The Nov. 27, 2020, assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the head of Iran’s military nuclear program at the time, involved an artificial intelligence-assisted remote-control weapon, The New York Times claimed Saturday.
In a piece reviewing the hit on Fakhrizadeh, dubbed “the father of the Iranian nuclear bomb,” the newspaper claiming that Israel was behind his death. The report further alleged that Israel had wanted to eliminate the scientist for 14 years, and had planned to do so in 2009 in Tehran, but the Mossad intelligence agency called off the operation at the last moment because its “plot had been compromised.”
While the Islamic republic has accused Israel – long suspected of killing several Iranian nuclear scientists a decade ago – of having a hand in Fakhrizadeh’s elimination. Jerusalem has remained mum on the issue.
According to the NYT, in July 2020, the Mossad allegedly carried out its mission using a sniper machine gun that was operated by an agent from more than 1,000 miles away. Fakhrizadeh and his wife were driving in a car outside Tehran, along with a team of armed guards in escort cars, when the scientist was assassinated using a “killer robot.”
The entire operation was conducted by remote control, according to The New York Times, and the hit squad that had planned the attack had already left Iran by the time the robot was activated.
According to the newspaper, the straight-out-of-science fiction plot was confirmed by senior Israeli, Iranian and American officials, “including two intelligence officials familiar with the details of the planning and execution of the operation, and statements Mr. Fakhrizadeh’s family made to the Iranian news media.”
The New York Times attributed the success of the assassination to “extensive planning and surveillance by the Mossad.” It also accused Iran’s Revolutionary Guards for security failures and even criticized Fakhrizadeh for refusing to take proper measures to protect himself from being assassinated.
According to the paper, Fakhrizadeh’s elimination was “the debut test” of a computerized, artificial inteligence-assisted sharpshooter that has multiple-camera eyes and is operated via satellite and capable of firing 600 rounds a minute, a weapon that is “likely to reshape the worlds of security and espionage.”