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Falcon84
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:00 am

What I want to say is to be careful with any accusations to different countries such as Syria. Maybe this fits into political world view and it was my reply to Falcon's

And I want to say be careful of someone who completely ignores the political/military situation as it now stands in that nation. There is no doubt to anyone without blinders on, #12, that Syria is THE player in Lebanon. They have the most to lose or to gain by controlling events in that nation. You seem to be totally dismissing that possibility. I, on the other hand, am not saying Syria did do this, or support this, but that they have to be a leading candidate.

And do you not also agree that Syria needs to leave Lebanon forthwith?
 
AA777
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:30 am

May all those killed RIP. This is a huge tragedy for Lebanon. The Lebanese have felt rather secure for the past years, and this brings back old memories that should be remembered, but left in teh past. I pray that this does not destabilize the entire region, and cause more strife in Lebanon. Bless the jewel of the mediterranean.

-AA777
 
SFOMEX
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:22 am

I for once concur with RJpieces. Lebanon should take this heinous act as an opportunity to wake up and send the Syrian troops back home. They are useless protecting them from Israel and are a source of instability.

Although the Mossad is capable of this and more, I don't see their hand behind this. PM Sharon seems to be sincerely looking for peace and he has enough problems already at home.

My condolences to our Lebanese friends.
 
BA
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:56 am

My condolences to all the victims and may they all rest in peace.

Rafik Hariri was a great man and often times was critical about the Syrian influence in Lebanese politics.



God bless him and may he rest in peace...  Sad  Sad  Sad

This was definately the work of the Syrians or Syrian sympathizers in Lebanon. I doubt Al-Qaeda had anything to do with it.

I am out of words....I can't express myself at the moment....

 Sad  Sad  Sad
 
gkirk
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:01 am

Rjpieces and Falcon84 agreed on something  Wow!  Wow! A historical moment in airliners.net history  Big grin , just a shame it had to be in this sad thread  Sad
 
qr332
Topic Author
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:10 am

Hariri is a man I greatly respect - he built himself from the ground, he helped rebuild Lebanon and return it to its former glory, and he did wonders for the country.

Al Qaeda has no interests in Lebanon, it is most likley Syria or Hariri's pro-Syrian opposition.

It just really is a shame that such a great man had to die in such a way... :-(
 
rjpieces
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:18 am

Rjpieces and Falcon84 agreed on something

We agree fairly often in Israeli-Palestine threads actually.

This was definately the work of the Syrians or Syrian sympathizers in Lebanon. I doubt Al-Qaeda had anything to do with it.

And what exactly do you think will happen now, BA?
 
prosa
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:23 am

A very early news report, before it was known that Hariri was involved, said that the HSBC bank building was the likely target:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...=aL1DYjZ3H22E&refer=top_world_news
It would be amazing if that really were true, and Hariri just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I'd say that would be just too much of a coincidence to be likely.
 
MEA310
Posts: 633
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:25 am

This "claim of responsibility" thing turned out to be fake, here's why:

1-This group had never existed before(or at least we've never heard of it)
2-The man appearing in the video claiming the responsibility is a Palestinian refugee, he's being chased down.
3-The reason for the assasination is not justified.Punishing Hariri for having great ties with the Saudi Royal family? Please!
4-The timing of the assasination which occurs at a very delicate turning point in terms of politics in Lebanon as Hariri was to join the opposition front in next spring's elections.

This was definately the work of the Syrians or Syrian sympathizers in Lebanon. I doubt Al-Qaeda had anything to do with it.

Surprisingly the Syrians were the first to condemn the assasination!!Those...


MEA310
 
BA
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:36 am

My uncle works close to where the explosion occured.

Thankfully he is fine, but he clearly felt the explosion.

And what exactly do you think will happen now, BA?

The opposition will grow even stronger.

They're calling for a 3 day strike in Lebanon.

Surprisingly the Syrians were the first to condemn the assassination!!Those...

Who knows if the Syrians were involved in this assassination. They may have been, and they may have not.

