelligence whose "plan was to kill the main leaders of the country, capture the headquarters of the army and State Security, the telephone exchange building, and of course the radio and television building, where news of the Islamic revolution would then be broadcast, unleashing—he expected—a popular uprising against secular authority all over the country."[9]

In February 1981, Egyptian authorities were alerted to El-Jihad's plan by the arrest of an operative carrying crucial information. In September, Sadat ordered a highly unpopular roundup of more than 1500 people, including many Jihad members, but also the Coptic Pope and other Coptic clergy, intellectuals and activists of all ideological stripes.[10] All non-government press was banned as well.[11] The round-up missed a jihad cell in the military led by Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli, who would succeed in assassinating Anwar Sadat that October.[12]

According to Tala'at Qasim, ex-head of the Gama'a Islamiyya interviewed in Middle East Report, it was not Islamic Jihad but his organization, known in English as the "Islamic Group", that organized the assassination and recruited the assassin (Islambouli). Members of the Group's "Majlis el-Shura" ("Consultative Council")—headed by the famed "blind shaykh"—were arrested two weeks before the killing, but they did not disclose the existing plans, and Islambouli succeeded in assassinating Sadat.[13]


Sadat (left), with President Jimmy Carter, in Washington, D.C. on 8 April 1980, during a visit to the White House

On 6 October 1981, a victory parade was held in Cairo to commemorate the eighth anniversary of Egypt's crossing of the Suez Canal.[1] 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 towing artillery paraded by. One truck contained the assassination squad, led by Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli. As it passed the tribune, Islambouli forced the driver at gunpoint to stop. From there, the assassins dismounted and Islambouli approached Sadat with three hand grenades concealed under his helmet. Sadat stood to receive his salute (Anwar's nephew Talaat El Sadat later said, "The president thought the killers were part of the show when they approached the stands firing, so he stood saluting them"),[14] whereupon Islambouli threw all his grenades at Sadat, only one of which exploded (but fell short), and additional assassins rose from the truck, indiscriminately firing AK-47 assault rifles into the stands until they had exhausted their ammunition and then attempted to flee. After Sadat was hit and fell to the ground, people threw chairs around him to shield him from the hail of bullets.

The attack lasted about two minutes. Sadat and ten others were killed outright or suffered fatal wounds, including Major General Hassan Allam, Khalfan Nasser Mohammed (a general from the Omani delegation), Eng. Samir Helmy Ibrahim, Al Anba' Samuel, Mohammed Yousuf Rashwan (the presidential photographer), Saeed Abdel Raouf Bakr, Chinese engineer  [zh],[15] as well as the Cuban ambassador to Egypt, 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 45 seconds. The Swedish ambassador Olov Ternström managed to escape unhurt.[16][17] One of the attackers was killed, and the three others injured and arrested. Sadat was airlifted to a military hospital,[18] where eleven doctors operated on him. He died nearly two hours after he was taken to the hospital.[18] 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."[19]


A marker at the Unknown Soldier Memorial, where Sadat is buried

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.[20]


Sadat was buried in the Unknown Soldier Memorial, located in the Nasr City district of Cairo. The inscription on his grave reads: "hero of war and peace".[14]

At first, Sadat was succeeded by Sufi Abu Taleb as Acting President of Egypt for eight days until 14 October 1981, when Sadat's Vice President, Hosni Mubarak, became the new Egyptian President for nearly 30 years until his resignation as a result of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.


