Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 04, 2020

Beirut Explosion

Updated below

At about 15:00 UTC today a large explosion happened at a quayside building in the port of Beirut, Lebanon.

It was followed by a fire and crackling sound that may have come from multiple secondary explosions, probably from fireworks: vid, vid, vid

A few minutes after the first explosion another very, very large one happened which also caused a huge shockwave: vid, vid, vid

Second explosion and shockwave

The explosion could be seen and heard from several miles away: vid

The second explosion as seen from sea: vid, vid

The second enormous explosion blew out many windows and caused serious damage within many structures as well as outside: vid, vid, vid

There are many casualties.

What exploded is not yet known.

The quayside warehouse to the east of a grain silo is where the explosion occurred.


This rumor in Beirut is that this was an accident at a fireworks facility. To me it seems that the first explosion may indeed have been of fireworks. The crackling small explosions after the first explosion point to that.  But the second explosion was way too large for fireworks and must have been of something else.

This may also have been something other than an accident.

This comes at a time where more than half of the people in Lebanon live below the poverty line after a Ponzi scheme run by the Central Bank crashed the Lebanese currency and economy. Many people will not have enough money to pay for new window glass which will be hard to come by as the demand will now be extremely high. It also comes in the mid of the Coronavirus epidemic which currently ravages Lebanon and Syria.

On Friday a UN backed international tribunal will deliver its verdict over four men related to Hizbullah who are accused of planting the truck bomb that murdered the former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri some 15 years ago. The incident could be related to it.

This post will be updated when new information comes in.

As of 17:00 UTC there are still several fires burning in the port area. The grain silo is severely damaged.  Other warehouses were completely destroyed. The military is using helicopters to fight the fires. Hundreds of cars were tossed around and damaged. Some high rises have lost their whole seaside fronts. vid, vid, vid

Preliminary reports speak of at least 18 killed and more than 400 injured.

17:30 UTC:

This sounds like someone did something stupid and may thus be true:

Abby Sewell @sewella - 15:56 UTC · 4 Aug 2020

Lebanese Army source just told me no cause confirmed yet for explosions in Beirut but possibly a "container of fireworks was burning and the fire spread to reach a nitrate warehouse that led to this massive explosions."

Dalal Mawad لال معوض @dalalmawad - 17:04 UTC · Aug 4, 2020

Head of General Security says the blast was caused by a fire in a depot of highly explosive material, including Sodium nitrate, at Beirut's port. He said that material was confiscated from a ship months ago and stored there. #Lebanon

Nitrate in its various forms can be highly explosive. There have been several large nitrate incidents over time.

From an expert:

GeorgeWilliamHerbert @GeorgeWHerbert - 16:44 UTC · Aug 4, 2020

Regarding tragic giant explosion in Beruit; several videos show large fireworks fire then large red smoke combustion that rapidly detonates. This is characteristic of ammonium nitrate fertilizers fires that detonate as Lebanese army suggested.

Another set of views. Slowed down, I can see three distinct explosions; first one from fireworks about 30 seconds before others. Second is bright, large red cloud immediately rising, but no large shockwave. Very shortly after that is very sharp shockwave from same area. - video

We’ll be measuring effects for some time, but my impression is first fireworks explosion was soft - large white cloud and some roof debris, small explosive yields (tons TNT equivalent); second red cloud tens of tons TNT equivalent, third was kiloton(s) equivalent.

18:00 UTC:

The damage throughout Beirut is huge. The sound of the explosion was heard and felt as far away as Cyprus, 240 kilometers / 150 miles away. A main facility of the EDL (Electricité du Liban) has been destroyed. Instead of several hours of electricity per day Beirut may now have none. The port is obliterated. The grain silos are destroyed. Lebanon depends on imports for nearly everything. There will be huge shortages of bread and everything else throughout the next months.

Most large shop windows in the main shopping district were blown out. The owners fear that their shops will be looted tonight.

Posted by b on August 4, 2020 at 15:48 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

I should add that most sane jurisdictions savagely regulate this material for the very reason of its simplicity, volatility and typical large volumes for use in agriculture. And so they should - this stuff is a public menace in the hands of fools.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 4 2020 23:42 utc | 101

@ Gehennah | Aug 4 2020 19:21 utc | 35

Perhaps a little off topic here, but since you mentioned it, it feel compelled to correct.

The "fireworks disaster" in Enschede was really a landmine disaster. It has been heavily whitewashed by Dutch media, but if you start to look carefully, there is plenty of compelling evidence to question the officially established narrative.

In short, there were issues with the dodgy AP-23 landmine (see also the Fred Spijkers affair). These mines were not properly disposed and destroyed, but stored in secret dumps. One was in Enschede.

When SE Fireworks caught fire, the owner ran out into the streets, screaming "munitions! munitions!"

After the whole block had detonated, the area was cordonned off by the military and bulldozed overnight. Unmarked army dump trucks left the place with mystery content. Only then were regular criminal investigators allowed onto the disaster scene. The investigators complained about this and two investigators reported finding military detonators (apparently missed by the overnight cleanup crew). The reports were silenced.

It's a convoluted and dirty story, branching off into all kinds of direction, mainly gladio. Too much for this topic. If you can read dutch, check out these sites that still exist:

The Fred Spijkers affair forced the Dutch official ombudsman to publish a limited hangout report about the Ap-23 (without mentioning anything about Enschede of course.)

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 4 2020 23:43 utc | 102

If I do not recall bad, there was rumor here on that the US wanted to use some tactical nuke that to prove Russia "they mean business"...
As I am not an expert, could this be that? Why Trump and "some great generals" asure this has been "some kind of bomb"?
Why the usual experts in weapons, The Saker, Martyanov, are so silent? Not to mention the ME expert and former businessman in Lebanon, Pat Lang...

Posted by: H. Schmatz | Aug 4 2020 23:47 utc | 103

@David G(#87):
> the state of Texas *stopped* disclosing information on hazardous chemical storage to citizens
Information hiding is not the best security strategy for sure. It's a poor man solution only.