I wouldn't be surprised if they were involved...

During the civil war, they did assassinate a number of opposition leaders like Kamal Jumblatt, who's son, Waleed Jumblat is now the leader of the Progressive Socialist Party in Lebanon and one of the prime oppositions against Syria...

PROSA,

This would really be ironic...

I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Hariri was a great man. He was a true Arab patriot and a Lebanese patriot. He has always quietly opposed the Syrian influence in Lebanon and has also been an outspoken critic of Israel demanding that they pull out of all Arab land occupied in 1967 and accept the right of return ot the Palestinian refugees...

May he rest in peace.  Sad
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:56 am

Recently I´ve read an article about Syria in a German magazine (I think it was Geo), where was stated that the Syrian president Assad is, unlike his father, only figurehead for a gang of rich cronies in the Syrian government and military. They let him play president, as long as he doesn´t interfere in their private, corrupt businesses. There exists an parliament, with open debates, but the decisions are made between a few people on golf courses and behind closed doors. Apparently having troops in Lebanon and partially controlling the country earns certain people in Syria a lot of money.

Jan
 
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yyz717
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:20 am

Whether Syria is involved or not, it would be nice to see Lebanon some how kick out the Syrian soliders.

As for Assad's son, I was hoping for a more conciliatory & more pro-Western role for him when he became President since he has lived in the UK. If he is just a figurehead, then that explains his hawkish stances I guess.
 
DeskPilot
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:25 am

My condolences to the Lebanese people on this sad day.

I truly hope this doesn't derail the progress that Lebanon has made towards peace.
 
BA
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:48 am

MD11Engineer,

Recently I´ve read an article about Syria in a German magazine (I think it was Geo), where was stated that the Syrian president Assad is, unlike his father, only figurehead for a gang of rich cronies in the Syrian government and military.

Absolutely true.

Bashar al-Assad is only a figurehead with almost no control. It's the cabinet and parliament who are the ones who run the show.

If Syria was your typical dictatorship with absolute power and Bashar al-Assad was the dictator, the Lebanese/Syria situation would be MUCH better. Syria would have probably pulled its troops out many years ago and Syria might have been transformed into a democracy like Lebanon.

When Bashar al-Assad came to power, he kept talking about democratic reforms.

It's too bad really. It would be better for Syria to be an absolute dictatorship with Bashar al-Assad in power right now rather than the cronies in the cabinet and parliament running the show...

Yyz717,

As for Assad's son, I was hoping for a more conciliatory & more pro-Western role for him when he became President since he has lived in the UK.

Bashar al-Assad shouldn't be pro-west or pro-east or pro anything other than pro-his people and his country.

If he is just a figurehead, then that explains his hawkish stances I guess.

Yup, in general, he doesn't speak out very much for a president of a country...

Maybe Syria wasn't involved...
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L14681185.htm

I guess we'll wait and see...

Apparantly Syria is planning to withdraw its remaining 14,000 troops soon. I don't know if the assassination of Rafik Hariri had anything to do with it, or if this was announced before.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=12641

[Edited 2005-02-14 22:56:03]
 
CXA330300
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:05 am

A group called "Victory and Jihad in Greater Syria" has laid claim to the attack.

Perhaps the name suggests something?
 
BA
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:09 am

Okay some news...

A previously unknown Islamic fundamentalist group called Victory and Jihad in Greater Syria has claimed responsibility for the assassination and says it carried out the bombing because it of Rafik Hariri's close ties to Saudi Arabia calling him a "Saudi agent."

Al Jazeera broadcasted a tape of this group claiming responsibility

The Syrian government has denied any involvement in the attack.

http://www.abc.net.au/ra/news/stories/s1302742.htm
 
tbar220
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:23 am

Wow, stunning news out of Lebanon. It is so strange to me as well, as I see nobody having a motive to kill this man, if he was indeed the target of an assassination.
 
BA
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:56 am

He definately was the target of the assassination.

Lebanese security intelligence officials have confirmed it.

