Skip to main content

Lebanon receives FBI's report on Beirut port explosion

The US agency conducted an investigation into what led to the devastating August blast.
Volunteers at the Lebanese Civil Defence work in the the control room at the headquarters of the public emergency service in the capital Beirut, on September 28, 2020. - Sweeping forest fires, a monster explosion that killed friends, then bizarre Beirut blazes: Lebanon's rescuers are still reeling from a devastating year, but are determined to press on. (Photo by ANWAR AMRO / AFP) (Photo by ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images)

Lebanese investigators have received the FBI’s report on the Beirut port explosion. The country will make a determination on what precisely caused the devastating blast.

Judge Fadi Sawwan, who is leading the government’s investigation into the explosion, received the FBI report on Monday. He is now awaiting reports from French and British explosive experts, the state-run National News Agency reported on Tuesday.

On Aug. 4, around 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded in a warehouse in Beirut’s port. The explosion caused more than 200 deaths and displaced hundreds of thousands of people, in addition to causing extensive damage to downtown Beirut. The ammonium nitrate exploded after catching fire, but what caused the fire is still undetermined.

Many Beirut port officials have been detained in relation to the incident and the government has said the flammable material often used in fertilizer was improperly stored. This month, Lebanon asked Interpol to arrest two people allegedly connected to the ship that brought the ammonium nitrate to Beirut in 2013.

The FBI is a domestic intelligence department of the US government that investigates a variety of crimes. It pledged to assist with the Beirut investigation back in August after many foreign governments demanded an independent probe.

Earlier this month, the Lebanese news outlet MTV reported that the FBI concluded the Beirut explosion was an attack. MTV cited unidentified sources and the FBI has not released a conclusion of its findings yet.

The explosion led to severe criticism of the government due to its apparent negligence in storing the explosive substance so close to the country’s major population center. Prime Minister Hassan Diab and his cabinet resigned en masse days after the incident. Saad Hariri is now seeking to become prime minister again.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial