FBI team arrives this weekend to take part in Beirut probe

“We will be accountable not only to donors because our accountability goes also to the affected population.”
First published on August 15, 2020 / 1:30 PM French troops on foot and in vehicles were moving around the port. Under pressure, Lebanon’s government resigned August 10. French investigators are also taking part in the Lebanese-led probe. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea (2-R) tour at the site of last week’s explosion that hit the seaport of the Lebanese capital Beirut, on August 15, 2020. 


Many Lebanese want the probe taken out of the hands of their government, fearing that bickering among the long-entrenched political factions, notorious for corruption, won’t allow any results to come to light that are damaging to their leadership. Israel has denied involvement and so far no evidence has emerged suggesting otherwise. Last week, international donors pledged nearly $300 million of emergency assistance to Lebanon. Trending News

U.N. FBI team arrives this weekend to take part in Beirut probe

August 15, 2020 / 1:30 PM
/ AP

Shock turns to anger after Beirut explosion

Shock turns to anger after Beirut explosion


A team of FBI investigators was due to arrive in Lebanon this weekend to take part in the probe of Beirut’s massive explosion, a senior U.S official said Saturday after visiting the location of the blast. “We will be very strict about the use of humanitarian assistance. For now, there are no formal consultations underway on who will replace Hassan Diab as prime minister and no likely candidate has emerged. Hassan Nasrallah said the cause of the explosion is still unclear, adding that any international probe would likely seek to clear Israel of any responsibility in the port explosion, if it had any. Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox

“We really need to make sure that there is a thorough, a transparent and credible investigation. Late on Friday, the leader of the powerful Hezbollah group said he did not trust any international investigation, a clear reference to the FBI assistance. At a commercial part of the port undamaged by the blast, workers unloaded wheat. Western leaders have said they will send aid directly to the Lebanese people and that billions of dollars will not be pumped into the country before major reforms take place. Search and rescue crews flew in from around the world in the immediate aftermath. A French helicopter carrier was docked at the port as French troops unloaded equipment. Rochdi said most donors have asked that aid be channeled through the U.N., which she said would be coordinated with Lebanon’s armed forces to ensure access. However, Aoun, who is supported by Hezbollah, has said it’s one of the theories being investigated. 

Aftermath of Beirut’s deadly blast

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  On Saturday, French investigators were seen in boats and on the ground near the scene of the blast. official, stressed the need for full state control over ports and borders in an apparent reference to claims that Hezbollah holds influence over both in Lebanon. He called for a thorough and transparent investigation. The cause of the fire that ignited nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate at Beirut’s port remains unclear. But the flurry of diplomatic visits appeared designed to influence the forming of the new government. The U.N says 30% of the port remains operational. Hale, the U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale (3-R) and U.S. Hale toured the site of the blast with Lebanese army officers. 

U.S. Documents have emerged showing the country’s top leadership and security officials were aware of the chemicals stored at the port. Popular anger has swelled over the ruling elite’s corruption, mismanagement and political uncertainty. undersecretary of state for political affairs, said the FBI team is taking part at the invitation of Lebanese authorities to find answers about what caused the explosion on August 4 that killed nearly 180 people and wounded thousands. Najat Rochdi, U.N. votes not to extend arms embargo against Iran

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Top Lebanese officials, including President Michel Aoun, have rejected calls for an independent probe, describing it as “a waste of time” that would be politicized. Local media have speculated that Hale would be pushing for a government that excludes Hezbollah. We will be monitoring closely every single delivery of our humanitarian assistance,” she said. David Hale, U.S. Nasrallah added that Israel will be met “with an equally devastating response” if the investigation points to its involvement. On Friday, the United Nations launched a $565 million appeal for Lebanon with immediate humanitarian assistance and initial recovery efforts. “We can never go back to an era in which anything goes at the port or borders of Lebanon,” he said. and its allies consider Hezbollah a terrorist organization, and have accused the Iran-backed group of abusing government funds. I know that is what everyone is demanding,” Hale said. “We hope that the emergency response doesn’t last for too long because the best thing to do is for people to go back to their normal life, for people to start healing,” she said. humanitarian coordinator for Lebanon, called for more funds to cover the critical needs of shelter, food, health and education. The U.S.