US claims Hezbollah stockpiling 'Beirut destroying explosive' ammonia nitrate across Europe

US claims Hezbollah stockpiling 'Beirut destroying explosive' ammonia nitrate across Europe
A senior US official has accused Hezbollah of stockpiling ammonia nitrate across Europe.
2 min read
17 September, 2020
Hezbollah are accused of stockpiling explosives across Europe [Getty]

A senior US official has accused Iran-linked Lebanese group Hezbollah of stockpiling ammonia nitrate, the fertiliser that caused a catastrophic explosion in Beirut, across Europe.

US Coordinator for Counterterrorism Nathan Sales announced that the US government has found new evidence of Hezbollah presence across Europe.

"Today the US government is unveiling new information about Hezbollah presence in Europe. Since 2012 Hezbollah has established caches of ammonium nitrate throughout Europe. Today I can reveal that some caches has been moved from Belgium to France, Greece, Italy, Spain and Switzerland," Sales said during a webinar on Thursday.

"I can also reveal that significant ammonium nitrate caches have been discovered and destroyed in France, Greece, Italy. We have reasons to believe that this activity is still underway," he added.

The US diplomat said that Hezbollah's intention is to use the allegedly stockpiled ammonia nitrate as a weapon for carrying out major terror attacks if such orders come from its Iranian patrons.

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"The question then becomes: 'Why would Hezbollah stockpile ammonium nitrate on European soil?' Answer is clear - Hezbollah has put these weapons in place so that it conducts major terror attacks whenever... Tehran deems necessary," Sales said.

He called a blast that rocked Lebanon's capital in August and destroyed its port "a vivid reminder of how dangerous ammonium nitrate can be." Sales said that the revelations show that more European countries "need to act now" to outlaw Hezbollah in its entirety - including its military and political wings.

The monster August 4 blast killed more than 190 people, wounded thousands, and ravaged homes and business across large parts of the Lebanese capital.

Hundreds of tonnes of ammonium nitrate had been stored unsafely in a port warehouse for at least six years, it emerged after the explosion.

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The disclosure sparked widespread outrage over alleged official negligence that many said was to blame for the blast.

Some 2,750 tonnes of the ammonium nitrate were initially stored at the port, but experts believe the quantity that ignited was substantially less than that.

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