Article from the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4265675.stm

This is how much this man was loved:


Syrian leaders were however swift to condemn Mr Hariri's assassination in very strong terms.

Responsibility for the killing was purportedly claimed by a hitherto unheard-of group calling itself "Victory and Jihad in Greater Syria".


Another great Lebanese Prime Minister, Rashid Karami, was killed in 1987 when his helicopter he was in crashed due to sabotage.

The current Prime Minister, Omar Karami (who is very pro-Syrian) is the brother of Rachid Karami.


Regards
 
Alessandro
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:40 am

Any word from the Phalangists, have they condemned the attack?
 
UAL747
Posts: 6725
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 9:48 am

On Al Jazeera,

When they recieve information from people who are a part of a terrorist organization, do they turn the information they get over to the authorities or do they just put it out on the news for shock value (A good PR tool when you are in the media)?

You'd think that governments would be constantly investigating Al Jazeera's relationship with terrorist organizations. Surely there is a record of phone calls made, tapes brought to Al Jazeera, etc. Why on earth are they not closely monitored?

UAL
 
BA
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 10:20 am

Alessandro,

All political parties, both pro-Syrian and Syrian opposition ones have condemned the attack.

UAL747,

When they recieve information from people who are a part of a terrorist organization, do they turn the information they get over to the authorities or do they just put it out on the news for shock value (A good PR tool when you are in the media)?

This has been asked a lot. Al Jazeera has the tapes verified before broadcasting them and if they are not worthy of being broadcasted, they are tossed away.

Infact it was mentioned that the western media will often broadcast some of the videos that Al Jazeera deemed not important enough.

You'd think that governments would be constantly investigating Al Jazeera's relationship with terrorist organizations. Surely there is a record of phone calls made, tapes brought to Al Jazeera, etc. Why on earth are they not closely monitored?

Just because they broadcast tapes from terrorist organizations, it does not mean they have any ties to them.

Al Jazeera has consistently denied that it has any ties to terrorist organization.

From what Al Jazeera has said, the tapes are dropped off in a certain location by an undisclosed person (who obviously does not identify themselves) and informs the station of where the tapes are.

Al Jazeera does not know who the person who drops them off are. If they did, the terrorsts would be caught.

They try to cover the news, and people want to see these tapes and that's why they are broadcasted.

Some photos of the tragedy:

The crater.


The St. George hotel badly damaged on the left:


The St. George hotel:


The hotel in the background:
































The HSBC bank can be seen on the left:






The smoke rising in the distance from the beautiful downtown area:


Beirut in the distance with the Port of Beirut in the foreground:




Rafik Hariri and his now widowed wife, Nazek Hariri:


View all the photos here:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?g=e...tmpl=sl&ns=&l=1&e=1&t=&prev=105"

[Edited 2005-02-15 02:21:23]
 
UAL747
Posts: 6725
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 10:31 am

Just because they broadcast tapes from terrorist organizations, it does not mean they have any ties to them.

Al Jazeera has consistently denied that it has any ties to terrorist organization.

From what Al Jazeera has said, the tapes are dropped off in a certain location by an undisclosed person (who obviously does not identify themselves) and informs the station of where the tapes are.

Al Jazeera does not know who the person who drops them off are. If they did, the terrorsts would be caught.

I don't think that they support or have ties to terrorist organizations, but the mere fact that they have some lines of communication with terrorist should be either overtly or preferably covertly used as a means to bring terrorists to justice.

I would assume that even the mere act of setting up a time and place to pick up a tape could be used as a means of tracking terrorists. The fact that they do not disclose this information to the authorities is shocking. And the fact that the authorities do not request this information prior to the meeting place and time, is even more shocking. In most countries, I'd assume, it would be a question of ethics. I would imagine that most ethical media outlets would cooperate with the authorities in persuing terrorist. Even the unknowing tape dropper could eventually lead authorities to terrorist organizations.

THIS IS NOT A US VS. ISLAMIC WORLD POST. DO NOT TURN IT INTO ONE PLEASE!

