Small-molecule fragments binding to biomacromolecules can be starting points for the development of drugs, but are often difficult to detect due to low affinities. Here we present a strategy that identifies protein-binding fragments through their potential to induce the target-guided formation of covalently bound, irreversible enzyme inhibitors. A protein-binding nucleophile reacts reversibly with a bis-electrophilic warhead, thereby positioning the second electrophile in close proximity of the active site of a viral protease, resulting in the covalent de-activation of the enzyme. The concept is implemented for Coxsackie virus B3 3C protease, a pharmacological target against enteroviral infections. Using an aldehyde-epoxide as bis-electrophile, active fragment combinations are validated through measuring the protein inactivation rate and by detecting covalent protein modification in mass spectrometry. The structure of one enzyme-inhibitor complex is determined by X-ray crystallography. The presented warhead activation assay provides potent non-peptidic, broad-spectrum inhibitors of enteroviral proteases.