If the past is any indication, New York can be hit by an earthquake, claims John Armbruster, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.Based on historical precedent, Armbruster says the New York City metro area is susceptible to an earthquake of at least a magnitude of 5.0 once a century.According to the New York Daily News, Lynn Skyes, lead author of a recent study by seismologists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory adds that a magnitude-6 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and magnitude-7 every 3,400 years.A 5.2-magnitude quake shook New York City in 1737 and another of the same severity hit in 1884.Tremors were felt from Maine to Virginia.There are several fault lines in the metro area, including one along Manhattan’s 125th St. – which may have generated two small tremors in 1981 and may have been the source of the major 1737 earthquake, says Armbruster.There’s another fault line on Dyckman St. and one in Dobbs Ferry in nearby Westchester County.“The problem here comes from many subtle faults,” explained Skyes after the study was published.He adds: “We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought.”“Considering population density and the condition of the region’s infrastructure and building stock, it is clear that even a moderate earthquake would have considerable consequences in terms of public safety and economic impact,” says the New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation on its website.Armbruster says a 5.0-magnitude earthquake today likely would result in casualties and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.“I would expect some people to be killed,” he notes.The scope and scale of damage would multiply exponentially with each additional tick on the Richter scale. (ANI)
Only six countries currently operate nuclear-powered submarines — China, France, India, Russia, the UK and the US.
Raghav Bikhchandani19 September, 2021 8:00 am IST
A US nuclear-powered submarine (representational image) | Wikimedia commons
New Delhi: The US and UK are set to provide Australia with the technology to deploy nuclear-powered submarines, as part of the first initiative under the new trilateral security partnership AUKUS.
“Under AUKUS, the three nations will focus immediately on identifying the optimal pathway to deliver at least eight nuclear-powered submarines for Australia,” read a statement by the Australian government Thursday.
“Over the next 18 months, Australia, the UK and US will intensely examine the full suite of requirements that underpin nuclear stewardship and demonstrate a clear pathway to becoming a responsible and reliable steward of this sensitive technology,” the statement added.
However, this move has drawn criticism from both China and France. According to China, the agreement could damage regional peace and stability while France accusedthe US of “stabbing it in the back” since the AUKUS partnership led to the scrapping of a historic $66 billion deal between France and Australia to build 12 Barracuda submarines, which was signed in June 2016.
The AUKUS agreement led to the scrappingof a historic $90 billion deal between France and Australia for nuclear-powered submarines.
ThePrint explains what nuclear-powered submarines are and the advantages of these submarines in a country’s fleet.
A nuclear-powered submarine, as the name suggests, is powered by a nuclear reactor but it is not a nuclear weapon.
Every nuclear-powered submarine draws from its own miniature nuclear reactor onboard, which is typically fuelled with uranium, according to a report in The Conversation. For such a reactor to work, uranium has to be ‘enriched’ to contain 50 per cent of a key isotope, uranium-235.
Natural uranium consists of approximately 99.3 per cent of the isotope uranium-238 and only 0.7 per cent of uranium-235. The process of enrichment can be carried outthrough gaseous diffusion, gas centrifuges or laser isotope separation.
According to the Australian government statement, “Nuclear-powered submarines do not have the same limitations that face conventional submarines on weapons storage, speed and endurance.”
“They can stay completely submerged for many months, limiting the opportunities for detection by adversaries.”
Only six nations own and operate these submarines currently: China, France, India, Russia, the UK and the US.
Types of nuclear-powered submarine ships
Nuclear-powered submarines can be divided into three broad categories — the nuclear-powered fast-attack submarines or SSNs, the nuclear-powered ballistic submarines or SSBNs and the nuclear-powered cruise missile submarines or SSGNs.
SSNs are the oldest type of nuclear-powered submarines and the first of these, the American-made Nautilus, was deployedin 1954 by the US. The Soviet Union, meanwhile, launched SSGNs in the late 1960s.
Unlike the standard SSN nuclear submarines, SSBNs and SSGNs are capable of firing ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, respectively.
The US currently operates three classes of SSNs — the Los Angeles, the Seawolf and the Virginia. The currently operational US SSBNs fall under the Ohio class, some of which were converted into SSGNs.