UAL
 
BA
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 10:38 am

They don't have any communication with the terrorists as they have no idea who drops off the tapes.

What happens is the undisclosed person drops the tape off somewhere, leaves the area and then calls Al Jazeera letting them know where the tape is.

It is VERY difficult to catch the person since he is an undisclosed random person with absolutely no description and nobody knows where they would drop off the tapes.

Like I said, if they could catch the terrorists, they would.

It's not like the tapes are dropped off at the Al Jazeera headquarters.

Let's get back on the topic of this terrible tragedy now...
 
solarix
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 11:50 am

My condolences to all of those in Lebanon and to all of the victims in this barbaric act. Just saw those pictures and I am shocked to say the least. I heard about the bombing this morning but had no idea it was this bad until I saw the photos. Yikes  Sad
 
prosa
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 12:13 pm

If there's anything good to be said, it's that only ten people died. Judging by the pictures, it's not hard to imagine that the death toll easily could have been several times higher.
 
tbar220
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:04 pm

Just out of curiousity, would Lebanon accept Israeli medical teams to help them out in the rescue and recovery, like Maged David Adom?
 
solarix
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:11 pm

Good God. How about not turning this into an Israel vs the Arab world thread for once?
I don't agree with the Arabs on their Israeli policy but for crying out loud this is an event where people have been slaughtered by barbaric animals. I think we should show some respect by not resorting to Israeli / Arab whining.
 
BA
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:14 pm

Just out of curiousity, would Lebanon accept Israeli medical teams to help them out in the rescue and recovery, like Maged David Adom?

No, there isn't anyone else to rescue. The latest count is 13 dead including Rafik Hariri himself.

Not to mention that the explosion happened about 18 hours ago now.

Now they are just clearing the debris field trying to find where the bomb was placed or whether it was a suicide bomb.

All 100 who were killed were moved to the American University Hospital.

The family of Rafik Hariri will bury him on Wednesday morning. It will be a private funeral.

The Lebanese Army is on high alert right now and have scattered themselves throughout the country and Beirut. They're setting up check-points across the country and in Beirut.

The border with Syria has been tightened.
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:23 pm

My sympathies to all our Lebanese A-Net friends. I trust the culprits will be caught, and justice will be swift.

 
mham001
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:12 pm

Truly sorry for your tragedy.
 
MEA310
Posts: 633
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:25 pm

All 100 who were killed were moved to the American University Hospital.

You mean all 100 injured

The family of Rafik Hariri will bury him on Wednesday morning. It will be a private funeral.

You don't expect a private funeral when a large scale person as Hariri is assasinated.The opposition front asked for the government not to join the funeral.

A previously unknown Islamic fundamentalist group called Victory and Jihad in Greater Syria has claimed responsibility for the assassination and says it carried out the bombing because it of Rafik Hariri's close ties to Saudi Arabia calling him a "Saudi agent."

Refer to reply58, eventhough investigation is still underway,this claim is one hell of a camouflage to distort public opinion.
Many political leaders have been assasinated and others subject to an attempt(the latest being Hamedeh)and nobody over the time claimed responsibility of their murder.
France has asked for an international investigation which the opposition front fully agree with and so do I, as the local authorities tend to manipulate the facts and deviate from the truth.


MEA310
 
qr332
Topic Author
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:18 pm

Quoting Solarix:
Good God. How about not turning this into an Israel vs the Arab world thread for once?
I don't agree with the Arabs on their Israeli policy but for crying out loud this is an event where people have been slaughtered by barbaric animals. I think we should show some respect by not resorting to Israeli / Arab whining.

I have not seen any bashing in the entire thread, the points brought up about Israel were not offensive. What is it that was said that you didn't like?

BA,
The pictures are very sad, but the ones on TV were much worse. You were probably asleep when they were on as it was early in the US at the time, but they were truly horrific. I haven't checked to see if Future is running again, but yesterday it stopped broadcasting and just played Quran (Future Television is owned by Hariri). Aljazeera were playing pictures from NewTV, who were live at the scene. LBC also had some interesting reports.

