Mohsen Fakhrizadeh assassinated using robot machine gun

Occurred: November 2020

Can you improve this page?
Share your insights with us

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.

Operator: Mossad
Developer: FN MAG
Country: Israel  
Sector: Govt - military
Purpose: Kill/maim/damage/destroy  
Technology: Robotics; Facial recognition
Issue: Dual/multi-use; Autonomous lethal weapons  
Transparency: Governance

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: December 2020
Last updated: September 2021