Posted by: Wolle | Aug 4 2020 23:50 utc | 104

Gantz Instructs IDF to Bomb Lebanese Infrastructure If Hezbollah Harms Soldiers or Civilians

Friday, July 31, 2020

Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Thursday instructed the IDF to bomb Lebanese infrastructure if Hezbollah harms IDF soldiers or Israeli civilians ...

“If [Hezbollah] tries perpetrating another attack, we will see an unusual response from the IDF against [the organization] and the country of Lebanon,” the official said.


Following the Second Lebanon War in 2006 – in which Israel did not destroy government infrastructure – Israel has emphasized that it will also target Lebanon in any future conflict with Hezbollah. And while this threat has only generally applied to a broad conflict with Hezbollah, Thursday’s order marked the first time Israel has officially declared it will harm Lebanon even in response to an isolated tactical attack.

Everything I have to say on the matter.

Posted by: Jeb Kerbin | Aug 4 2020 23:52 utc | 105

Just in case someone wants to speculate on the use of nukes (that also leave behind a cloud of nitrogen dioxide, albeit by a different mechanism - oxidation of atmospheric nitrogen due to extreme heat of the nuclear blast) there was no brilliant white flash of light at the moment of detonation.

The red cloud points to a huge nitrate explosion. Tons of ammonium nitrate going high order is entirely credible, judging from the abundant video material. Very spectacular to witness over the internet, but also much more sad for the victims who had to endure this in real life.

The question of malice (sabotage) remains open, as does the incompetence option.

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 4 2020 23:54 utc | 106

From the link posted Jeb Kerbin 105

"Now, for the first time, Israel is applying this deterrence policy to Lebanon. This is a dramatic policy shift because in previous rounds of fighting between the IDF and Hezbollah, Israel has avoided bombing Lebanese infrastructure. Although the current Lebanese government is extremely weak and is effectively controlled by Hezbollah, the expectation in Israel is that the coronavirus pandemic and country’s dire economic straits – combined with the fear that an Israeli offensive would be devastating – will provide the impetus for heavy pressure on Hezbollah to call off another attack.

IDF officials on Thursday assessed that Hezbollah is determined to carry out a successful attack, but one that incurs a minimal risk of an escalation.

“The coming days will be critical,” a senior IDF official said. “The IDF is on high alert for an attack” and ready to execute a harsh response."

To much of a coincidence I think to call this an accident. They've pretty much destroyed the port which is a fair chunk of infrastructure.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 0:00 utc | 107

It will be interesting to see who owned and stored the fireworks alongside the ammonium nitrate.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 0:04 utc | 108

. Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 0:00 utc |

The port... And the airport... And a warehouse of medicines for the whole region...

It seems all the way the current strategy followed by the US everywhere on harming people so that they overthrow their government or sell some of their own, if they do not do it by their own volition at first request..

Posted by: H. Schmatz | Aug 5 2020 0:08 utc | 109

The Syrian air defenses shoots down a Russian transport plane after being set up by the Israeli's. Iran, having its radars spoofed, then as a plane it taking off, a Tor units com's are cut and they shoot down a passenger plane.
Now this a few days after the Israeli defense minister says they will target Lebanese infrastructure.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 0:08 utc | 110

H. Schmatz | Aug 4 2020 23:47 utc | 103

Analysts worth their salt take good care before advancing irresponsible analysis. Those will advise against surfing that wave you're on. It is good advice.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Aug 5 2020 0:09 utc | 111

I call for criminal negligence as a consequence of the near failed state condition
Lebanon is in. See ehsani22 here with evidence of reports on the urgent matter of AN storage:

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 5 2020 0:10 utc | 112

Would it be in the interests of the ramshackle Lebanese 'authorities' to raise suspicion of an attack by Israel? Would it be in the interests of Israel to take responsibility. The answer to both questions is NO.

Plausible deniability is a hugely potent element of modern warfare. You need only look at the regime change routines waged by the West not from without but from within target countries operate. This is funneling money, information, weapons, skills, supplies to grow bother and friction from within a target country.

To assume that the same powers are not attempting to do the same via other means, with more plausible deniability, at lower cost for more effect, is very naive indeed.

Sabotage from within is more likely to increase internal friction with proper plausible deniability involved, than any more overt attack on that society from a foreign country well know as an aggressive enemy.

There seems a pattern of sorts...the Ukranian airliner in Tehran, the explosions in Iran thereafter, this latest explosion in Beirut...logical reasoning suggests the common enemy here, with the means and agenda, should be in the least considered. Motive and means should never be discarded from consideration due to a ramshackle state authority declaring a major incident as an unfortunate series of accidents.

Posted by: Johan Nagel | Aug 5 2020 0:13 utc | 113

> tactical nuke
This was definitely not a nuke. A 2.75kt blast of NH4NO3 can look like a tactical nuke and make comparable demolitions. But at least tree factors missing here:
- thermal ration
- ionizing radiation
- residual radiation (a ground detonation of a nuke make a lot, till now no reports)
The shock wave was also not like one from a nuke blast, to slow.

And a factor was additional:
- huge cloud of NOx (the orange one)

IMHO no sign for a nuclear blast yet.

Posted by: Wolle | Aug 5 2020 0:14 utc | 114

I just remembered that Ammonium Nitrate was used in the OKC bombing. That was only 2 tons, compared to an estimated 2,750 tons in Beirut. Astounding negligence on the part of the Lebanese government!

Posted by: Roy G | Aug 5 2020 0:15 utc | 115

Lurk, 106,

See if this looks to you brilliant enough...

Posted by: H. Schmatz | Aug 5 2020 0:16 utc | 116

Here's that kind of analysis, and who it serves:

REPORTER: Are you confident the #Beirut explosion was an attack?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: "...I've met with some of our great generals & they seem to feel that it was." --- "They would know better than I would. They seem to think ... it was a bomb of some kind, yes."

