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Questioning whether Hezbollah had a role in massive Beirut explosion is off limits, per Hezbollah

Questioning whether Hezbollah had a role in massive Beirut explosion is off limits, per Hezbollah

A lot of questions are being raised about the immediate official explanation, but don’t expect anyone in Lebanon to answer those questions given Hezbollah’s power and willingness to use that power.

https://twitter.com/borzou/status/1290675854767513600

The massive explosion that destroyed the port of Beirut and much of the city for miles, almost immediately was attributed the explosion of 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate stored at port.

That highly explosive chemical, used widely in agriculture, is attributed in various investigations, including by The New York Times and BBC, to a ship that became entangled in legal difficulties and offloaded the ammonium nitrate in 2013, where it sat in a warehouse.

It’s possible to believe that the reported origins of the shipment as reported are innocent, but that doesn’t answer the complicity of various Lebanese actors. The Hezbollah-controlled civilian government just resigned in response to fury as to bureaucratic bumbling that endagered the city and country.

But I have a feeling there’s a lot more to the story.

An Italian explosives expert nicknamed “Mr. Dynamite” has disputed ammonium nitrate as being the only explosive substance involved. Follow this thread which summarizes his Italian article on the subject.

I don’t know if his theories about the explosions are correct, perhaps readers can weigh in on it. But something doesn’t seem right about the simplicity of 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate just blowing up on its own, because of a welding or fireworks spark.

I am suspicious of such a theory because we know that Hezbollah (1) controls Beirut, (2) has a program of hiding explosives and rocket/missile material in civilian areas and buildings.

Joe Truzman laughs at the idea that such a large quantity of ammonium nitrate being stored at the port without Hezbollahs’ knowledge, at minimum:

Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah took to the airwaves Friday to deny the group’s involvement in the Beirut port explosions that killed more than 130 people and injured thousands.

“I want to declare that we absolutely have nothing to do with this. We’ve never had rockets, explosives, ammonium nitrate, not a single bullet stored there. Not in the past, not currently and not in the future,” Nasrallah emphatically stated.

Furthermore, Nasrallah denied the group was active at the port and suggested it knew more about the Israeli port of Haifa than it did Beirut’s port.

“We don’t control the port, we don’t govern the port, we don’t know what’s happening inside the port and the warehouse. Hezbollah is about resistance, we probably know more about Haifa than we know about Beirut,” Nasrallah said.

The statement “we don’t know what’s happening inside the port” is difficult to believe. It is unlikely one of the most powerful paramilitary groups in the world isn’t aware of the activity going on at a major commercial transport hub in its own country. It also counters what was discussed at a United Nations Security Council meeting in 2019, according to a Reuters report.

“Israel found that Iran and the Quds Forces have begun to advance the exploitation of civilian maritime channels,” and that Beirut “is now the Port of Hezbollah” the Reuters report stated.

Israeli sources are being more explicit. Israel Hayom reports:

Hezbollah is responsible for the devestating explosion in the Port of Beirut last week, the killed 145 people and wounded over 5,000, former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon asserted Friday, in an interview with Saudi outlet Elaph.

According to Ya’alon, a weapons depot belonging to the Iranian-backed terrorist group had caught fire and led to the ammonium nitrate stored in the port to blow up.

“Lebanon is not an independent state, it was taken hostage by Hezbollah,” Ya’alon was quoted as saying, adding that Hezbollah was well aware of the massive nitrate stock in the port which is under its control.

That would be consistent with the Italian explosives expert — ammonium nitrate did explode, but it was sparked by an explosion at a Hezbollah weapons cache.

Mordecai Kedar of Israel’s Besa Center opines:

With all due respect to the Lebanese authorities, I do not buy this story. I believe that explosives, ammunition, and missile fuel (which are highly volatile and flammable substances) were stored by Hezbollah in this warehouse after being shipped from Iran. There are several reasons why I believe this.