Islambouli and the other assassins were tried before an Egyptian court-martial. All were found guilty, sentenced to death, and executed by firing squad in April 1982.[21]


  1. ^ a b "1981 Year in Review: Anwar Sadat Killed". UPI. Archived from the original on 19 January 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  2. ^ "Sadat as a president of Egypt". News Egypt. 8 October 2009. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  3. ^ BBC Timeline: Arab League
  4. ^ 1979: Israel and Egypt shake hands on peace deal BBC News
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 March 2014. Retrieved 2013-06-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ a b Palmer, Monte; Palmer, Princess (2007). At the Heart of Terror: Islam, Jihadists, and America's War on Terrorism. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-7425-3603-6.
  7. ^ Kepel 1993, p. 192.
  8. ^ Kepel 1993, p. 74.
  9. ^ Wright 2006, p. 49.
  10. ^ 'Cracking Down', Time, 14 September 1981
  11. ^ Kepel 1993, p. 103-4.
  12. ^ Wright 2006, p. 50.
  13. ^ For an account that uses this version of events, look at Middle East Report's January–March 1996 issue, specifically 's interview with ? On pages 42–43 Qasim deals specifically with rumors of Jihad Group involvement in the assassination, and denies them entirely.
  14. ^ a b Fahmy, Mohamed Fadel (7 October 2011). "30 years later, questions remain over Sadat killing, peace with Israel". CNN.
  15. ^ "我驻埃及使馆在开罗祭奠烈士张宝玉". People's Daily. 30 September 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  16. ^ Edelstam, Anne (22 July 2014). "Three ladies in Cairo. Del V. Back to square one" [Three ladies in Cairo. Part V. Back to square one]. Tidningen Kulturen (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  17. ^ "Dagens händelser 6 oktober" [Today's events October 6]. Sundsvalls Tidning (in Swedish). 6 October 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  18. ^ a b "On this day: 6 October". BBC. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  19. ^ "On this day". The New York Times. 6 October 1981. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  20. ^ Sageman, Marc, Understanding Terror Networks, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004, pp. 33–34
  21. ^ "Sadat Assassins are Executed". The Glasgow Herald. 16 April 1982. Retrieved 16 February 2011.

External links

6 October 1903

The High Court of Australia sits for the first time.

In 1903 Canberra as the national capital did not exist. The legislative and administrative capital of the Commonwealth was Melbourne and so Melbourne hosted the first sitting of Australia’s highest court. At a meeting of the Federal Executive Council on 6 October 1903, the Governor-General, Lord Tennyson, signed the commissions appointing Chief Justice Griffith and Justices Barton and O’Connor to the Court.

The following day, in the Banco Court of the Supreme Court of Victoria, the first sitting of the High Court took place. In a solemn ceremony watched by a courtroom filled with distinguished guests, the Justices’ commissions were read, the judicial oaths administered and the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Senator JG Drake, presented his commission to the newly-sworn Court.

This painting depicts the Rt Hon Justice O’Connor taking the oath of office. Standing immediately before the Bench and administering the oath is the Registrar, Mr GH Castle and to his left is the Marshal, Mr W.D. Bingle. In the bottom left-hand corner is the Court Crier. At the Bar table from the bottom of the picture are: Senator Drake; New South Wales, Attorney-General Mr BR Wise; Mr Isaac Isaacs KC MP; Sir John Quick KC MP; Mr LE Groom MP representing the Queensland Bar in the absence of the Queensland Attorney-General; and Senator Dobson representing the Tasmanian Bar. Seated to the left of Senator Drake, and not shown in the painting, were: the Attorney-General of Victoria, Mr JM Davies MP; Mr Higgins KC MP and Mr Purves KC. Due to the tyranny of distance, there was no representative from Western Australia at the ceremony. On the upper right hand side, just to the right of the clock, one can see Lord Tennyson and to his left, Lady Tennyson. To the right of the Governor-General is the Prime Minister, the Hon Alfred Deakin MP. Following the swearing-in ceremonies, each of the senior legal representatives gave congratulating their honours on their appointment.

The first to speak was Senator Drake and it was an eloquent speech. According to a newspaper report in The Age on Wednesday, 7 October 1903:

[H]e said the country was to be congratulated on the establishment of a court which embodied the judicial power of the Commonwealth and would be the guardian and interpreter of the Constitution. With the Legislature, the Executive and the High Court, the Constitution in its great ideals was now complete. Time would evolve the union of heart and mind and purpose which made for true federation. The knowledge they had of the part that had been taken by their Honours in the past in guiding the aspirations of the people of Australia in the directions of the nobler conceptions of national life, the great care skill and pairs that had been devoted by them to framing the instrument of federation, were assurances that the court would zealously safeguard the Constitution and that the interpretation of its provisions would harmonise with the growth and development of national life. The decisions of the Court would bring life and spirit into the dry bones of the Constitution and the names of the first Justices of the Court would live in history with those of the illustrious expounders of American Constitutional law.