This morning, my mother was telling me about how our family friends who live in Beirut were in complete horror after the bombing, as their daughter was in the St. George area, and she had only gotten out of the area 2-3 minutes after the bomb went off, and for about half an hour, they could not reach her. Thank God she got out fine, though.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13899
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Tue Feb 15, 2005 11:42 pm

Ok, I did a rough calculation using Hauser´s formula for calculating blasting charges (as I learned years ago during a blasting and demolition course in the German civil defense), using the depth of the crater as effective radius (appr. 2 metres), a tamping factor of 4.5 (open charge on the surface) and a specific material factor of 6 (rock or concrete under tension) and I get a minium charge of appr. 200 kgs TNT if placed right on the surface.
Taking the radius of the crater (appr. 7m), with the other parameters staying the same, I´ll get about 3000 kgs TNT.
I used TNT as a reference explosive.
Using a commercial ANFO explosive (Ammoniumnitrate/fuel oil, as a fertiliser/diesel mix) as used in mining, I´ll get about 300-400 kgs in the first case and 4000-5000 kgs in the second case.
Since the explosives were not in direct contact with the soil, but in a truck, the charges were probably somewhere between the two limits (radiusses between 2 and 7 metres).
Like Iakobos, I assume that it was either a van or a light truck loaded with the explosives. I also assume that something like oil drums full of petrol or maybe cylinders of LNG were added as an incendary.
Another option, if Hariri´s route was known to the attackers long before, would be the way the Spanish ETA killed the designated successor of the Spanish dictator Franco, Admiral Carrero-Blanco in the easly 70s. They knew that the Carrero-Blanco was using the same route to go praying at a certain church in Madrid every day at the same time. He was driving and armoured car mercedes, so using a sniper was out of question.
They rented a subtreeanean appartment in a house in a street this car was passing every day and over weeks dug a tunnel under the street. They filled this tunnel with a huge amount of explosives, tamped it and layed an ignition circuit to another appartment in a different house, from which they could observe the site. Next time Carrero-Blanco passed the site, he and his car got blown right over a four story house and landed in the backyard.

Jan
 
iakobos
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:07 am

Jan,

From the 15th picture provided by BA (before the firebrigade sprayed water), it appears that the crater is even bigger.
The third pic also shows a soldier which is below on the side, it can provide a reference scale.
I would put the depth at 2.20-2.30m and the diameter at 10-11m.
We are talking then about a real truck or a bus.

I cannot figure out the configuration of that street, but the blast seems to be quite some distance from the adjacent building.
Was the sidewalk that large or is it that that vehicle was not parked ?


 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:30 am

Iakobos,

I used the first picture, with the soldiers standing around the crater and climbing into it. Using the size of the soldiers at about 1.80 cm as a scale, I estimated the depths of the crater at about 2 metres and the diameter at about 14-15 metres. Of course the pictures were taken after the water sprayed by the fire brigade ran away into the soil, and it probably washed quite a bit of the soil back into the crater, filling it partially.
Also consider that the explosives were not indirect contact with the road surface, but probably somewhere between .50 and 1 mtre above, inside a van or truck. If the explosives would have been buried, IMO the crater would be steeper and deeper. The sides would be more around a 45° angle.
The German Army 200g TNT charge has the dimensions 70mm x 40 mm x 50 mm, giving it the density of 1.42 kgs / litre. 500 kgs would have a volume 0.352 cubic metres, not that a big size, about covering the floor of a VW van about 20 cm.
ANFO explosives have a density of about 1.0 kg/litre, and therefore are more bulky.

Jan
 
11Bravo
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:41 am

The United States has just withdrawn its ambassador to Syria. That is a very serious step to take. It would seem that US intelligence must have some sort of incriminating evidence to do that.


[Edited 2005-02-15 18:41:43]
 
Kay
Posts: 1808
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:55 am

One television channel and today's newspaper said it was a vehicle load with 350Kgs of TNT.

