More details have emerged about the huge explosion that shook Beirut yesterday. It seems there was an initial event that might have been stored fireworks going off, that then ignited a warehouse full of 2,750 tons (!) of ammonium nitrate. This substance is extremely explosive and the question is why was this amount of a highly explosive material stored in the port of Beirut? It seems that it had been there since 2013, and notwithstanding efforts by various authorities, including the customs and the judiciary, they were unable to have it removed.
Ammonium nitrate is a favorite chemical of terrorists, because it is available as fertilizer and is extremely explosive (it breaks down into gaseous ammonia and nitrogen dioxide). Timothy McVeigh used a truck full of it to blow up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 killing 168 people. According to an article in the Jerusalem Post today (“Chemical behind blast was hidden in UK, Germany”), both the UK and German authorities discovered large quantities of this substance hidden in their countries. It seems they were tipped off by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency.
In the UK, 3 tons was hidden in four houses in NW London, and stabilized by ice packs. A man was arrested in that case. Hezbollah was tied to this, and also they stored hundreds of kilograms of the substance in southern Germany. This led to a raid on mosques and houses tied to Hezbollah throughout Germany last April. Both countries have declared Hezbollah a terrorist group.
It is no stretch to realize that the huge supply of ammonium nitrate held at the port of Beirut was used as a source of Hezbollah activities in other countries, and being Hezbollah owned, no one in Lebanon could do anything about it. Now the explosion and blast have killed an estimated 135 people and injured up to 6,000 and approximately 300,000 have been made homeless! Lebanon is in a terrible state, and Israel among other countries have offered medical assistance. Pres. Macron of France has visited Beirut and has offered to organize an international relief effort.