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US official involved in plot to frame Hezbollah with 20 tons of ammonium nitrate: Report
A leader of the Lebanese Forces Ibrahim Sakr and his brother Maroun Sakr have reportedly been dealing in ammonium nitrate for several years
By News Desk - September 24 2021
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The aftermath of the Port of Beirut explosion on 4 August 2020.

Lebanese media reported on 23 September that the US ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, was part of a plot to frame Shia political parties with 20 tons of ammonium nitrate belonging to the brother of Ibrahim Sakr, one of the leaders of the right-wing Lebanese Forces political party.

According to Ahmed al-Zein, Director of Procurement at Saadallah al-Solh Agricultural Fertilizer Depot, the 20 tons of ammonium nitrate that were confiscated in Baalbek on 18 September were sold to him by Maroun Sakr.

In his statement to government authorities, Al-Zein goes on to claim that when the truck carrying the dangerous explosives was discovered by security forces, US Ambassador Shea met with Ibrahim Sakr to discuss implicating members of Hezbollah and Amal Movement political parties, Lebanon’s Shia alliance.

Ammonium nitrate is an extremely dangerous substance that last year caused a catastrophic explosion in the Port of Beirut when 2,750 tons of the substance that had been improperly stored blew up, destroying large swathes of the capital city.

But while initially it was thought that the 20 tons of ammonium nitrate sold by Maroun Sakr were part of the cargo held in the port, lab analysis later showed that the confiscated nitrate was chemically different and much more recent than that stored in Hangar 12 of the Port of Beirut.

Reports also indicate that last month, when hundreds of thousands of liters of gasoline were found hoarded inside depots and caches belonging to the Sakr brothers, authorities also found ammonium nitrate, but were allegedly persuaded to keep this knowledge quiet.

Al-Zein has also said that this was not the first time he had procured ammonium nitrate from Maroun Sakr, indicating that he usually sold the chemicals to quarries as explosives.

Following these bombshell revelations, many in Lebanon are now calling for the investigators of the Beirut Port explosion to interrogate the Sakr brothers over how they procured the explosives and to investigate any links with last year’s blast.

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