While the Los Angeles class was first built in 1982 and equipped with a vertical launch missile system with twelve launch tubes, the Seawolf class was commissioned in 1997 and represented greater maneuverability than the Los Angeles class, among other advancements.
The Virginia class is the newest American-made SSN and is a smaller attack submarine than the Seawolf class and was first commissioned in 2004. The Ohio class, meanwhile, was first built in 1981 and its fleet was restricted to a total of 14 by 2002.
Australia will be acquiring the technology for and building eight SSNs, according to a report from the International Institute of Strategic Studies.
India and the nuclear submarine industry
India entered the nuclear-powered submarine fray in the late 1980s with the Chakra, an SSN on lease from the Soviet Union.
The original INS Chakra initially came to India on a three-year lease that began in 1988. Chakra II was inducted in 2012 and returned to Russia in June this year after its lease expired
A Glimpse at China’s Nuclear Build-Up
ByMichael LambertSeptember 22, 2020
The People’s Republic of China is now the second largest military spender after the United States, and the country has proven that it has the technical capability to develop revolutionary outer space technology, which is often related to military purposes. Nevertheless, China’s armed forces continue to lag behind when it comes to nuclear military technology, as Beijing only has 270 to 350 nuclear warheads, slightly more than the French armed forces.
Thus, China is investing in innovative research on civilian thorium nuclear facilities to become a leader in civilian nuclear, while it is reportedly not investing as much in the military nuclear sector.
This article explores the latest developments concerning “Made in China” nuclear weapons to explain why China’s armed forces are rather sluggish to increase the number of warheads due to the parallel development of other components of the military (e.g. nuclear submarines).
A brief history of Chinese nuclear weapons
China’s first nuclear weapons experiment took place in 1964, followed by its first hydrogen bomb test in 1967. Further development continued well until 1996, when China signed the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
In order to do so, China started building uranium enrichment plants in Baotou and Lanzhou as early as 1958, followed by a plutonium facility in Jiuquan and the Lop Nur nuclear test site in 1960. It is no secret the Soviet Union assisted in the early stages of the Chinese programme by sending advisers to the fissile material production facilities, having even agreed to provide a prototype bomb, missiles and related technology in October 1957.
In 1958, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev told Mao that he planned to discuss arms control with the United States and Great Britain, while Beijing was adamantly opposed to Khrushchev’s policy of “peaceful coexistence” after the fall of Stalin. Although Soviet officials assured the Chinese leadership that the country will remain under the Soviet nuclear umbrella, the disagreements widened the emerging Sino-Soviet rift. In June 1959, the two nations formally terminated their military and technological cooperation agreement, and all Soviet assistance to China’s nuclear programme was abruptly terminated by July 1960, with all Soviet technicians withdrawn from the programme.
This brief history of nuclear weapons in China tells us a lot about the current reason for Chinese weak nuclear capabilities, which had to be developed without the support of the USSR since the 1960s. Moreover, the desire for nuclear capabilities is closely related to the conflict with Taiwan and, as such, Beijing does not need to radically increase its capabilities since the island remains a non-nuclear territory to this day. Furthermore, increasing capabilities would worry the United States and Russia, the other two major nuclear powers—and Beijing had no interest in doing so, especially during the Cold War.
China’s nuclear posture and policy
The Chinese approach is focusing on quality over quantity, which explains the low number of warheads to this day. As of today, most nuclear warheads built during the Cold War can be intercepted by anti-missile systems in NATO and Russia as they are relying on outdated technology, which explains Russia’s desire to build the hypersonic glide vehicle such as the “Avangard”.
The same is true for China. As the U.S. strengthens its missile defenses capabilities, China is likely to further modify its nuclear posture to first ensure the credibility of its retaliatory strike force, including deploying hypersonic glide vehicles rather than increasing the number of warheads.
Meanwhile, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has maintained a “low alert level” for its nuclear forces and keeps most of its warheads in a central storage facility in the Qinling Mountain Range, although some are kept in smaller regional storage facilities around the country. Although there are rumors that China has coupled warheads to some of its missiles to increase their availability, we have not seen official sources confirming this. In fact, the latest Pentagon report explicitly states that “China almost certainly retains the majority of its peacetime nuclear force—with separate launchers, missiles, and warheads”.
