Mohsen Fakhrizadeh assassinated using robot machine gun
Occurred: November 2020
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the head of Iran's nuclear programme, was assassinated by a remote-controlled machine gun as he was being driven from Tehran to his weekend villa in Absard. The first known autonomous assassination, the attack prompted politicians, activists and others to voice their fears about the nature and use of lethal autonomous weapons.
The New York Times later published a report confirming that Fakhrizadeh was assassinated using a modified Belgian FN Mag machine gun incorporating robotics and varous forms of artificial intelligence, including facial recognition. According to the Times, the attack was controlled by a Mossad team operating in a command centre outside Iran.
Developer: FN MAG
Sector: Govt - military
Technology: Robotics; Facial recognition
Issue: Dual/multi-use; Autonomous lethal weapons
News, commentary, analysis
Published: December 2020
Last updated: September 2021