THE US military has developed a secret “ninja” bomb packed with BLADES designed to shred militants and anything in its tracks alive.
Armed with knives rather than explosives, the R9X missile deploys six blades just before impact which fan out from the body and can cut through metal.
The weapon – nicknamed the “ninja” bomb – deploys knives in the shape of a halo and is designed to target specific individuals while limiting civilian casualties in the surrounding area.
It is reportedly only to be employed in specific circumstances – such as when a senior terrorist leader has been pinpointed, but other weapons would risk killing innocent bystanders.
Details of the weapon were leaked by military sources, who believe it could improve the image of the US military as it shows an effort to reduce collateral damage.
Former president Barack Obama ordered the development of a non-explosive missile after innocent civilians in Muslim countries were repeatedly dying via explosions by conventional US warheads.
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The Wall Street Journal reports that the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon have both used the weapon to target terrorism while “closely guarding its existence”.
A spokesman at Lockheed Martin, the manufacturers of Hellfire missiles for the US military, refused to give any details of the new model.
He said: “That piece of technology is a classified programme and I cannot comment on it on any level.”
According to officials, a similar missile was being considered as a “Plan B” to kill al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Speculation that the US had developed a new weapon began in February 2017, when Ahmad Hasan Abu Khayr al-Masri, second-in-command of al-Qaeda in Syria, was killed by an American missile that went through the roof of a car he was travelling in.
Two occupants were killed but there were no burn marks and the car was left in tact, with the windscreen cracked and the wiper blades still in place.
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At least one other senior terrorist figure has been killed by the missile since it was first deployed in 2017.
Officials told The Wall Street Journal that the R9X had been used only about half a dozen times in operations in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
Terrorist leaders who knew that the American military was trying to target them with drone-launched missiles were increasingly hiding among groups of women and children to deter attacks.
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