Al Zawahiri, the drone and tech missiles with which the head of al Qaeda was killed

Although there are no official confirmations about the technology used by the US counter-terrorism agency (CIA) to complete the operation, the absence of explosions And extreme precision The attack led several analysts and journalists to believe that a Hellfire R9X was used for the operation. Adopted by the US security forces since 2017, the R9X missiles are designed to “kill terrorist leaders without explosionsdrastically reducing damage and minimizing the chances of civilian casualties“, Reads an article published in 2019 by Wall Street Journal, which quotes several US officials. Rather than explode, this modified version of traditional Hellfire missiles is designed to drop approximately fifty kilograms of metal on its target without harming nearby individuals and property. A few moments before the impact from the missile they also unfold six bladeswhich maximize the damage caused by the R9X.

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According to Wall Street Journalthe development of this special type of missile began in 2011 during the presidency of Barack Obama, with the aim of avoid civilian deaths in air strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Yemen. For some time, the technology of the R9X, colloquially known as “flying ginsu” (named after a knife brand popularized in the United States by a series of commercials) was kept secret. However, according to some US officials, the missiles were used on several occasions by federal security forces, again for targeted attacks. An R9X missile was used, for example, in 2019 to kill Jamal al-Badawi, an al Qaeda member accused of leading the attack on US destroyer Uss Cole in a Yemeni port in 2000, which resulted in the deaths of seventeen US sailors.

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