Senator Drake was followed in turn by Messrs Wise, Davies, Groom and Senator Dobson. Following the congratulatory speeches, each of the Justices responded. The Age reported:

The Chief Justice, in replying to the speeches, said… that the Court was entrusted with powers far reaching in their effect. It would be looked to for the solution to most difficult questions, to compose strifes between the States and possibly between the Commonwealth and the States. Upon its success or failure must depend to a great extend the future well being of the Commonwealth. His brother justices and he himself had before them to excite their emulation the great traditions of the British empire and the noble traditions of the Supreme Courts of the Australian States.

Justices Barton and O’Connor added their support to the Chief Justice’s words, each referring to the weighty responsibilities they now took upon themselves.

The ceremony was completed in less then 30 minutes and the Court adjourned until the next day to hear its first case, an application for special leave to appeal in the matter of D’Emden v Pedder. D’Emden v Pedder 1 CLR 91 involved an alleged breach of the Tasmanian Act which had led to the applicant, Mr D’Emden the Deputy Postmaster-General of Tasmania and a Commonwealth employee being fined one shilling by the Court of Petty Sessions in Hobart for failing to pay stamp duty of two pence on a receipt for his monthly salary – a decision later upheld by the Supreme Court of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Full Court. The High Court granted special leave to appeal, and the applicant succeeded. The High Court held that the Commonwealth was immune from state stamp duties, as were the states from Commonwealth imposts, under the doctrine of sovereign intergovernmental immunities, and in the absence of express Constitutional provision that government powers were fettered.

6 October 1903

The High Court of Australia sits for the first time.


The High Court of Australia is the supreme court in the Australian court hierarchy and the final court of appeal in Australia. It has both original and appellate jurisdiction, the power of judicial review over laws passed by the Parliament of Australia and the parliaments of the States, and the ability to interpret the Constitution of Australia thereby powerfully shaping the development of federalism in Australia.

The High Court is mandated by Constitution section 71, which vests in it the judicial power of the Commonwealth of Australia. The Court was constituted by, and its first members were appointed under, the Judiciary Act 1903. It now operates under Constitution sections 71 to 75, the Judiciary Act, and the High Court of Australia Act 1979. It is composed of seven Justices: the Chief Justice of Australia, currently Susan Kiefel, and six other Justices. They are appointed by the Governor-General of Australia, on the advice of the federal government, and under the constitution must retire at age 70.

Since 1979, The High Court has been located in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. The majority of its sittings are held in the High Court building, situated in the Parliamentary Triangle, overlooking Lake Burley Griffin. With an increasing utilisation of video links, sittings are also commonly held in the state capitals.

6 October 1987

Fiji becomes a republic.


In October 06, 1987. Fiji finally became a republic. It is an island country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean. The Fijian Islands were given independence as a Dominion after the British rule which ended in 1970. The Republic of Fiji, has removed Elizabeth II as head of state which was proclaimed on 6 October 1987 after two military coups. Following the election of the Indian-dominated government of Prime Minister Timoci Bavadra on 13 April 1987, Lieutenant Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka carried out the first of two military coups on 14 May 1987. At first, Rabuka expressed loyalty to Queen Elizabeth II. However, Governor-General Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, uphold Fiji’s constitution, refused to swear in the new government headed by Rabuka, and so Rabuka declared a republic on 6 October 1987. This was accepted by the British government on 15 October 1987, and Ganilau resigned on the same day.

6 October 1976

All 73 people on board are killed as Cubana Flight 455 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after taking off from Bridgetown, Barbados after two bombs, placed on board by terrorists with connections to the CIA, exploded.