What is Ninja Bomb? US Hellfire Missile armed with swords Killed Top ISIS, Al Qaeda bosses in Syria

  • The R9X deploys its six fixed blades seconds before impact

  • The missiles are designed with the intent of eliminating high-value targets with no collateral damage

For long there have been talks that the US has developed a secretive drone missile dubbed as the 'Ninja missile' or the Ninja Bomb. It has now emerged that most recently in Syria, US forces eliminated at least three top Al Qaeda bosses traveling in an SUV using the Ninja missile.

Few photos and videos have now been shared on social media that confirm that US drones armed with the secretive ninja bomb or the Ninja missile were used in a series of attacks that neutralized Al Qaeda operatives in northern Syria.

US drone strike
Two Al Qaeda bosses were neutralized in Syria in a drone strike using R9X missile

The R9X is reportedly an improvised version of the Hellfire missile that armed with six swords instead of using warhead. The ninja missiles, which are known for their precision and are able to accurately lodge into a moving vehicle or a person, thereby ensuring that only the intended target is eliminated.

Ninja missiles ensure that collateral damage remains minimum and rarely has harmed those close to the target.

Two commanders of Al Qaeda affiliate Hurras Al-Deen group were killed in the Idlib Governorate on June 15 when their SUV was targeted by a US drone using the 'ninja missiles' The War Diary reported.

Photos and videos posted on Twitter this week, reveal that at least three of these missiles were used on the Al Qaeda targets. The widely shared images and video clippings show clear signs of the blades of R9X Ninja missiles cutting through the SUV in which the two Al Qaeda bosses were traveling. The SUV was left in a mangled heap.

In another incident in Syria, a man riding on a motorcycle outside of al-Bab city was struck by a missile from a US drone. The mangled remains of the intended target, who was an ISIS boss from Raqqa who was living under a fake name, and the lack of blast residue suggest that it was likely a R9X Hellfire.


As per the confirmations by the CIA and the Department of Defense, the R9X, or flying Ginsu has been in use since 2017 for high-precision drone strikes.

The flying Ginsu or R9X's "express purpose of reducing civilian casualties," makes it both cost- and time-effective, as drones do not have to linger while awaiting clearance of civilians, a top-official told The Wall Street Journal.

In Syria, at least in four instances this year, the US drone strikes have neutralized selected targets using the ninja missiles. While one of the most high-value targets eliminated using the R9X was an Al Qaeda terrorist who orchestrated the deadly October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole.

Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Badawi, a longtime al-Qaida operative was driving alone in a vehicle in Yemen's Ma'rib Governorate when in a precision drone strike using the R9X missiles.