Countries have killed people with drones, but these attacks also appear to contain robotic weapons on the ground. The New York Times sources claim Israel kills best Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on November 27, 2020 using a remote-controlled, AI-assisted machine gun. Israel apparently mounted the rifle on a pickup truck along the road, and when Fakhrizadeh’s car approached, a remote operator fired the rifle with a satellite link.
The attack was accurate and spared Fakhrizadeh’s wife, but may not have used facial recognition to help with the target, as unnamed Iranian officials said. While Israel allegedly used the AI to compensate for the deterioration of the satellite system and gun, agents identified Fakhrizadeh by setting up a decoy car with a camera to force a U-turn and get a clear picture .
However, none of the governments has publicly confirmed the use of a robotic rifle. The times‘The story is based in part on the statements of the Fakhrizadeh family to the media. According to the sources, Iranian investigators only happened to determine the nature of the attack. The Israeli agents detonated the truck in an attempt to destroy the evidence, but the equipment remained intact (if it was not workable).
The use of this technology is not surprising. Although it was presumably difficult to set up the remote gun (Israel gradually smuggled in parts), it removed agents and avoided sounding the alarm like a drone. If the gun was destroyed as planned, Iran might not be able to determine the method of killing.
If accurate, the report could indicate the future of espionage. Killers can now use robotics to pull out targets with little risk to themselves, little warning to enemies and a greater chance of denial. You will not necessarily see an increase in homicides (Fakhrizadeh ignored several safety recommendations), but chances are it will not be the last homicide of its kind.
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