During a televised interview with Al-Jadeed, the Secretary-General of the Higher Defense Council, Major General Mahmoud Al-Asmar, gave away that he had received a report from State Security on July 20th informing him of the presence of ammonium nitrate in the port.
He further stated that, before August 4th, the issue of the ammonium nitrate was not discussed on the agenda of the Supreme Defense Council.
“I only received a report from the State Security on July 20th,” Al-Asmar emphasized during the interview.
“Upon viewing it, President Aoun asked his security and military advisor to follow up on the content of the report with the Secretary-General of the Supreme Defense Council, which includes all the security apparatuses and the relevant ministries,” the presidency’s media office stated.
However, Al-Asmar’s statement contradicts the narrative of President Michel Aoun who said he had fulfilled his duties by referring the report to the Higher Defense Council.
According to Al-Asmar, it is up to the Presidential Palace to instruct the Higher Defense Council to hold a session addressing the issue of the ammonium nitrate.
That was never done prior to August 4th, the day of the biggest non-nuclear explosions devastated large parts of Beirut and killed over 200 innocent civilians.
Two opposing statements exist here: Al-Asmar claims he has no jurisdiction, while Aoun claims that he assigned the matter to the Higher Defense Council.