Both the United States and Russia operate early warning systems to detect nuclear attacks and launch their missiles quickly, and a Chinese early warning system could also potentially be designed to enable a future missile defense system to intercept incoming missiles. The latest Pentagon report indicates that China is developing an HQ-19 mid-course missile defense system that could intercept Intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBMs) and possibly intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMs), although this would take many more years to develop. In addition, the Chinese government has a long-standing policy of not using nuclear weapons first and not using nuclear capabilities against non-nuclear countries or nuclear-weapon-free zones.
Military nuclear capabilities on land, air and sea
China has continued to field the DF-26, a dual-capable mobile IRBM, and is replacing the older DF-31A road-mobile ICBM launchers with the more maneuverable DF-31AG launcher. It is also in the early stages of commissioning the new DF-41, a road-mobile ICBM that would be capable of carrying multiple independent target re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) like the old DF-5B based on a liquid fuel silo.
At sea, China is adding two more ballistic missile submarines and developing a new type. Additionally, China has recently reassigned a nuclear mission to its bombers and is developing an air-launched ballistic missile to have a nuclear capability.
It is estimated that China has produced a stockpile of about 350 nuclear warheads, of which about 272 are intended to be launched by more than 240 operational land-based ballistic missiles, 48 sea-based ballistic missiles and 20 nuclear gravity bombs assigned to bombers. The remaining 78 warheads are expected to arm additional land- and sea-based missiles that are being installed.
The People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force, supervised by General Zhou Yaning (commander) and General Wang Jiasheng (political commissar), is in charge of the ground nuclear forces. Since the Cold War, China is continuing the gradual modernization of its nuclear-capable ground missile force, and it is estimated that the PLA rocket force has about 240 land-based missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Of these, about 150 can strike parts of the United States (Hawaii). The number of ICBMs that can strike the continental United States is smaller: about 90 missiles with some 130 warheads.
These capabilities are easily explained by the fact that land-based missiles have a greater range than sea- and air-based ones, at least until China upgrades its sea-based systems. Thus, land-based missiles increase range and allow targeting of distant nuclear counterparts—the United States, France and the United Kingdom—while ensuring capabilities against the other four nearby nuclear powers: Russia, North Korea, India and Pakistan. It is likely that land-based capabilities will remain a major component until submarine capabilities are expanded. Once submarines are as advanced as those of other nations, then—like the United States, Russia, France and the United Kingdom—China is likely to focus more and more on submarines rather than land-based capabilities.
China has introduced six Jin-class (Type 094) nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), which are based at the Longposan naval base near Yulin on Hainan Island (only four of them are currently operational). The two newest SSBNs, which were handed over to the PLA Navy in April 2020, are said to be variants of the original Type 094 design, known as Type 094A. These boats have a more prominent hump, which has led to a speculation that they could carry up to 16 JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (CSS-N-14), instead of the usual 12. However, satellite images confirm that the new submarines are equipped with 12 launch tubes each.
Each JL-2 is equipped with a single warhead and, possibly, penetration assistance. The JL-2, which is a modified version of the DF-31, is supposed to have a range of about 7,200 km, although U.S. estimates of the range have varied over the years. Such a range would be sufficient to target Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, as well as Russia and India, from waters near China.
Unlike the land-based approach, the nuclear submarine can move around the world, have an unknown destination and a changing position, and it can retaliate up to several months after a nuclear conflict has ended. As such, submarines are now the main component of the French and British nuclear forces, and are vital to the U.S. and Russia. However, this requires advanced technology, which China does not yet have (nor do India and Pakistan). Therefore, the People’s Liberation Army is upgrading its submarine capabilities and technology, which should lead to increased relevance of submarines for nuclear operations in the long term. China’s new-generation Type 096 SSBNs will carry an extended-range SLBM, the JL-3, which, according to unofficial sources, could have a range of over 9,000 km. Chinese media describe the JL-3 as an SLBM “equivalent or similar to the French M51,” pointing out that its diameter has been increased compared to the JL-2 and that it incorporates a carbon-fiber casing, giving it an increased range.
China developed several types of nuclear bombs and used aircraft to carry at least 12 of the nuclear weapons it detonated as part of its nuclear test programme between 1965 and 1979. However, the PLA Air Force’s nuclear mission remained dormant until the 2000s, presumably because its older bomb-equipped aircraft were unlikely to be relevant in a nuclear conflict.