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Aug 5 2020 0:17 utc | 117
#Israel claims it has found a coloured children bag(?), visible a mile away, with "explosives", left behind by 4 men who took no security measure to hide themselves and carried no weapons as shown on the IDF video.

So, Israel say they will target Lebanese infrastructure if there are any attacks. They conveniently find a bag of explosives against a fence and some hours later, Lebanon's port is destroyed.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 0:30 utc | 118

Thank you to those of you who made suggestions to my original post. Let's see what evolves over the next few days.

Based on my experience of about 7 years in Lebanon, my view is that port authority negligence and intentional violence are both possibilities -- however, Lebanese do have some honor and it doesn't fit the typical pattern of violence to cause this kind of widespread civilian death. In the 7 years I've been here, there have been shootings and car bombs but it's typically very targeted. As a woman in my 20's I've always gone about freely without fear of harm. Even on the rare occasion that Hezbollah detains one of my expat friends, it's usually a scary but harmless encounter, just doing background checks etc. This explosion just doesn't fit the pattern of targeted aggression in Lebanon. Maybe in other Middle Eastern countries, but not here. (I have an MA in Islamic Studies, so have spent some time analyzing such things.) My guess is that it really is an industrial accident. Anyways, let's see what will be uncovered as time goes on.

Posted by: Marie | Aug 5 2020 0:30 utc | 119

I come down on the side of those who think it was another "industrial accident" - an unfortunate mix of fireworks, ammonium nitrate and grain silo dust. There was no "missile" other than a couple of "witnesses" whose testimony can not be considered significant any more than most witness testimony.

However, I *do* expect Israel and the US to use this as part of their propaganda campaign, like they have with the Iranian industrial accidents. Also they will take the opportunity to accuse Hezbollah of being responsible.

People may not know but the US is under "national emergency" simply because of the existence of Hezbollah, as revealed here:

US extends national emergency for Lebanon citing Hezbollah 'threat'
The order, renewed by every president since 2007, alleges that Hezbollah remains an 'extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy' of the US

The order ensures the legal grounds for the US president to levy sanctions and "to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States" due to Hezbollah's presence in Lebanon, a statement released by the White House on Wednesday said.

After the Israeli defeat in 2006, the US issued this order - indicating that the US was considering coming to Israel's aid even back then. That Trump just extended the order indicates that intention has not changed. And as I've said before, it will not change. Note the wording: "The order ensures the legal grounds..." That was the intent - to justify a US attack on Hezbollah if and when some "incident" would be enough to excuse it, just the AUMF was used to justify operations all over the Middle East, from Iraq to Syria to Libya to Yemen.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 5 2020 0:33 utc | 120

Peter AU1 @107, Israeli deterrence btw I know you were quoting Israeli sources and not your opinion but that was off the wall, criminally insane. That people in the U.S. and Israel have re-defined deterrence to mean kill any number of civilians if you think someone is looking at you cross eyed is seriously demented.

Hezbollah has been acting rationally by any normal standard since at least 2006. They have avoided attacking both Israeli and U.S. targets specifically to avoid attacks on Lebanon. The ONE time they attacked 'Israel' was in response to one of Israel's many assassinations against Hezbollah and it was announced as a quid quo pro response against a single vehicle. Yes indeed, Israel is on the verge of annihilation. This self-indulgent aggression disguised as victimhood is really hard to stomach (btw U.S. equally guilty).

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Aug 5 2020 0:33 utc | 121

Sorry for the typos in #114:
three factors
thermal radiation
too slow
Maybe some more, English is not my native language.

Posted by: Wolle | Aug 5 2020 0:33 utc | 122

I hate to wade into this but:

[0. Not a nuke. Repeat it a hundred times please.]

1. There was a flash, I have it on video stored locally but it is hard to catch because it is very small and brief. There is pretty much always a flash however unless deliberately magnified or slowed down and pointed out it is almost always missed too. The term "flash point" has its natural origin. In no way at all was it a nuclear flash. A nuclear flash is entirely different as I have posted a good comment on before here at MoA. People need to learn that nuclear explosions are an entirely different beast to chemical explosions: they do not utilize the same physics. That's why nuclear weapons are so much more powerful to begin with. (I really don't understand why people don't know this).

2. People claiming "nuclear" need to stop making things up. Nothing at all says this was nuclear and everything says it wasn't.

Yes I know I've said essentially the same thing in each point.

- - -

Kudos to the chemists and other good sensible comments.

- - -

Commiserations to Lebanon and Beirut in particular, you will pull through together, you have done it many times before.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Aug 5 2020 0:35 utc | 123

Christian Chuba

I have felt for some time that Trump's US and Netanyahu's Israel are ready to go all out against Iran and Hezbollah without giving a shit what the world thinks.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 0:38 utc | 124

@Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Aug 5 2020 0:09 utc | 111

Well, happens that I am in fact a surfer, mate, no fear of waves, of nay kind, although no idea of nukes or ammonium nitrate, but after years, almost a decade already, reading about geopolitics, like that I learnt to add 2 + 2...

On the other hand, this site characterized itself for, at least with certain topics, going through all kind of angles of events, retorting them to the last nanoparticle, even through hundreds of comments and days of the week...Allow me to be surprised that this time almost all are shut off and those who came to comment all agree in the ammonium nitrate blast, if we do not count those who come to debunk those making the right questions...

Btw, have been without wifi connection at my computer through all these past hours...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 5 2020 0:41 utc | 125

@Posted by: Marie | Aug 5 2020 0:30 utc | 119

Hezbollah detains one of your expat friends?