The vehicle was parked on the second line. There is a possibility of a suicide bomber.

Kay
 
csavel
Posts: 1407
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:04 am

This is awful. It is a shame that such a beautiful place should have to go through such turmoil. Now instead of a charismatic leader we have a country in mourning and a widow with children who lost their father.

I have one question.
A lot of people are blaming Syria, especially A.netters from Lebanon, who I assume are probably a hell of a lot more in a position to know what goes on there than the rest of us. It seems awful to talk in realpolitik terms at a time like this and I know the recent history of Syria in Lebanon, but just what would Syria have to gain by doing this?

I mean, they already are in Lebanon and Lahoud is sort of ensconced there. True Hariri was a vocal and powerful opponent of the Syrian occupation but, of what benefit is it of Syria to make Hariri a cause celebre and to focus the the Lebanese people and the world on Syria's occupation? Would not that just give the US a green light to be even more aggressive towards Damascus, and wouldn't the Europeans, especially the French agree? - At least to sanctions. That's why although I'm not denying that Assad's government would be capable of doing such a thing, I am wondering why they would do such a thing. And of course if not Syria, then who?
 
CXA330300
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 5:51 am

RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:44 am

They (Syria) might have condemned the attack, but only G-d and the Syrian government knows if its genuine, or face-saving. I would not be surprised if it was the latter.

*PERSONAL OPINION! I DO NOT MEAN TO TURN IT INTO A SYRIA-BASHING THREAD!*
 
BA
Posts: 10516
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RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:17 am

Csavel,

Al-Qaeda has denied that any involvement in the assassination (this unknown group is apparantly linked to Al-Qaeda) and have stated the assassination must have been conducted by Syrian, Lebanese, or Israeli intelligence.

Some say this group claiming responsibility for the attack is an attempt to mislead the investigation.

Experts have also said that the magnitude and scale of the attack probably means it was an intelligence organization and not some small group.

While most are accepting that it was a suicide car bombing, a Lebanese bomb expert believes differently saying that the bomb was probably planted undearneath the asphault on the road and remotely triggered by someone abroad who was watching Hariri's convoy. Asphault was found very far from the explosion site and he says this means that the bomb was probably underneath the ground.

Who knows...

Syria is definately the one that is being accused the most. According to political theorists, some say Syria would do this in an attempt to show the world that Lebanon is a destabilized country that needs the Syrian troop presence. Some say it is an attempt to destabilize Lebanon before they pull out knowing that they will have to do so soon as a result of the increasing international pressure.

Hariri was the most popular Lebanese person in the entire world and perhaps Syria wanted to get rid of this popular influential leader who turned his country around.

While it is unlikely that Israel was involved. Some theorists say Israel might have done it in an attempt to destabilize their country and put the blame on their arch enemy, Syria.

I personally think that it is unlikely even though Israel has carried out a fair share of assassinations in Lebanon in the past.

Some more photos:



The remains of a car at the bombsite being carried by a security man:






The St. George hotel:










Rafik Hariri's brother on the left, Shafik, and Rafik Hariri's son Saadaddine on the right:






Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam on the right greeting Bahaa Hariri, son of Rafik Hariri:


Saadaddine Hariri (son of Rafik Hariri) reciting verses of the Quran while touring the blast site:






Rafik Hariri will be buried at the grand four minaret Ottoman-style Mohammed Al-Amin mosque, the biggest mosque in Beirut currently under construction in Martyr's Square by the late Rafik Hariri. As you can tell from the picture, the mosque is not completed yet.

It's a shame Rafik Hariri will not be able to see his landmark project completed.  Sad

A truck is unloading chairs for the burial service which will be held on Wednesday:


God bless him.  Sad
 
Falcon84
Posts: 13775
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:52 am

RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 12:34 pm

PERSONAL OPINION! I DO NOT MEAN TO TURN IT INTO A SYRIA-BASHING THREAD!*

Why not? It's not like Syria is some lovable, warm and fuzzy nation. They've been a key sponser of acts just like this for going on 40 years. They need to bashed some.
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 12:37 pm


Quoting Falcon84 (reply 90):
They need to bashed some.