Countries such as France, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and India, are not focusing on long-range bombers, as they are easier to track, they move slowly and they are no major asset compared to submarines and land-based missiles. In this respect, only two nuclear powers—the United States and Russia—are investing in bombers. China wishes to become the third nuclear power and has therefore developed the H-6 bomber, which is technologically advanced enough to compete with its American counterparts Northrop Grumman B-2 “Spirit”, Rockwell B-1 “Lancer” and Boeing B-52 as well as the Russian Tupolev Tu-22M, Tupolev Tu-95 and Tupolev Tu-160. The Chinese H-6 should be complementary to the Xian H-20, as the bomber world is rapidly evolving with the introduction of the new American Northrop Grumman B-21 “Raider” and the Russian Tupolev PAK DA.
In conclusion, China is most certainly on its way to becoming the third largest nuclear power with growing capabilities to rival Washington and Moscow. In order to do so, it will need to increase its nuclear submarine capabilities to catch up with France and the United Kingdom, as well as the continued development of the H-20 bomber project to compete with the United States and Russia. Beijing has surely decided to invest in quality rather than quantity, preferring to slowly and precisely increase the number of warheads when it will first have the ability to defeat anti-missile systems.
Interestingly, China’s military nuclear approach is more about catching up with the other nuclear powers, in contrast to the civilian nuclear sector where the country is more innovative, as evidenced by the two thorium nuclear reactors under construction in the Gobi Desert (China plans to bring thorium reactors into commercial operation by 2030). Thus, China could become the leader in civil thorium nuclear power before it closes the gap as a military nuclear power.
From our partner RIAC
Opinion: America’s untimely exit from Afghanistan serves only to strengthen Tehran’s vision for the region without U.S. presence, as well as its plan to bring about the total destruction of Israel and the subjugation of Saudi Arabia
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Reverend Johnnie Moore| Published: 09.18.21, 20:17 nullThe ignoble withdrawal of the U.S. military from Afghanistan – a withdrawal commanded before vulnerable American civilians and military assets were safely evacuated – only served to benefit Iran’s apocalyptic vision for the Middle East, despite the Biden administration’s efforts to frame the decision differently. Whatever Washington says about Afghanistan, Americans need to recognize this withdrawal was never about numbers. It was about a creeping change of heart, and it augurs potential disengagement from America’s loyal friends and allies and an eroding resolve to defend endangered minorities from threats of oblivion.
They also serve the same purpose: Kill innocent people to destabilize the Middle East in order to advance a Khamenei-led Iranian apocalyptic death cult.Khamenei’s vision – whatever his numerous suave puppets and apologists profess – involves the total destruction of the State of Israel and the total subjugation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.Khamenei’s vision hasn’t changed despite the change of presidential administrations in the United States.
Now, the Biden presidency is seeking to tread down a disastrous path that will empower Khamenei in pursuing his vision. Indeed, President Joe Biden’s Iran envoy Robert Malley may have discovered that the administration can leverage America’s exhaustion with wars in the Middle East, and in Afghanistan, to grant Iran the ultimate prize without most Americans even noticing: a near-total American withdrawal from the Middle East.
This is why the Biden administration announced on July 27 its intention to also withdraw from Iraq altogether (another dream of Tehran), and why their “come hell or high water” approach to withdrawing from Afghanistan, whatever the human or reputational cost, continued undeterred. Could the U.S. contingent in Syria be far behind?
It’s a new version of an old idea often floated by former Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. He advocated for a so-called “new security framework” in the Middle East which – as a prerequisite – involved the expulsion of the Americans.
“We need a strong region, not a strong man in the region. We have to recognize, all of us in the [Arabian] Gulf region, need to join Iran in recognizing that nobody can be the hegemon of the region. All of us need to work together in a strong region,” Zarif said in 2018.With a heavy dose of Persian chutzpah, Zarif lauded with a straight face the virtues of “territorial integrity” and called for “no interference in the internal affairs of others” and “respect for national boundaries.”All one needed to do was to start with “confidence-building measures.”The confidence-building measures imagined by Zarif look a lot like what we’re seeing in the Middle East today as America disengages while Iran plays host to a regime whose new government is the most extreme since the onset of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s revolution.
