A new report in the New York Times says AI-assisted remote-controlled guns played a key role in Israel’s assassination of Iran’s nuclear chief. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was slain on November 27, 2020, while traveling towards the village of Absard, which is located east of Tehran, Iran’s capital. Initial reports from Iran claimed that Israeli assassins used a “remote-controlled weapon” or “killing robot” to carry out the attack, while other sources said that a gun duel erupted between Israeli assassins and the scientist’s bodyguards. The events of the day become jumbled and distorted in the heat of the moment.
An investigation by the New York Times has now revealed more facts about the conspiracy, including the advanced equipment used in the assassination. As it turns out, stories about “killer robots” and sci-fi-style armament were not far off the mark.
Fakhrizadeh, a former physics professor, had been on Israel’s most-wanted list for more than a decade because of his suspected leadership position in Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Since 2007, the Israeli intelligence organization Mossad has assassinated at least five Iranian nuclear scientists and carried out a slew of other actions, including hacking and sabotage, to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons.
Since then, global tensions have risen, and Mossad was poised to take another shot at the nuclear chief by 2020.
According to the New York Times, the operation involved Iranian Mossad agents parking a blue Nissan Zamyad pickup vehicle on the side of the road near Absard. Security cameras on this route had been turned off, according to Iranian investigators. A Belgian-made FN MAG machine gun connected to an advanced robotic system was disguised beneath tarpaulin sheet and construction equipment in the rear of the pickup truck. A broken-down automobile armed with sophisticated cameras was stationed roughly 1.2 kilometers (0.75 miles) from the armed pick-up truck to identify the target.
An assassin sat in an undisclosed location in Israel, over 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) away, closely observing a screen of the highway outside the town of Absurd. In Iran, a variety of cameras, artificial intelligence systems, and satellite technology were used to connect the artificial pistol in their hand to the pickup’s gun. The AI was purportedly engineered to compensate for the car’s shaking and speed, as well as any potential communication delays between Israel and Iran.
Fakhrizadeh, his wife, and a group of armed guards in escort cars were scheduled to leave their residence and drive past the pick-up truck later that day at 1 p.m. local time in Iran, according to the assassin team. The automobiles were about to arrive at the target place at approximately 3.30 p.m.