Background Briefing: August 8, 2020
A Massive Explosion Rocks Beirut Ahead of a Verdict in the Bombing of a Former Prime Minister
We begin with the massive explosion at the port in Beirut which rocked the city that has seen anti-government protests increasing lately as economic conditions worsen. Veteran CIA officer Robert Baer who served in Beirut for a number of years and was hired by the United Nations Special Tribunal investigating the death by a massive explosion of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Harari in 2005, who was blown up near where today’s explosion happened. There is already speculation linking the explosion to a verdict in the trial of the four Hezbollah-linked suspects in Hariri’s bombing expected on Friday in a special court in the Netherlands. And we will assess whether if it is found that today’s explosion was not an accident but was deliberately set, the fragile peace that has existed since Lebanon’s 1975 to 1990 sectarian civil war ended, will be shattered.
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