No one seems to notice or care but one party in the Gulf isn’t buying it: the actual Iranian people. Iranians have had it with less food on the table, less water to drink, more misery, and more repression. This is why Iran’s summer was marked by more protests and more brutal crackdowns by the regime’s revolutionary guards. While the rest of the Gulf is planning for a brighter 21st century, the Iranian people are stuck with a regime fueled by the hatreds of the 12th century.Rather than expending so much energy trying to change the Iranian government’s trajectory, it’s time for the Biden administration to read the region and amplify the voices of those in the line of Tehran’s fire, beginning with the Iranian people and continuing with those whose cities face Iranian rocket fire and the threat of nuclear blackmail.Instead of pushing its Arab allies into normalizing their relations with Iran, the Biden administration ought to be building upon the peace-through-strength successes of the Abraham Accords.
That’s what the American people supported and that’s what our allies in the Middle East desperately need. The nations of the Gulf, along with Egypt, Israel and other nations near Iran, don’t have the luxury of waiting for the results of the 2022 midterm U.S. elections, let alone the 2024 presidential elections. They will instead have to forge their own collective path to defend themselves from more “confidence-building” demands from Tehran.And if Washington is unwilling to do so then it may be time for the Arab countries to just move forward in the right direction without the Americans.They shouldn’t care too much about it either because Washington won’t be able to resist taking credit for their successes during midterm elections in 2022 and presidential elections in 2024.
In the meantime, it behooves American citizens – Democrats and Republicans – to demand action from their elected representatives in Congress. They must declare in a clear bipartisan voice: There will be no deals with Iran that endanger our allies. It’s time to show the pollsters and pundits at least that the American people are paying attention and do care about the fate of the Middle East.If there is an actual, attainable deal with Iran that really reduces terrorism, violence, and nuclear threats, share those details with the American people, but from where we sit all we see are American diplomats promising Tehran everything they’ve demanded and more for the privilege of a useless piece of paper and the privilege of being serially lied to.
Piece written by Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Reverend Johnnie Moore. Republished with permission from The Media Line
Associated PressSeptember 18, 2021
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Recent satellite images show North Korea is expanding a uranium enrichment plant at its main nuclear complex. Experts say it’s a sign North Korea is intent on producing more material to make bombs. Highly enriched uranium is one of the key ingredients for nuclear weapons. Other satellite photos last month showed signs the Yongbyon plant had resume operations to produce weapons-grade plutonium. The latest photos taken by satellite imagery company Maxar showed construction in an area adjoining the uranium enrichment plant. Experts say the expansion probably indicates North Korea plans to increase its production of weapons-grade uranium by as much as 25%. North Korea also recently conducted its first missile tests in six months amid dormant nuclear talks with the U.S.
Gaza: Protesters march against Israel’s detention policy
September 10, 2021
Supporters of the Fatah movement demonstrate to support the six Palestinian prisoners, who escaped from Israel’s Gilboa prison, in front of the Red Cross headquarters in Gaza City on September 11, 2021 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images]September 19, 2021 at 4:47 pm
Thousands of Palestinians gathered on Sunday in protest of the Israeli policy of administrative detentions, says Anadolu Agency.
The protesters in Gaza carried banners and chanted slogans calling for the freedom of prisoners held in Israeli jails.
Some protesters also burned the flags of the USA and Israel.
The policy of administrative detention allows the Israeli authorities to extend the arrest of a prisoner without charge after the expiry of a sentence for a period of six months.
Six Palestinian inmates tunneled out of the high-security Gilboa Prison in northern Israel on September 6. Israeli forces, however, have managed to capture four of them after a manhunt.
The remaining two are still in hiding.
There are around 4,850 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, including 41 women, 225 children, and 540 “administrative detainees,” according to observers.
by Sanaa Kamal
GAZA, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) — Mohammed Shaaban, a Palestinian child from the village of Beit Lahia in Gaza Strip, used to play with his siblings and friends for many hours a day.
However, the 8-year-old child has lost his passion for playing as he became disabled and now needs assistance even in the most basic activities, including using a bathroom.
Israel and Gaza’s Hamas fought a 11-day-long fighting in May, the most intense round since 2014 that left more than 250 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead. During the wave of fierce fighting, Israeli warplanes carried out hundreds of air raids on the Gaza Strip. Palestinian armed factions in Gaza fired thousands of rockets at Israel.
