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Beirut Explosion, so what was it?

No. Have you any idea how many Used cars would be needed to make a dent in the Beqaa drug revenues?
A clue: they wouldn't fit on Mr. Daley's lot.



The Dollar?

When I was there in the middle of last year, I noticed a lot of the Syrian teachers and engineers were being housed in the Bekka valley, normally on agricultural land.
Would I be making too big a jump to suggest they had found gainful employment in harvesting said trade?
(Needless to say, our guide didn’t get into that)
 
I've worked with Ms. A - she was not receptive to my masculine charms. She prefers wimmin.

Bell's balls were bashed but his cameraman lost his arm.

Met Martin a couple of times, although not for awhile now.
My impression was (at morning coffee time for normal people) was of a particularly thirsty fellow.
 
Any idea which way Alex Crawford leans?

Reported in the Indo a couple of years ago as getting huffy, because she was being referred to as “the female journalist, Alex Crawford”.

They kindly published a letter from me pointing out it wouldn’t be necessary if she styled herself as Alexandra (as per Patrick/Pat).

She's known as Crawfie and is married to another journalist. She can be a little tricky in that she's not very practical. When we were in Libya she went back to the vehicle to get another much needed camera battery as a favour to the cameraman (not me). She came back 10 minutes later with a possible interviewee and no batteries.
 
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When I was there in the middle of last year, I noticed a lot of the Syrian teachers and engineers were being housed in the Bekka valley, normally on agricultural land.
Would I be making too big a jump to suggest they had found gainful employment in harvesting said trade?
(Needless to say, our guide didn’t get into that)

Bekka or Beqaa or وادي البقاع has had a reputation for producing top notch Cannabis for some time and it's a pretty intensive farming process so it's possible extra bodies are needed for the harvest.

Whilst the region is fiercely protected by Hezbollah, they firmly deny any involvement with the drug trade and claim to oppose it on moral grounds.

So it wasn't their fertilizer that went bang then?
 
Met Martin a couple of times, although not for awhile now.
My impression was (at morning coffee time for normal people) was of a particularly thirsty fellow.

I met him a few times but only when he was wearing the Ice cream vendor's jacket and attending the HoC. I didn't notice anything untoward, apart from that bloody jacket.
 
Whilst the region is fiercely protected by Hezbollah, they firmly deny any involvement with the drug trade and claim to oppose it on moral grounds.
An interesting moral stance. Murdering people who happen to live in a different country and wanting to exterminate jews is fine but people choosing to get stoned is naughty. It's no wonder the region is fucked.
 

philc

LE
I was in the Bekka Valley some time back, 1997 visiting Baalbek, we got a Taxi there, spent to day wandering around, we were the only "Tourists" seen for some time. When you drove in SAM systems were dotted around the edges of the valley and there were very obvious military forts and facilities all over the place.

When we went to a Taxi office to get a Taxi back its then we noticed we had be trailed by men with Pistols tucked in their belts. Now I have no idea if they were Hezbollah or part of the local tribal gangs but it was time to get out of Dodge as its very unnerving being watched by armed men when you have no idea of their intention. However I would recommend a visit as its fascinating and Baalbek is a gem.
 
the plot really does thicken

"Search and rescue teams, firefighters and medics continued to comb through what remains of Beirut port on Friday, competing for space with men who were not wearing uniforms or displaying official status, and who several observers said were directing clean-up efforts.

As international rescue teams arrived in the Lebanese capital to help with the recovery, the scene of the explosion appeared increasingly frantic, with ambulances and unmarked vans repeatedly entering the site. A Dutch team that had just arrived in Lebanon was initially kept away by Lebanese officials who insisted the sniffer dogs they brought with them were not allowed.

“Then they sent them to parts that didn’t really matter,” said one senior official. “It has raised the suspicions of many here
. Hezbollah have sent their people, and everyone is speculating why?”

 
Wonder if there was a nice little factory run by Hizbolla, close to the raw materials. They don't seem at all keen on allowing educated furry noses a quick sniff around.
 
Why do I think you're an expert? Because previous posts from you seemed to indicate that you are some sort of expert.

Alright Grumpy! Shall we wait until you get your morning coffee? I'm just looking at what I can see in the footage and (read and hear, both elsewhere and here) and thinking about it. I don't think I have presented myself as an expert. I'd have to be a special kind of stupid to do that on a thread where @dingerr and @bob_the_bomb are anyway.

Why do I not believe they were fireworks? Have a look at video of the Dutch firework warehouse fire. The fireworks cooked off like, well like fireworks actually, whooshes and whizzes and cracks and bangs in the air. Look at the Beirut explosions prior to the big one, I have seen and heard ordnance detonate and I have seen fireworks go off, and despite not being as expert as you I can tell the difference.

I agree with you in part there. I think there are some things that look like fireworks (small bright white flashes) but not enough of them for it to fit the narrative of a fire starting in a fireworks warehouse.
I don't see stuff that looks like tumbling tracer or burning propellant fragments. There is a lot of brown smoke though.

We now learn that Hizbullah effectively controls Beirut port, Occam's razor, what do you think was in that shed?

Currently, I see evidence for the following:
1) Something burning vigorously but not throwing debris about as in the other Ordanance depot incidents I have seen. This may or may not be the AN but from what has been said up thread I tend towards something else driving the conditions that push the AN to its threshold for a self sustaining reaction.
2) Some evidence of fire works cooking off in the fire but as you note it doesn't look like fireworks are the principal component of the fire (or indeed significant at all).
3) The AN becoming subject to an accellerating reaction as some sort of critical threshold is exceeded.
 
Hmmm. "Panic rooms" found under the site of the explosion.


Panic Rooms? Sky seems to be stretching the mix a bit there. Having had to clamber over a few industrial sites I would think there are more than a few ducts and underground spaces in a port of that size. That doesn't mean they can't be used for nefarious purposes but I'd need more evidence than part of what looks like a ceiling.
 
Alright Grumpy! Shall we wait until you get your morning coffee? I'm just looking at what I can see in the footage and (read and hear, both elsewhere and here) and thinking about it. I don't think I have presented myself as an expert. I'd have to be a special kind of stupid to do that on a thread where @dingerr and @bob_the_bomb are anyway.

Very kind but I’m not an ‘expert’ either*.

32 years since my course and every day’s still a school day...







* as one of my instructors still occasionally posts on here, we were told very forcefully never to use that word about ourselves :)
 

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