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August 4 Massacre

The Collapse of the Corrupt Quotas System

Final Chapter

He knew, Everyone Knew!

The State Security investigation was five months late! While the Public Prosecution only closed the hole in the wall and preserved the case.

In December 2019, State Security Major Joseph Al-Naddaf sent a notice to his directorate about a hole and a broken door in Hangar 12 which allowed him to see the ammonium nitrate bags stored inside. Then, State Security Major General Tony Saliba requested a full investigation, which didn’t start until five months later, when Public Prosecutor, Ghassan Oueidat was informed of the case and opened an investigation in May 2020. The investigation report warned of a massive explosion in case the material was ignited, and of the possibility of theft due to the ruptured door no.9 and the hole in Hangar 12. The case was settled and the public prosecution only ordered repairing the hole, fixing the door, and securing Hangar 12.

On July 20, the General Directorate of State Security sent to each of the General Security, the President of the Lebanese Republic, and the Prime Minister a letter entitled “a ship loaded with ammonium nitrate docked at the port of Beirut”, and for unknown reasons, the topic wasn’t broached on the Supreme Defense Council’s agenda.


If you were the president of Lebanon, who has already been the Lebanese army commander, and the supreme defense council was chaired by you and it happens that you receive a letter from a security agency about a ship loaded with ammonium nitrate, what decision would you make?

Half an hour could have been enough to call for an emergency evacuation of the harbor, but they didn't do that either.

On August 4, 2020, after maintenance and welding work was carried out in Hangar 12, a fire broke out and lasted for up to 30 minutes, which caused a stash of fireworks near the ammonium nitrate to catch fire. At 6:08 p.m., a huge blast rocked central Beirut and destroyed over half of the capital.

Did You Change your mind?

Do you think that negligence, corruption, clientelism, and incompetency contributed to the 4th of August explosion?

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