When, for what reason? Hezbollah do not frequent AUB campus, mam...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 5 2020 0:47 utc | 126

H.Schmatz | Aug 5 2020 0:41 utc | 125

I share that feeling about waves, the same I can't say about the result of that simple geopolitical equation we learnt. Still I would take care in making sure a two is a two and an addition is indeed an addition. As early as we are in this event the two can easily turn quadratic as much as the addition become harmonic. Bridges fell for less.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Aug 5 2020 1:01 utc | 127

Coincidentally, also, this news was known today after nomination of new Lebanese foreign minister:

New Lebanese foreign minister vows to snatch Israel farms from Shebaa

Then an explosion equated in damage to the Hiroshima bombing by Beirut governor happens, wasting Lebanon most commercial port, airoport and essentials like food and medicine for the Lebanese people to survive...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 5 2020 1:07 utc | 128

Speaking of ammonium nitrate explosions, I'm astounded that so far no has mentioned the 1947 Texas City catastrophe -- the deadliest industrial accident in US history (estimates are at least 580 people were killed; no one knows for sure, with many simply vaporized and many of the rest buried in a mass grave). Several of my cousins were killed and buried there.

A quick online search will bring up a lot of photos of the incredible damage done to the port and the town. The story is eerily similar to the situation in Lebanon, involving two shiploads of ammonium nitrate exploding. The second explosion was the deadliest, as it killed many of the ordinary civilian volunteers who had rushed over from nearby towns to help out (including my cousins). A sad,tragic tale of ignorance, incompetence, heroism and sacrifice....

Posted by: 6th-generation Texan | Aug 5 2020 1:10 utc | 129

"See if this looks to you brilliant enough..."
Posted by: H. Schmatz | Aug 5 2020 0:16 utc | 116


WTF was that small black arcing descending thing that preceded the massive explosion ??? Holy shit.

Posted by: CitizenX | Aug 5 2020 1:11 utc | 130

@125 H. Schmatz

I don't think people in this thread have reached any conclusion. If I may say this, with all respect, you yourself are the person most energetically pushing for immediate answers, and there aren't any, yet.

I would say that currently this thread accepts that the event could be industrial accident caused by incompetence and bad luck...BUT, the more subtle indications and clues are trickling in, slowly. I think almost everyone in this thread is prepared to see an attack, if the shape of one can become clear in the evidence. And if an attack seems more proven, then obviously we would first look to Israel and the US.

But people here at the moment are mostly sifting through the debris, as it were, collating the evidence and talking about the physics and chemistry of such a thing. And we have begun to discuss the geopolitics of such a thing also by now.

But it's very early yet. Please exercise some patience - and hold all options open, until we have better information. At this stage, it could go either way. Blaming people here for reaching final conclusions will not help the discussion, but will merely cement your own thinking into a premature conclusion.

I regard you as a colleague in the discussions here. I hope you take this in the kind spirit it was offered.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 5 2020 1:12 utc | 131

@Posted by: Marie | Aug 5 2020 0:30 utc | 119

Having traveled in Lebanon not so long ago, and even visiting Baalbek pretty mosquee guarded by armed men at that time ( I guessed from Hezbollah..), I was never neither detained nor my belongings searched ( few, of course, found no reason to visit a mosquee heavily guarded with a backpack at noon once having passed through my hotel )...

We were allowed freely to visit and stroll, politely attended by a young women in case we needed some explanation, allowed to take photos and so on, only, when the prayer was about to start, we were invited to go we were not obviously muslims..

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 5 2020 1:15 utc | 132

Link to the video H. Schmatz put up @116. Enlarge it to full screen and watch for a black object coming in from the left. The fucking Israeli's have targeted the ammonium nitrate and the burning fireworks was the cover.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 1:18 utc | 133

Is this a bird or missile. Watch closely several times...

Posted by: Hermius | Aug 5 2020 1:23 utc | 134

I put up the wrong link @133

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 1:24 utc | 135

@Sunny Runny Burger(#123):
> That's why nuclear weapons are so much more powerful to begin with.
> (I really don't understand why people don't know this).
It's simply information hiding, IMHO over generations now. For stupid people it's the a "good" solution. But it's tranquillizing only. Look at Wikipedia, miserable information of the effects happens during a nuclear detonation. In libraries some/most of the specialist books about nukes and ordinary explosives are disappeared.

A nuclear blast has a significant very short double flash of light and all early warning systems around the world will illuminate warning gizmos for nuclear blast in Beirut. But there was none!

I'm so sad for the Lebanese people, tears are near, corrupt politicians, fishy banksters and now this horrifying incident. Maybe an accident, but looks more like culpable negligence or sabotage!

Posted by: Wolle | Aug 5 2020 1:27 utc | 136

@133 Play it slowly, it looks like a bird..

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 5 2020 1:32 utc | 137

here is an example of an explosion involving fertilizer that happened in Germany about 100 years ago.

wicked stuff.

Posted by: dan of steele | Aug 5 2020 1:34 utc | 138

In the video that shows an object coming in from the left, the smoke is in front of the silos and there is a tall dark colored building. I think I found that building on google to get an idea of the camera angle. The missile looks to have come in from the direction of the Golan heights.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 1:35 utc | 139

This from the Angry Arab...

"While the head of the Beirut authority an customs is primarily responsible for this storage of a dangerous chemical, I never discount the possibility of Israeli sabotage: This is a state that sent booby-trapped cars, trucks and donkeys into Lebanon and detonated them in civilian neighborhoods...Just this week, Israeli leaders threatened destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure. No US media reported the Israeli threats naturally..."

PS Bloomberg ran a clip of Trump saying generals told him the Beirut explosion 'was due to a bomb of some kind' and he referred to the incident as an 'attack.'

Posted by: John Gilberts | Aug 5 2020 1:40 utc | 140

Geo-politics is getting to the stage where a fight is inevitable. China will simply be robbed blind of all assets Trump's US can get their hands. Iran and Hezbollah will simply be picked apart piece by piece, not to mention Syria oil if they don't respond.

That missile coming in will never be seen by western sheep. If Hezbollah respond, there will be much propaganda on Hezbollah Iran aggression to kick off the fight.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 1:48 utc | 141

John Gilberts "PS Bloomberg ran a clip of Trump saying generals told him the Beirut explosion 'was due to a bomb of some kind' and he referred to the incident as an 'attack.'"

