National Security

2020 Man of the Year: Israeli Tech Who Invented Remote-Control Machine Gun

Israeli self-propelled howitzers are positioned in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on the border with Syria
Israeli self-propelled howitzers / Getty Images

The streets of Tehran turned bloody in late November, when one of Iran's top nuclear scientists was murdered in broad daylight. The attack, it turns out, was committed by a remote-controlled machine gun turret, likely invented by an Israeli tech genius.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was gunned down on the streets of east Tehran by what Iranian security services called "electronic equipment." Even with the protection of 11 guards, the assault left Fakhrizadeh dead by his car.

Israel, which has a knack for assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists, has not publicly commented on the killing. However, it appears the Jewish state created the deadly device—an electronic machine gun turret reportedly controlled by satellite technology. Reports in the Israeli media claim the turret used "artificial intelligence" to carry out the attack on Fakhrizadeh.

"The machine gun ‘zoomed in' on his face and fired 13 rounds," according to an Iranian military official. The car-mounted rifle "focused only on … Fakhrizadeh's face in a way that his wife, despite being only 25 centimeters away, was not shot."

Israel, it seems, pulled a page from the Call of Duty playbook when it deployed the robotic killing machine. Aftermath images posted on social media show a car riddled with bullets, much like a scene straight out of the popular video game.

Israel is no stranger to high-tech weaponry: The Jewish state boasts an arsenal of remote-controlled war boats, robotic soldiers, and automized machine-gun cars. These are in addition to its backpack drones and other quick assassination tools.

For that, the Washington Free Beacon awards its Man of the Year honor to an Israeli tech genius.