Shaaban was wounded on the first day of the hostilities when the Israeli war jets attacked a man driving motorbike in Jabalia in the north of the coastal enclave. While Shaaban and his mother were walking in the street as they finished shopping for Eid al-Fitr, a festive dinner that marks the end of the Ramadan fast.
Recalling that day, his mother says Shaaban was happy as he got to wear his new shoes but his happiness did not last long as he fell due to a heavy explosion that shattered the area.
“The only thing I remember was that I carried a small bag containing my new shoes. I headed to the house with my mother, but suddenly I heard a heavy explosion that flew me into the sky,” he recalled.
Then there was darkness and Shaaban became blind.
Talia Sakallah, another child from Gaza City, was luckier than Shaaban as she was not wounded after the Israeli war jets attacked the Hanadi Tower, a major residential building in Gaza.
Sakallah and her family evacuated their house after an Israeli soldier called them, ordering them to leave the place before it explodes.
“When I heard the hugest explosion in my life, I thought that all of us (my family members and I) would die as many of Palestinian families have lost their lives,” the 12-year-old girl told Xinhua.
Sakallah says she doesn’t know how they all managed to stay alive.
On May 21, Egypt mediated a ceasefire between the two sides that ended the fighting between the Palestinians and Israel.
Despite the fact that the conflict ended four months ago, children in both Gaza and Israel still suffer psychological consequences.
According to mothers of Shaaban and Sakallah, the children have become more introverted and are reluctant to play with their mates.
“Mohammed became more stubborn and he does not accept any perspectives from others, even from his father,” Sumaia Shaaban, Mohammed’s mother, told Xinhua.
“He prefers to stay at home and avoids playing with other children, including his siblings,” the 36-year-old mother of eight said, adding that he is scared when he hears any noise around him.
Sakallah also suffers from similar problems, said her mother Fateyah. “In addition, my youngest daughter keeps silent all the time especially when surrounded by strange people,” the 36-year-old mother of four said.
The mothers said neither their kids or themselves have any feeling of security or hope as Gaza is still under the threat of yet another confrontation.
Fadel Abu Hein, a Gaza-based psychologist, believes that children are the primary victims of all military tensions.
He told Xinhua that wars have disastrous effects on children’s psyche. They suffer from panic, terror, lack of confidence or sense of safety in life, making them more introverted or more aggressive towards others.
Abu Hein added that there are psychological treatment programs for the victim and those around them.
Meanwhile, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that children in Gaza live “under constant terror,” warning that they will suffer psychological effects of the recent tensions for many years ahead.
Its report titled “Hidden Scars in Gaza” said that the latest tensions were among the “most severe hostilities we have seen in the region in years.”
It added that access to mental health services during and after stress is necessary to support the social fabric of societies experiencing conflict.
HaaretzSep. 18, 2021
Israel used a high-tech remote-controlled machine gun for the first time last year to kill a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist, The New York Times reported Saturday, apparently confirming earlier Iranian reports that conflicted with alleged eyewitness reports of a gun battle.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed by what the article said was a “killer robot” equipped with artificial intelligence and multiple-camera eyes that is operated via satellite. The report cited an intelligence officer as saying that Israel used a special model of the Belgian-made FN machine gun that was attached to a robotic instrument.
Israel’s problem, the report said, was that the gun and robot (along with its components and accessories) weighed around a ton. Therefore, according to The New York Times, Israel has to break down the equipment and smuggle the individual pieces into Iran one at a time before reassembly inside the country.
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According to the report, the robot was designed to fit in the bed of a pickup, which was mounted with cameras aimed in several directions and which contained explosives that allowed operators to destroy evidence. Another challenge was ensuring that it was Fakhrizadeh driving the car that would be targeted and not a member of his family, an issue that was solved by parking a fake broken car containing a camera with face-recognition software, Iranian investigators claim, at a junction he was expected to pass.
In the end, the operation took less than a minute and only fifteen bullets were fired.
Planning for the killing began after former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, when Israel sought to restart its campaign to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, the report said. U.S. officials supported the plan, the report cited an official present when it was presented as saying. It was the prospect that Trump would lose the upcoming election that led Israel to take action when it did, according to the report.