Hangar 12 in Beirut port was carrying almost 3,000 tons of explosive Ammonium Nitrate unattained for 6 years. On August 4th, 2020 the hangar caught fire, causing the monstrous explosion.
Right after, reports circulated the news and social media on how the Ammonium came to be in the main port of Lebanon in Beirut.
The most recent of these reports is from the German national news magazine Die Welt, revealing new information regarding the purchases of tonnes of ammonium and their shipping to Beirut, in collaboration between Qassem Soleimani and Hezbollah.
340 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were shipped to Lebanon for almost 320,092 Euros. Later in 2014, another 630 to 670 tonnes of deliveries arrived in Lebanon by air, sea, and land for 61,438 Euros.
Later in 2015, both Cyprus and the UK discovered that the same explosive materials were being stashed in Larnaca and the outskirts of London.
The authorities in Larnaca caught then a 26-year-old man by the name of Hussein Bassam Abdallah, a Lebanese holder of a Canadian passport, who confessed to storing 650,000 ice packs containing the explosive chemicals in an old warehouse, according to the Cyprus Mail.
Local authorities believed that the ammonium nitrate was stockpiled in Cyprus since around 2011. Abdallah used to travel regularly to Cyprus on the mission to check on the dangerous stocks until his arrest in May 2015.
Abdallah pleaded guilty to several charges, including his involvement with Hezbollah, illegal possession of explosives, and money laundering, and was sentenced to 6 years in prison.
Even though Die Welt’s resources clarified how most of the ammonium nitrate came to be at the Beirut port, they couldn’t pin down the one responsible for the explosion.
And, they’ve concluded that Hezbollah was probably storing these chemicals right when the Rhosus ship arrived at the port.
While reports are pointing to the direction of Hezbollah, its Secretary-General Hassan Nassrallah has denied any involvement.
“Even if a plane struck, or if it was an intentional act, if it turns out this nitrate had been at the port for years in this way, it means part of the case is absolutely negligence and corruption,” he said after the explosion blasted half of Beirut into ruins.
He further stated that those responsible should be held accountable, and called for a fair investigation without ‘any political cover.’ Otherwise, “that would mean there is no state.”
It remains that several countries have caught ammonium nitrate stockpiled in their territories by Hezbollah-linked people: Kuwait, Germany, UK, Cyprus, Thailand…
Was the ammonium nitrate stocked in Hangar 12 of Beirut Port part of this network of warehousing, or totally unrelated? The ongoing investigation would, hopefully, reveal the truth of this dark mystery that has ruined Beirut and its people.