  1. There was a series of at least three explosions, each of which had a different result. The first created a gray column of smoke that remained for several minutes. The second, a column of red smoke, also remained for several minutes, while the third created a white mushroom cloud that dissipated within seconds. This suggests that at least three different materials were stored in that warehouse (see video).
  2. Anyone familiar with how a port operates knows that the front row of warehouses, which are closest to the water, are used for short-term storage. Cargo that is meant to be stored long-term is moved to warehouses further away from the water.
  3. Anyone who ships sensitive cargo and does not want it to be seen, photographed, or targeted by others from air, space, or ground tries to hide it as close as possible to the water. The warehouse that exploded was on the water’s edge.
  4. After Israel (according to foreign sources) attacked the warehouses at Damascus Airport several times, Beirut Seaport replaced Damascus Airport as the destination for Hezbollah’s ammunition and explosives imports from Iran. What used to arrive at Damascus Airport by air is now brought to Beirut by ship. For Hezbollah’s purposes, the warehouses at the port of Beirut have replaced the warehouses of Damascus Airport.
  5. What probably happened on August 4 was an explosion of volatile and flammable materials that were incorrectly stored by Hezbollah for at least a day in a metal, non-airconditioned warehouse. As it is midsummer, temperatures are very high. I believe missile-fuel fumes evaporated from a container and touched the hot wall or ceiling, where they ignited and caused a chain reaction of explosions.
  6. Less than an hour after the explosions, Hezbollah announced that the exploded material was ammonium nitrate. Hezbollah was the first to report it. The reason: Hezbollah was looking for a way to cover up its own negligence and establish an official version that deflected attention away from itself, because no one in the government would dare contradict them.

Yoni Ben Menachem of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs doubts any investigation would dare touch upon Hezbollah’s culpability:

Lebanese are already asking whether the investigation results are pre-written to lay the responsibility on some low-level security guard or official. It will clear the Lebanese Government and Hizbullah of any responsibility for the disaster and the failure to remove the dangerous materials from the heart of a major civilian facility.

The leaks from the investigation so far do not touch on the claims that Hizbullah turned the port of Beirut into a weapons warehouse and had actually seized the ammonium nitrate stockpiled in the port to create explosive devices (IEDs) that it uses in terrorist bombs. In 2015, a Hizbullah warehouse storing 8.3 tons of ammonium nitrate was discovered in Cyprus, and six months later, three tons of ammonium nitrate were found in four London hideouts. “On top of the risk of accidental detonations that threaten residential neighborhoods, it was revealed that the charge used in the Burgas bus bombing in 2012 contained ammonium nitrate,” according to one report.1

Nor is there reference by investigators that the massive explosion may have included a smaller blast of Hizbullah’s weaponry that was stored near the ammonium nitrate stash, as al-Arabiya TV reported on August 4. Viewers of the videos of the port explosions claimed they saw “fireworks going off.” It can be said with relative certainty that the many tiny flashes were from low caliber ammunition exploding.

Hizbullah stores explosives, missiles, rockets, and ammunition throughout Lebanon, especially among the civilian population, to make it difficult for Israel to destroy them. The Iranian-backed group has transformed Lebanese residents into “human shields” to protect Hizbullah’s weapons.

Alex Traiman theorizes that the ammonium nitrate was intended for Israel, which would be consistent with Hezbollah’s storing caches of ammonium nitrate in European countries, as the Jerusalem Post reported:

Hezbollah kept three metric tons of ammonium nitrate, the explosive thought to be behind the mega blast in Beirut this week, in a storehouse in London, until MI5 and the London Metropolitan Police found it in 2015.

The Lebanese terrorist group also stored hundreds of kilograms of ammonium nitrate in southern Germany, which were uncovered earlier this year.

Using the stockpile against Israel would be consistent with Hezbollah’s threat to rocket ammonia tanks in Haifa (which have since been removed):

Then there’s this curious report by NBC News that “Rescue teams found a network of subterranean rooms” under the port. Maybe innocuous, or maybe part of Hezbollah’s reknowned tunnel projects. Lebanese officials, controlled by Hezbollah, deny any tunnels despite video and photo evidence.

The Lebanese Armed Forces have denied the existence of tunnels, just as Hezbollah has denied doing anything at Beirut Port. It’s unclear how the army could refute the claims without investigating the images and videos already circulating online. Nevertheless, the army denied the existence of tunnels.

Hezbollah wasted no time warning people not to try to blame it:

Hezbollah’s leader, Hasan Nasrallah, warned Friday not to hold the Shiite militia responsible for the massive blast at Beirut’s port, as many Lebanese point to Hezbollah as a source of problems that helped bring about the tragedy….

“If you want to start a battle against the resistance over this incident, you will get no results,” Nasrallah said, referring to Hezbollah.

“The resistance, with its strength and patriotism, is greater and bigger and stronger than to be hit by those liars who want to push and provoke for civil war,” he added. “They will fail and they will always fail.”

Several things could be true at the same time: The shipment came to Beirut as described by the NY Times and BBC, but then kept as a reserve or partially used by Hezbollah, and the explosion was triggered by Hezbollah’s storage of other weapons in close proximity.

None of this “proves” Hezbollah is directly implicated. But it does raise questions no one in Lebanon dare ask much less answer given Hezbollah’s power and willingness to use that power.