Trump is correct. His great generals keep in touch with the Israeli's.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 1:50 utc | 142

"Is this a bird or missile. Watch closely several times..."
Posted by: Hermius | Aug 5 2020 1:23 utc | 134


Sure as fuck does not look like a bird to me. The way it arcs and seems to "reset" course - as if guided missle?

I'm not invested in an outcome but it looks very much like an attack ordinance.

Of course after being TOLD what I saw regarding 911... Planes disappearing into the ground, steel melting, explosions blowing out buildings etc...

I prefer to trust myself and always proceed with caution regarding "official stories" coming from chronic murdering, lying, cheating and stealing Western Regimes.

Posted by: CitizenX | Aug 5 2020 1:50 utc | 143

@141 Well here is another angle of your avian missile:

Seriously, with a gazillion phones filming the burning, you'd imagine we'd clearly id'ed that missile by now right?

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 5 2020 1:53 utc | 144


Too fast and too big.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 1:54 utc | 145

Until Nasrallah announces the results of Hizbollah's investigation, I'll assume this was a nitrate explosion caused by cost-cutting and criminal negligence.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 5 2020 1:59 utc | 146

You're a friggin fruitcake. Find a video taken from the same angle as the one where an object can be seen coming in.

The new age cancel movement. Everything is simply coincidence because the bad guys are knuckle draggers carrying clubs rather than mean bastards that excel in dirty tricks.

Never under estimate the enemy.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 2:07 utc | 147

similar looking blast in Syria last year:

Posted by: Todd R Harvey | Aug 5 2020 2:10 utc | 148

Those that are fighting the Yank Zionist empire are all incompetents and the US Zionist crowd are knuckle draggers carrying clubs, incapable of pulling of dirty shit....Jeez.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 2:12 utc | 149

Look mate, do NOT ad hominem me, it wont help your credibility. What will though, maybe, is sharing clues or info to further the discussion. My take is that vid you posted is of a bird. Now its all good if you WANT to be convinced otherwise but that dont make it so & if you think I'm not suspicious of the Zionist Abomination, you're dead wrong but I'm going to need more evidence before making my verdict..

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 5 2020 2:21 utc | 150

At this link, the video is slowed down. It shows the incoming object and then the shock wave moving out. The incoming object travels only slightly slower than the outgoing shock wave.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 2:28 utc | 151

@Peter AU1: There was IMHO no need of an extra missile/projectile. In the near video a lot of explosions(fireworks/small ammunition) flying around. (I assume is it not manipulated.) One of this small explosions can ignite the 2.75kt NH4NO3 for sure. If it's pure. Simply bloodcurdling and stupid!
An Israeli sabotage is not excluded. But a missile attack or something similar is IMHO unlikely.

Don't insinuate evilness if foolishness is an explanation.

Posted by: Wolle | Aug 5 2020 2:28 utc | 152


If you want to post the sort of stuff you did at 144 then you have to beware of the return.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 2:30 utc | 153

@Peter AU1(#151): Perspective can be misleading.

Posted by: Wolle | Aug 5 2020 2:32 utc | 154

I tought my sarcasm tag back @96 was sufficient, here's Estulin's wing flapping missile and it's likely missile cousin

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Aug 5 2020 2:40 utc | 155


I went back and looked at the video a number of times and will leave it open as to what the object was.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 2:41 utc | 156

Wolle 152

Too many coincidences lately.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 2:47 utc | 157

No mention of death/injured;
Several cranes/grue on east wall of bldg…

Posted by: dfnslblty | Aug 5 2020 2:49 utc | 158

"Well here is another angle of your avian missile-

My take is that vid you posted is of a bird. you're dead wrong but I'm going to need more evidence before making my verdict.."

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 5 2020 1:53 utc | 144

Well you did make your verdict and behaved like a condescending asshole doing so.

The video is not conclusive either way. Why are you in such a hurry to refute possibilities?
It's almost like you're claiming "Israel would never bomb Beirut, not in a million years"

Posted by: CitizenX | Aug 5 2020 2:51 utc | 159

@Todd R Harvey(#148): This is not a thermobaric explosion. It's only a huge value of stupid ordinary explosives(often NH4NO3 mixed with diesel; 10t++).

Posted by: Wolle | Aug 5 2020 2:52 utc | 160

And since when does IDF strike in the daytime? Where are all the vids of F16's? Audio soundbites? Radar trackers? Any plane that leaves IL shows up on Syrian / RUAF radars. smh..

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 5 2020 2:59 utc | 161

@Peter AU1(157):
My statement doesn't exclude evilness. My experience says no missile or projectile was necessary to ignite the NH4NO3. Simply Occam's razor.

Posted by: Wolle | Aug 5 2020 3:01 utc | 162

karlof1 @54

Mr. Magnier lives in Brussels, Belgium, if I'm not wrong. And certainly has good Lebanese connections.

Posted by: Cazagusto | Aug 5 2020 3:01 utc | 163

Wolle 160

Going by the orange smoke or fumes it was the nitrate stored in the building that caused the main blast.

Trump is engaging in a maximum pressure campaign against Israels enemies. Under maximum pressure, mistakes can be made. But also under maximum pressure mistakes can be made to happen.
I would like to know who stored the fireworks there.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 3:05 utc | 164

Does anyone seriously believe this was not an Israeli bomb and we will know more once the evidence and investigations get underway?

Posted by: Turk 152 | Aug 5 2020 3:10 utc | 165

The timing seems to be:
In B's first video we see the "fireworks" warehouse on fire seemingly very early on. In the 3rd posted video we have a man who's atoms are on the moon filming the burning warehouse as the fireworks go off and the fire gets worse. Then boom but this was the initial explosion I believe that you see in the beginning of the second video. This ignites the nitrate and BOOM.
The initial fire may have been sabatage but seems incompetence to me. No missile. No nuke.

