How the Hellfires took Ayman al-Zawahiri out
New Delhi, Aug 02: The US used two missiles to kill Al-Qaeda chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri. The fact that the pictures showed no signs of an explosion points to use of the macabre Hellfire R9X, a warhead-less missile equipped with six razor-like blades extending from the fuselage that slices through its target without exploding.
The CIA and Pentagon have been known to undertake assassinations of extremist leaders. The R9X first appeared in March 2017 when Al-Qaeda leader Abu al-Khayr al-Masri was killed in a drone strike in Syria.
Also known as the Ninja Bomb, the missile has become the weapon of choice for killing leaders of extremist groups while avoiding civilian casualties. According to US officials, Zawahiri was standing on his balcony of his Kabul residence on July 31 when a US drone launched the two Hellfires.
On Saturday, at my direction, the United States successfully conducted an airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed the emir of al-Qaeda: Ayman al-Zawahiri. Justice has been delivered," President Jose Biden said in a video address.
Biden also said that in the drone strike, no civilian or member of the Zawahiri family harmed.