The details surrounding the catastrophic explosion in Beirut’s harbor that brought about a scene devastation never before seen in Lebanon with dozens killed and thousands injured, are becoming clear. As the dust settled over the scene of carnage and devastation in Beirut, Hezbollah and Iran’s links to the large depository of ammonium nitrate are starting to emerge.
From information that has come into our possession, we learned that the final destination of the ammonium nitrate shipment that was ostensibly on its way to Brazil, was in fact Iran. Per Iran’s directive, the shipment was to be detained in Lebanon and confiscated by the Beirut harbor customs which is under Hezbollah’s control. From there, Iran was to transport the shipment undetected.
The warehouse in which the ammonium nitrate was stored is owned and controlled by Hezbollah. The latter’s control over Beirut’s harbor and the various security and customs forces there allowed it to hold the cargo unhindered and without state supervision. It also allowed Hezbollah to ignore repeated requests by various government agencies to transport this dangerous cargo to more remote areas where it would not pose a threat to civilians.
As par of its reward for safekeeping its volatile cargo, Iran allowed Hezbollah to make use of the ammonium nitrate to serve its military needs.
It is important to note that ammonium nitrate has, since the early 1990s been part of Hezbollah and the IRGC’s Quds force’s modus operandi, using it to carry out bombings in various countries around the world. The following is a partial list of such bombings:
• 1994 – the Renault Trafic van bomb that blew up AMIA (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) building contained 275 Kg of ammonium nitrate.
• 1994 – 1 ton of ammonium nitrate was found in a vehicle that was involved in an accident in Bangkok, Thailand. Upon investigation, it was determined the this was a failed attempt to blow up the Israeli embassy in the Thai capital.
• In 2019, a Hezbollah operative was convicted for stockpiling in 2009 ice packs that contained ammonium nitrate to carry out bombing in New York.
• 2012 – Hezbollah carried out a bombing in Bulgaria targeting Israeli tourist. The explosives used contained ammonium nitrate.
• In 2017, Samer el-Debek, was convicted by a New York court of being a Hezbollah operative and for undergoing explosives and military training by the organization. Details that emerged from his investigation by US authorities showed that between the years 2009-2014, el-Debek was trained in preparing explosives from ammonium nitrate.
• 2015 – 3 tons of ammonium nitrate belonging to Hezbollah were discovered in the greater London area.
• 2015 – A joint Iranian and Hezbollah terrorist network was discovered in Kuwait along with a cache of 20 tons of ammonium nitrate.
In the last few years, various Intelligence and explosive experts warn that Hezbollah has maintains several caches around the world of ammonium nitrate hidden inside first aid kits to be used in bombings. In addition, other intel point to the fact that both Hezbollah and Quds force stores small caches of ammonium nitrate in Southern Lebanon and a few select European countries as well as others in the UAE and the far east.
Therefore, it is no doubt that ammonium nitrate is a crucial component in explosive devices used by Hezbollah and Quds Force in bombings they carry out around the world. The large amount of ammonium nitrate that blew up on Tuesday was part of the explosives stockpile used by these organizations.
As the catastrophic outcome of Tuesday’s explosion has shown, Hezbollah’s influence on the government, its control over some enforcement agencies coupled with its intimidation of others, allows the organization to do as it pleases in Lebanon. Thus, endangering the lives of innocent Lebanese citizens who are forced to live under the organization’s reign of terror.
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