Posted by: PleaseBeleafMe | Aug 5 2020 3:16 utc | 166

@Peter AU1(164):
2.75kt pure NH4NO3 stored over six years under this conditions(I assume no air conditioning!) is dangerous at all. If I had a hammer! ;-)
Fireworks or ammunitions nearby is a no go!

Sabotage is not excluded, there are a lot fundamental friends of Israel nearby also.

Please wait some hours, maybe this helps. The worst for Lebanon now is a new civil war. Bad for Lebanon but good for FUKUS and Israel.

Coincidences can be happen.

Posted by: Wolle | Aug 5 2020 3:24 utc | 167


Sabotage is likely. There's been too many coincidences lately.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 3:33 utc | 168

I realize that rather than an investigation, the world will spend the next few weeks arguing about how it is entirely plausible that nitrate creates shock waves, mushroom clouds and destroys cities, but before that explanation was vomitted forth by the media and injected into our collective conciousness today when did anyone actually witness mushroom cloud, shock waves destroying cities through nitrate?

Posted by: Turk 152 | Aug 5 2020 3:34 utc | 169

Well, I don't have much to directly contribute to this, but I did string together a few hypotheses. 1) some huge piles of grain, fireworks, and ammonium nitrate were conveniently stored right next to each other in the middle of an economically very important location. 2) Somebody was responsible for assembling this genius dynamically explosive 'industrial park'. 3) That somebody is now facing an immanent managerial demotion. And that somebody was likely the Potemkin 'government' of Lebanon. 4) So now Hezbollah can no longer accept the gross incompetence of the Lebanese 'government'. So Hezbollah now has to take over completely. 5) The Zionist Entity may not be able to accept that, as Lebanon is now effectively almost conjoined with Syria (no more Israeli jets over Lebanon).

So... Even if the blast was purely accidental, the rules of the game have changed. But this, again, is just a string of hypotheses.

Posted by: blues | Aug 5 2020 3:51 utc | 170

Murdoch's Sky news interviewing some clown who says it was clearly bomb making related.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 3:57 utc | 171

The energetics looks like ammonium nitrate. The fireworks and the fire, which would greatly raise the temperature, is enough to light up a pile of ammonium nitrate.

Just a suggestion. I see others are kicking it around too. And let's not forget, ammonium nitrate can launch something into orbit.

Posted by: Norogene | Aug 5 2020 3:59 utc | 172

Who needs investigations and evidence and quaint stuff like that. In this brave new post-modern world of subjective truth, coincidence no longer exists, a cigar is never just a cigar and 30 seconds after a major news event is verified the psychic friends are already certain it was a bomb or a missile...because black specks. You guys should seriously send copies of your CVs to Bellingcat and use your magic predictive talents to earn some pocket money.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 5 2020 4:12 utc | 173

Saker has a piece up that was sent to him from Lebanon.
"Huge disaster, investigation underway, on face value was caused by utter negligence, corruption and incompetence of Lebanese state, but I am one of those that has been stressing that the enemies could have exploited this state negligence and corruption to trigger this disaster through sabotage. Few simple reasons for this, including:

a) this disaster completely serves current US-Israeli efforts to pressure Lebanon economically to bow down to their demands

b) the site of the explosion, Port of Beirut, was the transit through which 50-80% of Lebanon’s commodity and trade needs were met

c) the explosions struck wheat reserves stored there as well, exacerbating the dire economic situation and inflation further

d) Israeli officials few days ago were warning the Resistance that if they struck Israeli army targets (a response to recent Israeli crimes by Resistance was imminent), Lebanon’s infrastructure will be targeted

e) one year ago exactly Israel’s ambassador to UN said at the Security Council that the Port of Beirut had become ‘Hezbollah’s Port’. Lebanese ambassador said this was a direct threat to Lebanon’s civilians and security

f) last but not least, the 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate (that exploded) were reportedly stored there 6 years ago, and they have been described as a ticking time bomb considering the irresponsible way that they were stored. Is it really coincidental that this ticking time bomb goes off today, at the worst possible moment for Lebanon (Country is falling on all levels, coronavirus, US siege at its peak etc)?"

That has been exactly my thoughts.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 4:19 utc | 174

Looks like a bird to me.

But I think Peter AU1 is right to be suspicious of yet another mysterious explosions:

  • Persian Gulf oil tanker attacks

    The West blamed Iran but that never made sense to me and many others.

  • Attacks on Iraqi PMU warehouses

    Netanyahu ultimately acknowledged responsibility.

  • Mysterious attack on US base that killed an Iraqi-US contractor (translator)

    US blamed PMU and bombed them but many believe that the attack was ISIS. Conveniently, it caused Gen. Soleimani to fly to Baghdad a few weeks later where he was killed by a US missile strike.

  • Explosions in Iran

    Most were probably just accidents but someone was/is paying some attention to how the use of "accidents" (even if just for propaganda) can advance their agenda.

  • Israel air maneuver that caused SAA to accidentally shoot-down a Russian military plane

    And we've similarly unsafe Israeli maneuvers near civilian airliners (on at least two occasions)

  • Pandemic virus?

    This chance occurrence has not been as negative for some oligarchs and the Empire as it one might assume:

    - Saudi Arabia's ARAMACO IPO was completed just about two months before the oil markets were roiled by news of a possible pandemic.

    - Trump said he wouldn't do an interim trade deal with China but changed his mind and a Stage 1" trade deal was done in mid-Jan - the Chinese are now having trouble meeting their commitments under that deal.

    - US economic expansion was on its last legs and Wall Street faced huge loses - especially from their exposure to frackers - but the pandemic National Emergency allowed them to get TRILLIONS of dollars in loan guarantees (worth hundreds of billions of dollars) that will allow them to ride out the storm.

    - Trump has used the pandemic to accelerate decoupling by blaming China for all ill effects.