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Link at the bottom. My brother sent me this not a half hour ago.

What we know about the ship is the official Lebanese government’s version. It has not been independently verified. And indeed, it took only a day or two, however, before Lebanese journalists, began accessing records and former officials, and began uncovering additional information of interest, although a good bit of it is impossible to independently verify. The popular and respected Lebanese journalist, Marcel Ghanem, on his MTV show, Sar el-Waet, on August 6, interviewed a retired prominent, perhaps chief, inspector of Beirut port whom had been involved in the whole Rhosus affair since the beginning, and was the one debriefing the crew. He tale was riveting, but again, would need independent verification.

Notably, the interview could cost the former inspector his life, so it is rather surprising that he openly recounted what he revealed. He claims he was the inspector who personally interviewed the ship captain, and the story he tells of the ammonium nitrate is shocking and worth summarizing here:

* The ship’s captain, Boris Prokoshev, said the ship was not seaworthy, and nor was he. The inspector noted the captain was consistently drunk. But both the captain and the inspector understood that is why this ship or captain were chosen. No respectable ship owner or captain would do this mission. The whole crew were desperados essentially. In short, there was something untoward about the very nature of the shipment from the start.

* When the ship passed Bosphorus, the Turkish transit authorities stopped it because they worried the ship was not seaworthy. Upon boarding, they inspected and saw the shipment, at which point they moved to seize it to prevent Bosphorus passage as a grave hazard. The head of Bosphorus maritime transit then received a phone call from President Erdogan’s officer saying that Erdogan personally requests it be released and allowed Bosphorous passage. The head of Bosphorus transit was so upset by this — fearing it could be a terror ship that could even be used in Istanbul — that he tweeted publicly his disapproval of passage as a self-protective maneuver.

* The ship, being unseaworthy, used its “SoS” status as cover and made straight for Beirut, not Cyprus which was just as close along its track, but where its owner was and where the ship had previously been flagged (before Moldova) after Bosphorus. Once in Beirut, the official story was established that the ship cannot continue, and the cargo was essentially bought out by unknown people. That is why the ship owner — an oligarch who did not build his reputation on being a pushover — never launched a court challenge over the confiscation of the ammonium nitrate by the Beirut port.

* The Beirut port inspector office had his team launch a quiet investigation as to where the money came from for the purchase. They concluded it led back to Iran.

* Also, receiving no cooperation from the government on the details of the ammonium nitrate, they brought in a chemist to see what grade ammonium nitrate they were dealing with. The tests showed it was the highest possible grade; not the sort used in fertilizer, and not even a common level of quality for mining explosives.

* They, the port authority and others started getting ever more nervous about this, suspecting foul play, and many times asked for further information about the shipment, not only in terms of asking it to be removed, but also information about it. Their letters and queries were always met with the cold silence that suggests “Don’t go there.”

In short, the Lebanese government is focused exclusively on the ammonium nitrate, ignores completely the causes and sources (likely munitions and missile fuel) of the second explosion which was the essential component in turning a small accident into a vast human tragedy. To reinforce its narrative, it has taken the odd tale of a unseaworthy ship crewed by derelicts and spun a tale solely of incompetence, not nefarious behavior, as the only story worth contemplating, which lays the bulk of the blame on …. The previous government under Saad

Hariri.https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2020/08/07/lebanon-what-happened/

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to 4fun. | August 10, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    That confirms it then – illegal weapons running.

    Here is another link with video of the blast with before and after photos.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEpFyE_ED7M

    Everyone seems to be focused on why 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate would be allowed to be stored as does this clip. But after considering your comment and link, this looks to me like the Oklahoma City bombing except in this case, it wasn’t just a government office building that was bombed but a warehouse full of ammonium nitrate.

    I am assuming that the ship you mention is the one physically leaning against the pier adjacent to the ware house.

    It’s not just the explosion itself that is massive but the shock wave which cause most of the damage and death. From what I can see, the damage extended a couple of miles away from the crater.

    I have a hard time believing that this was an accident.

JusticeDelivered | August 10, 2020 at 9:27 pm

“Iran”

Why isn’t Iran’s ass being kicked back to the stone age?

“Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah took to the airwaves Friday to deny the group’s involvement in the Beirut port explosions”

And we all know that Muslims don’t lie.

Right?

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | August 10, 2020 at 9:35 pm

Ask Dirty Rice, Obama, and Hillary………

    Is Obama playing Larry? I guess not, while Obama and compay are stooges, they are not funny.

      Putting Manchurian Candidates into the highest office in our land had its consequences, didn’t it.

