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    ‘Sliced Al Qaida Leader Into Pieces’: All About Hellfire R9X Missile That Uses Ninja Blades Instead Of Warhead

    The Hellfire R9X missile is a sophisticated secret missile from the United States. On Sunday, July 31, this missile hit and killed a significant target in Kabul, Afghanistan. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the chief of Al Qaeda and a key plotter of the 9/11 terrorist attack, was killed with this missile.

    There are a few things that make this missile different from its counterparts. Unlike the other ones that explode, the Hellfire R9X basically cuts its target with its blades. This missile is also known as a ninja bomb. The name is attributed to its stealth quality.

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    What Is A Hellfire R9X Missile?

    Ninja Bomb
    Ninja Bomb

    The Hellfire R9X missile is an anti-tank weapon used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It is basically a modified version of the popular Hellfire missile which was an anti-tank weapon developed in the 1980s.

    This was responsible for killing Al Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahiri in Kabul on July 31. The missile has been modified several times to target individuals, especially after the 9/11 attacks.

    The US military developed it to pinpoint airstrikes that kill terrorist leaders with no explosion. This drastically reduces damage and minimizes the chances of civilian casualties. The decision was taken after the US was criticized for killing innocent civilians during airstrikes.

    The weapon carries an inert warhead, which doesn’t explode. Instead, it shoves more than 100 pounds of metal in order to kill its target, be it a car or building. The missile finishes the target without harming individuals and property close by.

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    Blades That Cut Its Target


    The Hellfire R9X missile consists of a halo of six long and sharp blades that are stowed inside. They are then deployed through the skin of the missile seconds before impact to ensure that it shreds anything in its way.

    It came into existence when former President Barack Obama was in office. According to several officials, the ninja bomb also eliminates doubts regarding the structural stoutness of a building. For example, surfaces like mud and thatch huts are used by terrorists as a hideout.

    The R9X is known colloquially by a small group of people as “the flying Ginsu”, which is a reference to the Japanese knife. The name is given to the blades that can cut through buildings or car roofs and kill the target.

    Before Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Hellfire R9X missile has been used in several other operations as well. In January 2019, it was used to kill Jamal al-Badawi whereas Ahmad Hasan Abu Khayr al-Masri was killed in February 2017.

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