    - Since at least 2014 US Deep State has been working on a plan to confront Russia and China. Asshats might easily convince themselves that millions of pandemic deaths are a small price to pay if it helps to avoid a nuclear war. And Empires have done such terrible things in the past.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 5 2020 4:24 utc | 175

Peter AU1 @Aug5 3:57 #171

Murdoch's Sky news interviewing some clown who says it was clearly bomb making related.

And that reveals a possible motive: turn the Lebanese against Hezbollah.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 5 2020 4:29 utc | 176

Turk 152 | Aug 5 2020 3:34 utc | 169:

On the remote chance you can be shaken from your belief that massive and lethal ammonium nitrate explosion disasters are something people just dreamed up today to take the heat off the real culprits, you might refer to my comment (Aug 4 2020 23:08 utc | 87) on West, Texas in 2013; the comment of 6th-generation Texan (Aug 5 2020 1:10 utc |129) on Texas City, Texas in 1947; or the many other calamities listed in the Wikipedia “Ammonium nitrate disasters” article b. linked to in the main post above.

I can’t find it now, but I believe one of the comments also noted the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing was perpetrated by people who were aware of this novel myth of the destructive power of ammonium nitrate (plus some fuel oil in that case).

Posted by: David G | Aug 5 2020 4:31 utc | 177

Saker has a piece up that was sent to him from Lebanon. It is my thoughts also virtualy to the letter. I linked and quoted it here but it has disappeared into cyberspace.

Jackrabbit, I'm starting to think it was just a bird as well.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 4:32 utc | 178

Things had been quiet in the middle east for awhile and I commented that the forces there were at a stalemate. Looks like the US and Israel are trying to break that stalemate. I think there will be a lot of posturing to the effect Israel and US are being attacked to try and keep Russia out of it.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 5 2020 4:41 utc | 179

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 5 2020 4:12 utc | 173

Please have more respect for MoAs we're stoopid to the level of "Bellingcat"

Posted by: JC | Aug 5 2020 4:50 utc | 180

Correction - Please have more respect for MoAs, we're not that stoopid to the level of "Bellingcat"

Posted by: JC | Aug 5 2020 4:53 utc | 181

While there is limited footage on the Texas explosion, it did not appear to have the same symmetry of the Beirut explosion.

There is also Trump's statement that he spoke to his Generals and it looks like a bomb. I have no doubt that Trump is surrounded by Generals that gave him intelligence on the explosion. So, what is more plausible, Trump deftly created a counter narrative in record time to respond to a freak accident so they can pin this on Hezbellah, or Trump just blurted out what he was told?

Posted by: Turk 152 | Aug 5 2020 5:11 utc | 182

The fireworks sounds like the one in Enschede in May 2000
You can compare the it with this one

Posted by: HTG | Aug 5 2020 5:17 utc | 183

Fireworks would not have resulted in that mushroom-like cloud and shock wave. Ammonium nitrate could do that (thinking of Texas City in 1941). That said, I can only guess at what i was. If it were a nuke, absolutely nothing and no one would be standing, not in a population that dense. Nothing will keep the pro-empire establishment media from being able to make hay out of this. As terrible as this is, I'm very apprehensive about what may follow in its wake.

Posted by: T.Mike | Aug 5 2020 5:19 utc | 184

thanks marie... hopefully others answered your questions and hopefully you will come back and add more commentary if you find anything relevant...
i liked maries response -""My guess is that it really is an industrial accident. Anyways, let's see what will be uncovered as time goes on.

Posted by: Marie | Aug 5 2020 0:30 utc | 119""

so yeah.. lets wait and see..

@ jackrabbit... sometimes you are too predictable my friend!! i think you are reading too much into it, but lets wait and see what comes out of it..

Posted by: james | Aug 5 2020 5:38 utc | 185

Here is Texas City:

Both are very large explosions, but it appears that Texas City has far more debris and a wider base, while Beirut is more of a dark upward, mushroom shaped plume with a visible white/clear shockwave.

Posted by: Turk 152 | Aug 5 2020 6:37 utc | 186

Veterans Today Confirms the Beirut explosion was a Nuclear Device.
One of the contributors/ authors was an IAEA Member and Confirmed it.

Posted by: Michele Baillie | Aug 5 2020 7:26 utc | 187

Not a nuclear device. As SRBurger @123 and Wolle @136 have pointed out, a nuclear detonation produces an intial flash/fireball with temperatures that exceed those in the center of the sun. Nuclear fission also produces radioactive fallout that would not go unnoticed.

Posted by: Perimetr | Aug 5 2020 7:45 utc | 188

The explosion in Beirut today should not be confused with ammonium nitrate/fuel oil bomb McVeigh used in Oklahoma City. Today's explosion was the result of the decomposition of ammonium nitrate into ammonia and nitrogen dioxide which is an entropy driven reaction. If mixed with fuel oil the nitrate burns the oil with most of the energy produced by the change in enthalpy. The latter reaction releases orders of magnitude more free energy.

The strange smell that has been reported after the explosion is probably due to the released NO2 and NH3. The red cloud is what would be expected from the NO2.

As has been well argued here already there is zero evidence that this was a nuclear detonation.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 5 2020 8:05 utc | 189

Shit, considering how far that powerful shockwave went, there's a lot of people who must've been badly hurt by glass from broken windows, not to mention various debris...

As for the cause, the ammonium-nitrate seems very likely. That's definitely not a mini-nuke - we would know it, heck, Iran and Russia probably sent some guys to check if there was any radiation around just to be sure.
As said, the only unknown really is if it's a bloody accident due to the massive incompetence in the country or if it's sabotage. Both have good arguments.
As for who would sabotage, we can rule out Hizb, this hurts their supporters as much as those they oppose; the costs are as high as the gains. If it's Israel, it's risky, because if they're found out, Hezbullah can try the same with Haifa area - a lot of chemical shit all around the bay, a big silo right in the middle of the harbour that might create some nasty explosion.

