Drone strike
Drone strikeiStock

Longtime head of Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was killed by two missiles fired from a drone in the skies over his Kabul home - but no civilians were reported hurt in the strike.

That indicates that the weapon employed in the attack was likely the Hellfire R9X, a massive, 100- pound missile equipped with six razor-like blades and sometimes referred to as the "Ninja bomb" that's never publicly been acknowledged by the Pentagon and used only in a handful of cases targeting top terrorist leaders.

The R9X first came to light when senior Al-Qaeda operative Abu al-Khayr al-Masri was killed in Syria.

Images of the car he was traveling in appeared to indicate that all the passengers had been eliminated, but the vehicle, itself, had remained intact.

Up until then, only missiles that destroyed everything they hit, including the nearby area, had been documented by the State Department and CIA.

While a US official said two Hellfires had been used in the strike, images showed the windows of Zawahiri's house blown out, but the rest of the building mostly unharmed.

The official said that Zawahiri's family members, who were present at the time of the strike "were purposely not targeted or harmed."

US President Joe Biden confirmed that he had ordered the strike.

“He was deeply involved in the planning of 9/11, one of the most responsible for the attacks that murdered 2,977 people on American soil. For decades, he was the mastermind of attacks against Americans,” said Biden during an appearance from within the White House after testing positive for COVID-19.

“Now, justice has been delivered. And this terrorist leader is no more. People around the world no longer need to fear the vicious and determined killer. The United States continues to demonstrate our resolve and our capacity to defend the American people against those who seek to do us harm,” he continued.

“We make it clear again tonight that, no matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out,” said Biden.

Al-Zawahiri took command of Al-Qaeda following the elimination of its longtime leader, Osama bin Laden, in 2011.

Since taking over as the leader of the organization, he has appeared in several videos attacking Israel.