        I have called burrack the ‘teheranian candidate’ for years. The muslim brotherhood and other radical muslims have infiltrated our government at the highest levels (jarret, abedin, clapper, the awans- I could go on and on). It’s almost like hezbollah had a lot of protection until about, oh, 3 something years ago? Credit to CO/TW,the brown smoke is telling (HMX/Octogen deflagration). It also appears the explosion was directed almost exclusively vertically, up and down (think shape charge). About the down. Looks like there was an extensive hezbollah complex under the blast site (credit CO/BC). But what do I know, could’ve just been an industrial accident /S.

Any check on radiation levels at the port in Beirut- just asking for a friend

    If I were gathering info to really understand this explosion I would want chemical samples also. And not samples local strongmen approved be sent out of the country. If nothing else get dust from the shoes journalists wore while filming the rescue ops at the port.

    Safe to say this wasn’t a nuclear explosion.

As noted in a previous post, there were three distinct phases to this disaster. The first was a fire in a warehouse containing possible small explosive components, which some have speculated were fireworks. This led to several small explosions from that warehouse complex. Then, for some unknown reason this triggered a massive explosion, which is thought to have been 2700 tons of Ammonium Nitrate compound. From the logistics of the port and video evidence of the explosion, it is very likely that the final explosion could very well have been ammonium nitrate. The secondary explosions, previous to the final massive detonation, could well have been infantry explosives such as small rockets or ammunition. Given Hezbollah’s presence and practices in Jordan, it is also very likely that the fire originated in a warehouse housing military ordinance belonging to that group. The only real mystery is what caused the initial fire. In recent months, there have been several fires, of mysterious origin, at military and ordinance storage facilities of groups inimical to Israel. Therefor, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the fire was sabotage which unintentionally sparked the final massive explosion.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Mac45. | August 10, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    I prefer to think of it as “fire and brimstone”……..

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital. | August 10, 2020 at 10:44 pm

      Hmmmmmm….

      Brimstone…..”The greatest commercial use of the element is the production of sulfuric acid for sulfate and phosphate fertilizers, and other chemical processes…..” – Wiki

      I would like to see Iran facing fire and brimstone, but first I would like to see every hydro electric dam and water reservoir fail. Same for their hitension grid. That would be a fitting start, retribution.

    Voyager in reply to Mac45. | August 10, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    As I understand it, Ammonium Nitrate becomes very unstable if it is left to deteriorate over time, so as it was shipped in 2013 it would not have been likely to go up on its own. It has, however, been sitting in storage for 7 years, which is enough time to deteriorate seriously.

    Belling the Cat has a good collection of pictures of the before, after, and storage of the stuff here: https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2020/08/04/what-just-blew-up-in-beirut/

    He also located some close in video of the smaller building exploding, which shows a lot of the crackle-pop going on.

    I could easily see this being Hezbollah explosives material that went off because of poor storage and an unrelated fire, but I’m pretty sure based on what we’ve seen that the nitrate went off because of gross neglect on the part of the port authority.

    MajorWood in reply to Mac45. | August 11, 2020 at 12:15 am

    The small explosions were likely professional grade aerial salutes, which are 3″ diameter balls filled with flash powder that go boom. I have shot a lot of them off in the day, I know what they look like. When the lifting charge went off, it propelled them in various directions before the time delay fuze set them off.

    https://catalog.kellfire.pro/professional/29 b300

    The ammonium nitrate explosion was the red cloud which is colored that way by an N2O reaction byproduct. The brown cloud down low is what used to be the pier and all the dirt beneath it, now the big hole filled with seawater. The white fast moving spherical cloud was simply water vapor compressed into droplet form by the pressure wave of the explosion.

    I am fully convinced this was a deliberate movement of the AN to this location, as detailed above, but meant to be seen as a series of plausibly deniable errors. It has been sitting there, and everyone knows it is there. It was placed there to prevent it being blown up by Israel, who has known it was there as well, and likely had that warehouse under 24/7 surveillance since the day it showed up.

    The big question is why now? Did it deteriorate and there was a fire, or was it about to be dispersed into 275 different locations of 10T each? I am pretty sure that at least 7 years ago a decision was made in Israel that the stuff was not leaving the port intact except on a US or Israeli owned boat.

    I just look upon it as message sent and message received.

A key point in the article linked by 4fun is that the AN was almost certainly not “fertilizer” but explosives-grade AN. Strongly suggesting that it was not just being “accidentally” stored there regardless of the immediate cause of the explosion.

