Thomas Wictor

Yemen explosion explained?

Yemen explosion explained?

In 2008 I read about a weapon that made me laugh hysterically. It seemed almost too grotesquely lethal to be real. But it’s not only real, a variant of the weapon may be what caused the massive Yemen explosion that I wrote about here and here. It was only today that I remembered this weapon.

It’s called a “kinetic fireball incendiary” (KFI). The idea was patented in 2007. A KFI is a bomb casing that’s filled with submunitions.


Here’s the grotesquely hilarious part.

The submunitions are either made of rubberized rocket fuel, or they’re covered with solid rocket fuel. They each have a motor, so when the bomb casing penetrates the target and bursts, all these balls of rocket fuel ignite and go bouncing around inside the facility, down hallways and into rooms. Within seconds, the interior of the target building is heated to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit (539 degrees Celsius).

I remember reading that Israel was working on the KFI. The American version is being developed by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), which deals with methods of destroying or nullifying weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Since the American KFI is patented technology, I assume that Israel created its own version—if indeed the IDF dropped the huge bomb in Yemen on April 20, 2014.

That fireball is too large and occurs too quickly for it to be a secondary explosion. The American KFI is a method of causing rapid incineration. As the patent says:

The submunitions liberate sufficient heat to produce elevated temperatures inside of a target structure, without creating a substantial overpressure or explosive effect.

Whatever was dropped in Yemen had a massive explosive effect. Under the right circumstances, rocket fuel can explode and cause a tremendous shock wave.

If I know the Israelis, my guess is that they took the idea of the KFI and improved it so that either the submunitions could be made to explode simultaneously, or else the entire massive ordnance penetrator (MOP) was filled with a rocket-fuel derivative that both exploded and burned. Thus we have both the gigantic concussion and the colossal fireball.

It’s obvious that the explosion in Yemen was a demonstration. I’ve looked at every video, and there’s no reason why so many cameras were set up to film that particular spot. You can hear antiaircraft artillery (AAA) going off as the bomber approaches, but a person filming would have no idea where the explosion would take place.

Unless he or she were told.

None of those were CCTV cameras. Here’s what eyewitness videos of aerial bombardment usually look like.

Note the chaos. In Yemen everyone knew exactly where to film. They panicked only when they saw the size and power of the explosion.

Today the Islamic State released a letter about the attempted mass murder in Garland, Texas, on May 3, 2015.

We knew that the target was protected. Our intention was to show how easy we give our lives for the Sake of Allah.

We have 71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire. Out of the 71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday, We are increasing in number bithnillah. Of the 15 states, 5 we will name… Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan. The disbelievers who shot our brothers think that you killed someone untrained, nay, they gave you their bodies in plain view because we were watching.

That might be true. However, there’s a lot of footage—and I mean a lot—of Islamic State terrorists surrendering.

The prudent thing to do is to take the threat seriously. Obviously not every member of Muslim terrorist organizations is willing to die, but there are plenty who are. And there are plenty of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps members itching for war with Israel and the Sunni Arab Gulf states. It’s for this reason that somebody built and dropped a gigantic bomb in Yemen. It’s a deterrent, hopefully.

Imagine ten of those bombs hitting Tehran. The Israelis and the Sunni Arabs are being told that they’ll be wiped off the map, enslaved, or butchered. Both Iran and the Islamic State are making the threats.

Therefore I believe that in response, the Israelis and Sunni Arabs built themselves a MOP filled with rocket fuel. In a conventional war, the Israelis and the Sunni Arabs would easily defeat Iran, Hezbollah, the Islamic State, the al-Nusrah Front, and the other groups threatening these nations. In 2009—the same year I read about kinetic fireball incendiaries—I learned that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were embarking on a massive military buildup and retraining of their troops.

The UAE has ten years’ combat experience in Afghanistan. Each of these men is worth a platoon of regular infantry.


In 2009 the Saudis fought the Houthis to a standstill in Yemen, and that was before the military buildup and retraining effort. Saudi operators have cross-trained with the best of the best. Here’s a Saudi on the left, with a French colleague.


Another Saudi operator.


I don’t recognize his uniform. He may be a naval commando.

The Saudi-led coalition has landed special operators in Yemen; since they’re wearing black, they may be Jordanian.


Or Moroccan.


These men fought the Houthis in Yemen in 2009. They know what they’re doing.

We began this post talking about an explosion. I’ll end it with discussion of another explosion. Today the Houthis shelled the Saudi Arabian city of Najran. It wasn’t a very smart move, since it gives the Saudis and their allies every reason in the world to hit back ten times as hard. At least one Houthi munition was a white-phosphorus round. This is what weaponized white phosphorus looks like when it explodes.


Blazing chunks of white phosphorus fly out, leaving curly smoke trails in the air. As you can see, the explosion bears no resemblance to the “Medusa” of the M825A1 smoke shell that Israel used.


The next time someone tells you that the Medusa is proof of Israel using weaponized white phosphorus on civilians, show them the photo of the Houthi munition hitting Najran.

If I’m right, the Israelis, Saudis, and Emiratis now have gigantic bombs filled with rocket fuel.

My advice for everyone in the region is to just give up on war. If you don’t, smoke shells will be the least of your worries.

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