Or a lot.

 
rjpieces
Posts: 6849
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:58 am

RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 12:56 pm

They need to bashed some.

It's a shame that the Syria-bashing comes from Americans thousands of miles away, yet few Lebanese on this site are able to speak up against their oppressors. I guess that's what happens when you live in a fear society where speaking your mind can be a risk.
 
BA
Posts: 10516
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 1:20 pm

It's a shame that the Syria-bashing comes from Americans thousands of miles away, yet few Lebanese on this site are able to speak up against their oppressors. I guess that's what happens when you live in a fear society where speaking your mind can be a risk.

If that were the case, then would people be assassinated and on a daily basis accused of committing treason?

The opposition is strong...very strong, they are taking a lot of heat and are not backing down.

Unfortunately on Monday, it cost 14 lives...
 
airxliban
Posts: 4307
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 1:39 pm


Quoting RJpieces (reply 92):
It's a shame that the Syria-bashing comes from Americans thousands of miles away, yet few Lebanese on this site are able to speak up against their oppressors. I guess that's what happens when you live in a fear society where speaking your mind can be a risk.


Nice try, but you clearly have not been listening to the news.

There has been a huge outrage against Syria. The torching of the Beirut offices of the Syrian Baath party is just one example of the protest.

Anyway, the situation is still in the speculation stages.
 
BA
Posts: 10516
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:37 pm

The funeral service is to be held in about two hours from now.

Several foreign officials are to attend the funeral including US Assistant Secretary of State William Burns, Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa, Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, Egyptian Foreign Trade and Industry Minister Mohammed Rashid, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, Iraqi Transport Minister Luay al-Aris, Arab UN diplomat Lakhdar Ibrahimi, Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath along with a delegation, Syrian Vice President Abdel-Halim Khaddam, and European Union envoy Marc Otte.

French President Jacques Chirac who was a very close friend of Rafik Hariri might also attend.



Starting at 10 am (0800 GMT) Hariri's sons and friends are to carry his body on foot from his home in west Beirut to the mosque, a few kilometres away, on Martyrs' Square where he is to be buried.

Hariri was to have soon inaugurated the mosque built with his funds. On Tuesday, some 200 workers busily prepared for the funeral, as a crane stood guard over the mosque's four minarets.

They painted the walls, cemented the floor and set up chairs under an enormous tent.


http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?ID=37409

May Rafik Hariri forever rest in peace...



 Sad
 
tbar220
Posts: 6706
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2000 12:08 pm

RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:52 pm

Quoting BA (reply 89):
While most are accepting that it was a suicide car bombing,


Has an unidentified body been found, perhaps one of a possible suicide bomber?

Quoting BA (reply 89):
While it is unlikely that Israel was involved. Some theorists say Israel might have done it in an attempt to destabilize their country and put the blame on their arch enemy, Syria.


I believe the last thing Israel needs is to destabilize Lebanon. A stronger central government is in the interests of Israel as that would be the strongest challenge to Hizbullah. A destabilized Lebanon with a stronger Syrian influence would only strengthen Hizbullah's influence in the region, which is something that Israel does not want.

Considering that this man was for reform, rebuilding, and an opponent of Syrian occupation, these all seem in the best interests of Israel. In the greater scheme, Israel has absolutely nothing to gain from this. If they were to get caught, the uproar would be enormous not just from Arab countries but from the U.S. and Europe.

What I want to know is how a bomb got placed underground in such a busy and thriving area, does nobody notice unusual activity like this?
 
BA
Posts: 10516
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:17 pm

Quoting Tbar220 (reply 96):
Has an unidentified body been found, perhaps one of a possible suicide bomber?


A strand hair was found in the suspected suicide bombers home and DNA tests are currently being conducted on the strand of hair and on one of the corpses found near the explosion site to see if they match.

