Israel Defense, a publication covering Israeli military affairs, reports that it analyzed seismograph data concerning the tragic explosion in Beirut last week. It determined that prior to the massive blast which leveled portions of the city, there were six smaller detonations at equal 11-second time intervals. The first five blasts were equal to several tons of explosive material. But the sixth was several times larger. 43 seconds following this last explosion, the massive detonation occurred at the ammonium nitrate warehouse nearby.
The report claims that a subterranean city operates in the port replete with warehouses and tunnels operating under the supervision of Hezbollah, which is the true “landlord” of the port. It further argues that the great depth of the crater left after the explosion can only be explained by underground explosions, which preceded the main one of the ammonium nitrate. It adds that the sheer magnitude of the explosion would argue that not only fertilizer exploded, but also military munitions. Finally, the report suggests that the earlier sub-surface ignitions might have occurred underneath the ammonium nitrate warehouse and thus caused it to explode.
One of the munitions experts consulted said that some explosive operations operate using a chain of charges and it was possible in this particular incident such charges were ignited in quick succession underneath the warehouse by a party who sought cause explosions at precisely timed intervals.
Israel Defense asks whether this could have been a deliberate act of sabotage or an underground accident involving Hezbollah military weapons. The reporter then raises this tantalizing suggestion before refuting it:
…These findings could also raise the possibility that the ammonium explosion began with explosives laid by Israeli officials…
He continues that Israeli sources “at the highest level” have denied Israel was responsible, claiming they learned about it via the media, along with everyone else. This in itself raises suspicions about the reliability of the denial, as Israel has agents, sources, and spy gear throughout Lebanon which would tell it virtually every detail of any significance happening inside the country, certainly before the media would report it.
Much of the reporting here confirms my own prior story which reported, based on an Israeli official, that Israel detonated explosives in a Hezbollah arms cache, and that this caused the ensuring second explosion of ammonium nitrate. Though my source did not specify whether the Hezbollah weapons were stored above or below ground, I assumed they would be stored in a warehouse next door to the fertilizer. If in fact, Hezbollah sought to conceal its weapons cache, it would make sense for it to bury it in underground tunnels, much as it did in southern Lebanese villages during the 2006 war with Israel.