The probe into the August 4 explosion is still ongoing, 48 days after the blast shook Beirut and prompted international investigative teams to come to Beirut.
After completing their respective missions in the Port of Beirut, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the foreign experts have left Lebanon back to their home countries.
According to Asharq Al-Awsat, the FBI, in addition to the French and British teams, had extracted samples from the explosion site that they will analyze in their countries.
The samples are expected to provide clues on the nature of the explosion that rocked the Lebanese capital early August, as well as the type of explosive material that caused it — whether ammonium nitrate was the only agent involved in it.
When the results of these investigations are finally out, the Lebanese judiciary will receive the reports that are supposed to also determine whether the explosion was a result of human error, welding work, or an external or internal attack.
On the Lebanese side, the local investigation has yet to yield palpable results.
Judicial Investigator Judge Fadi Sawan has interrogated numerous people in relation to the blast, including caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab, and detained 25 suspects, including military officials and Beirut Port officials.
Recently, some of these detainees requested to be released, but Judge Sawan refused the requests.
He also refused former Customs Director-General Badri Daher’s request to be transferred to a detention room in the Lebanese Customs building at Beirut Airport.
This is because, as sources told Asharq Al-Awsat, Daher was removed from his position by a presidential decree and no longer enjoys the privilege of being kept in detention in the building wherein he used to serve.
Conversely, this privilege was exercised by the arrested army, general security, and state security officers, and they’ve since been kept in custody in the buildings of their respective security or military apparatus.
On a side note, Beirut’s State Prosecutor for Appeals Judge Ziad Abu Haidar charged an environmental consulting company and 4 individuals with negligence in relation to the Beirut Port fire that erupted last week.
The three fires that have taken place in Beirut since August, including the one that led to the massive ammonium nitrate explosion, are said to have been caused by welding work.
This recurrent pattern of fires breaking out in Beirut which, allegedly, are all the result of unprofessional welding work, has sparked critical comments and inspired humorous social media posts by many Lebanese.