Quoting Tbar220 (reply 96):
I believe the last thing Israel needs is to destabilize Lebanon. A stronger central government is in the interests of Israel as that would be the strongest challenge to Hizbullah. A destabilized Lebanon with a stronger Syrian influence would only strengthen Hizbullah's influence in the region, which is something that Israel does not want.


Hezbollah's influence grew in the region when they won many votes in the municipal elections last summer.

I don't think Israel did it. But if they did, it would be so the world puts the blame on Syria. In that sense, it serves Israel's interests.

Quoting Tbar220 (reply 96):
Considering that this man was for reform, rebuilding, and an opponent of Syrian occupation, these all seem in the best interests of Israel. In the greater scheme, Israel has absolutely nothing to gain from this. If they were to get caught, the uproar would be enormous not just from Arab countries but from the U.S. and Europe.


I wouldn't say Hariri was in the best interests of Israel. Hariri like all Arab leaders demanded that Israel vacate all Arab land it occupied in 1967 and was a very strong advocate in Palestinian right of return.

I wouldn't say Hariri was an opponent of Syria.

Hariri called for strong cooperation with Syria and in general, strong cooperation with the rest of the Arab world (which is why he strongly supported the recently signed Arab Free Trade Agreement). He just quietly was opposed to the Syrian military presence and political influence in Lebanon and when he resigned in October, he then joined the opposition and voiced himself more strongly...which of course goes against Syria's interest in maintaining control in Lebanon.

However he constantly called for strong cooperation with Syria. He just was opposed to their troop presence and political influence and had grown increasingly critical.

Quoting Tbar220 (reply 96):
What I want to know is how a bomb got placed underground in such a busy and thriving area, does nobody notice unusual activity like this?


It could have been done at night and made it look like maintenance crews were repairing a sewage pipe, electrical line or whatever when infact they were putting the bomb.

Always roads are torn up to replace sewage pipes or electrical or telephone lines.

One could make it look convincing...

We'll find out soon enough hopefully. Let's not start jumping to any conclusions yet...
 
tbar220
Posts: 6706
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2000 12:08 pm

RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:24 pm

Quoting BA (reply 97):
I don't think Israel did it. But if they did, it would be so the world puts the blame on Syria. In that sense, it serves Israel's interests.


Even in that sense I don't see how Israel would benefit from it. This would be an issue between Lebanon and Syria if indeed it was a Syrian based attack (terrorist, government, whatever). As far as I see it, Israel has no interest in a conflict between Lebanon and Syria or even destabilization in Lebanon. Israel fought a war for 22 years with Lebanon, hostilities much longer than with Syria. Peace is the only option now with Lebanon and the risk of finding out that Israel carried out the attack, there is no benefit.

Just my analysis of the situation. Whatever did happen and whoever did this, it is a terrible situation and completely unnecessary.
 
tbar220
Posts: 6706
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2000 12:08 pm

RE: Huge Explosion In West Beirut

Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:45 pm

What do Lebanese (and others) think of this analysis?

***

Why Hariri was killed is not entirely clear. The self-made billionaire was probably helping the anti-Syrian opposition and perhaps preparing to formally join it. He privately favored passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, passed in September 2004, calling for a withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon. The resolution, sponsored by the United States and France, has for months been a dagger in Syria's side, threatening to end its profitable hegemony over Lebanon. If the Syrians are forced out, they fear not only losing regional relevance and the stick of Hezbollah to wield against Israel, but also the financial and other benefits they have enjoyed during their 28-year presence. The shock could bring down the regime of Bashar Assad.

If the Syrians were responsible, their risk is great. Having alienated the Druze, they have now made an enemy of the generally mild-mannered Lebanese Sunnis. The irony is that both communities were close to Syria; violence was never required for their cooperation. But where the Syrian regime had to show toughness was with the United States and France over their demands for a Syrian withdrawal. What better way to do so than to go after those vulnerable Lebanese offering a serious alternative leadership to Syria's cronies? That, at least, is what is widely believed in Beirut.


http://slate.msn.com/id/2113565/

***

Any thoughts?

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