Do not count on the dinosaur media, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrat party, to even attempt an effort to look into this terrorist group. At least they are scared of their own well being, at worst, they are terrorist sympathizers.

This is a very important website to visit. It will change your outlook on everything – especially in light of obama and kerry trying to give Iran the atomic bomb:

Alex Wellerstein is a historian of science and nuclear weapons and a professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology. He is also the creator of the NUKEMAP. NUKEMAP is a website that calculates the effects of the detonation of ANY SIZE a nuclear bomb ANYWHERE on Earth.

It’s very sobering. You’ll see that obama and kerry were about to become the greatest mass murderers in the history of the world.

https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

The Drill SGT | August 11, 2020 at 12:10 am

ammonium nitrate breaks down when heated. The decomposition is exothermic. It gives off heat, so the reaction runs away. Below 300c, it breaks down into nitrous oxide (also an oxidizer) and water. Above 300c, it throws of O2, which is its value as an explosive oxidizer.

It needs a fuel component, typically something carbon based. e.g. fuel oil to explode. There were grain elevators around, which under certain conditions are explosive.

As for lithium, I think that is bs. Yeah, there might be a few lithium batteries in some Iranian missile, but the red/orange color?

The red–orange colour in an explosion cloud is due to nitrogen dioxide, a secondary reaction product

The Drill SGT | August 11, 2020 at 12:17 am

perhaps the grain elevators were ruptured in the early stages, then combined with all that N2O and O2, you got a fuel/air explosion?

Muslim jihadists gonna jihad. No one is allowed to criticize, question of otherwise scrutinize them and their behavior, per the Dhimmi-crats, who never met a jihadist that they didn’t immediately embrace, enable, whitewash or otherwise absolve of any responsibility for their supremacist, totalitarian and hate-filled ideology and attendant violence.

Rescue teams found a network of subterranean rooms” under the port

Just take a look at the after pictures of the port.
See just how deep the crater is. Some 10+ meters deep.
Explosives don’t dig holes, they push outward following the path of least resistance. The dirt up against the grain storage silos would indicate an upward explosion.

Lucifer Morningstar | August 11, 2020 at 11:11 am

There was a series of at least three explosions, each of which had a different result. The first created a gray column of smoke that remained for several minutes. The second, a column of red smoke, also remained for several minutes, while the third created a white mushroom cloud that dissipated within seconds. This suggests that at least three different materials were stored in that warehouse (see video).

What a load of horse dung. The gray column of smoke was from the detonation from the fireworks (gunpowder). The red column of smoke was the result of 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate explosively combusting resulting in a massive amount of nitrogen oxides being released into the atmosphere. And there was no third explosion. The “white cloud” that he idiotically calls a “mushroom cloud” is in fact called a Wilson Cloud (aka condensation cloud) and is often seen when there is a massive explosion in extremely humid conditions.

And if Mordecai Kedar couldn’t even get his first point right then the rest if it is suspect.

The word on the streets of Beirut:

I will summarize what I read in the new these couple of days

The ship owner brought the stuff and he knew about the fake buyer.
The ship had a problem and it was deliberate that it should stop in Beirut.
The shipment was put in the port. 2700 tons.
2400 tons were taken to Syria. Experts believe that 300 tons exploded otherwise the damage would have reached 50 km.
The ones involved include Hariri’s men who were supporting AlNusra in Syria like Oqab Saqr.
President Aoun knew about the stuff and ordered a full investigation take care of it on July 20.
The investigation reached the Minister of Public Works on August 4 in the morning, the day of the explosion.
They were fixing the door as a cover up and their intention was to burn the hangar so no proof will be available, also to blame it on the current government and to force it to resign because it signed a deal with Forensic Auditing Companies on all ministries.

Hezbollah has complete control in Lebanon and that bomb making material belonged to them because of that control.Oops!

Appros of nothing in particular:

The videos which have made it out to the public start *after* the first event which lit the initial fire. Did the initial fire stem from spontaneous combustion in a hot warehouse, random chance or Hezbollah welding the doors shut? Did that fire begin with an explosion? People started recording when they saw smoke, which leaves out the initiating event.

Considering the players involved, we can have some confidence that the initiating event was something other than the official story. They are deciding on a fall guy, perhaps some clueless maintenance worker, who of course was entirely obliterated in the series of blasts.
Hezbollah doesn’t seem to care if anyone believes them; they announced both that the knew the cause was fertilizer grade AN and also that they had no idea what was is the warehouse, it wasn’t their warehouse, etc.

Barry Soetoro | August 13, 2020 at 12:03 pm

Mossad arsonists torched Hezbollah’s supply dump?

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