That said, I'm not sure sabotage would be very smart. Lebanon was slowly going down due to the economic meltdown, but now there will have to be a serious international aid, including financial one, which means the country and its people might, in the middle run, not be worse off than had this disaster not happened. Besides, this will hurt a lot of parties, and most of all the ruling elite that has mismanaged the country - which is basically what the US and Israel definitely don't want to see.
All in all, I'm agnostic concerning the ultimate cause, and would need some evidence to convince me it's deliberate sabotage.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 5 2020 8:23 utc | 190

On protection against explosion. The Chinese fertiliser industry prefers the use of calcium nitrate to amonium. Safety may be the reason, though never explicitly read that.

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Aug 5 2020 8:42 utc | 191

If I'm correct no one answered Marie about the possible danger of breathing the air full of the chemical. RT yesterday claimed that some local authorities had called the people to leave the city because of the health danger.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 5 2020 8:57 utc | 192

@ Michele Baillie | Aug 5 2020 7:26 utc | 187

No littering!

Veterans Today is the new infowars. A poisoned well.

One of the contributors/ authors was an IAEA Member and Confirmed it.

So who is this Jeff Smith? From the VT website:

(Jeff was lead investigator in both Iran and Syria for the IAEA)

C'mon people, figure it out..

Posted by: Lurk | Aug 5 2020 10:35 utc | 193


Posted by: towef | Aug 5 2020 10:51 utc | 194

"Owing to the risks associated with retaining the Ammonium Nitrate on board the vessel, the port authorities discharged the cargo onto the port’s warehouses."

This makes no sense. Why spend money to unload and use up warehouse space for seven years? Just have it towed somewhere safe and away from people.

Remember that Lebanon is on the "seven countries in five years" neocon hit list. Also note that the Defense minister for Georgia was an Israeli, and after having a shipload of stuff delivered from Australia then shipped to Africa?

Lots of loose ends here.

Posted by: Carlton Meyer | Aug 5 2020 13:51 utc | 195

Gehennah | Aug 4 2020 19:21 utc | 35

Am curious as to the amount of damage and the crater. You can tell a lot from that. The worst is the shockwave that shatters glass and can cause horrible injuries.

Craters (See articles in Veterans Today) are characteristic of nuclear bombs. Radiation spike detected in Scicily at the appropriate time.
Israel was making threats about "Something nasty happening to Lebanon in revenge for attack on Golan Heights this week." One thing is certain, it was not Sodium Nitrate that exploded. Sodium nitrate is not an explosive. You can use it to make a low explosive (i.e. not a high explosive) by mixing it with something flammable, e.g. diesel oil or sugar, but by itself it is not explosive. What sort of idiot stores a large quantity of ammonium nitrate anywhere near people? The first time people realized that ammonium nitrate was explosive (It is a high-explosive) was in 1906, when a warehouse near Berlin, containing 6000 tons, blew up. Since then there have been several other occasions when stores of ammonium nitrate have exploded, so there is no excuse for anyone not knowing that it is DANGEROUS! Does anyone believe this story, that it was an accidental explosion? I don't.

Look, how probable is it, that a warehouse full of "neglected" high-explosive, "that no-one was interested in" would just sit there in a war zone? How likely is it, that people (the authorities) would have been worried by the risk of having a ship full of HE in the port, but completely unworried by having a warehouse full of high-explosive, in the same port? Does it ring true to you? It surely doesn't to me!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 5 2020 20:00 utc | 196

karlof1 | Aug 4 2020 19:48 utc | 41

Quite obviously, a "Democracy" where the Demos is totally uninformed about some subjects, consistently misinformed about other subjects and the means of "informing" them are under the control of a mere handful of people, is not a democracy where the demos exerts any meaningful control over the executive! In fact, it is a nonsense!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 5 2020 20:17 utc | 197

"Lebanon ARRESTS ALL port officials as images are thought to reveal the poorly stored ammonium nitrate which blew up Beirut "


Posted by: arby | Aug 5 2020 20:38 utc | 198

Interesting that I tried to donate a few bucks to Lebanon Red Cross, but the page doesn't seem to work.
This is what I get when I hit the donate button.

"Warning: mysqli_real_connect(): (08004/1040): Too many connections in /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 1612

Too many connections
Error establishing a database connection

This either means that the username and password information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect or we can’t contact the database server at localhost:3306. This could mean your host’s database server is down.

Are you sure you have the correct username and password?
Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname?
Are you sure that the database server is running?"

red cross link

Posted by: arby | Aug 5 2020 20:46 utc | 199

@Posted by: Patroklos | Aug 4 2020 23:40 utc | 100

When people attack me, with my bad English, for my style of writing, I am sure they are bothered by my arguments. The calims were made by a Lebanes blogger, Marwa Osman, who is doctor in politcal sciences ( ivf I do not recall badly..) and usually well informed, not to mention that he lives in Beirut with a lot of contacts there, she even interviewed Hassan Nasrallah, I believe.

Medicines for incurable diseases may well be chemotherapy, a paliative, never heard about it? Check it by yourself..

My favourite posts on this site are always the elegant, concise, economical, well-written and competently edited ones.

Your right, your are free of skeeping mine, I am not here for a conquest of popularity, in fact, I do not bother even with resulting reliable to those who allege I am losing credibility by holding certain question/points, give me a damn resulting credible to certain people who only comes here to troll. I just make my point in the scarce English and time I disposse of, and to another issue.
My time is gold, and I prime reading sources over editing here my post one time after another. Even when you would not believe, but a read proof my comments at least one time after writing them, sometimes even translate them to test how they get, but others I just do not have the time, amongst other things I have a life out of here, man...

If I am honest the sudden bothering with my style and opinions here yesterday and today speaks volumes about certain people being bothered by what I post, which they deem unconvenient for their interests, since my style has been always the same, and I have passed already a bunch of time here posting...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Aug 5 2020 23:01 utc | 200

« previous page | next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.