Hariri Assasination - New 'Evidence' a Blatant Lie?

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posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 03:30 PM

For those who actually know who this guy was, and basically know the circumstances surrounding his death, I'll skip the preamble. For those who are in the dark, I suggest some light research elsewhere on ATS, or on Google, or wherever, to get up to speed.

This was in the news, and it just jumped right out at me, and I had to post it to get some opinions.


New tests corroborate the theory that former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was killed in a massive suicide truck bomb, investigators said in a report Monday.

The report from Belgian prosecutor Serge Brammertz's investigators said that Syria — which had been accused of obstructing the probe — has been generally cooperative in its investigation of the Feb. 14, 2005 bombing that killed Hariri and 22 others.

Investigators had suspected for some time that Hariri was killed by a bomb packed into a Mitsubishi minivan and detonated by a suicide attacker. According to the report, new tests corroborate the theory that a man either inside or just in front of the van detonated the bomb, which was probably close to 1,800 kilograms (3,960 pounds).

My emphasis.

That's one seriously overloaded minivan, no?

Nothing to see here...

Just driving to market...

Nothing suspicious at all, pay no attention to the man humping the asphalt and making sounds like a nail on a chalkboard...

Anyone ever tried to get even half a ton into one of those things (minivans)? My dad had a quarter-ton pickup, a little Nissan (great truck), and while it did what it advertised, you'd have to be insane to drive around with a thousand pounds of cargo, nevermind four thousand, and that was a light vehicle designed for hauling heavier loads.

So what business does a Mitsubishi minivan have carrying nearly 2 tons? Is that even possible? Wouldn't the tie rods snap? Would the tires be able to handle the pressure? What about the poor shocks - that's like throwing a 500 lb woman on top of a 90 lb man.

Would major modificiations to the suspension have to be done? Is the engine even remotely capable of hauling that sort of weight with 2WD and (presumably) a 2-3 litre engine?

I may be completely off my rocker, but this screams improbable, if not impossible. Packing nearly 4k pounds of explosives into a minivan is hard enough, driving the thing has got to be ten times harder. So what gives?

Can anyone confirm my suspicions or offer up some evidence to put them to rest? Thanks in advance.

I've tended to think that the bomb that killed Hariri was buried in the roadbed, which is really the only feasible place to put such a massive device. Also consider the crater left in the wake of the explosion...

So, yeah...

"Yes Mr. Policeman? You say an important person is travelling down this road? That's interesting, I had no idea, none whatsoever. What do you mean what am I carrying? Well it's certainly not an enormous bomb, I can tell you that."

: nervous laughter :

[edit on 25-9-2006 by WyrdeOne]

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 07:08 PM
Refresher course on the circumstances I suppose. I'm also thinking of moving this to the Disinfo forum, since it seems a better fit.

The following images are from this link.

The Crater

Another Crater Shot

The Wide, Low Angle View

The Bird's Eye View

I've never seen a satisfactory explanation for the size of that crater. Anyone who has played with firecrackers knows that they blow up and out. The air offers much less resistance than the ground. The force of the explosion will not go down through resistance if it can go up with little resistance.

It seems to me that the bomb would have to be buried, dropped from the air, or at least packed into a shaped charge angled down into the road, to create that sort of impression.

I'm guessing that someone would have noticed if the explosive was air-dropped, so that leaves a buried charge or a shaped charge, or some unconventional explosive that blossoms so rapidly, and with such heat, that it can open up a crater that size.

BTW, how the Hell do you pack a 2 ton shaped charge into a minivan, nevermind drive it to its destination?

Forgetting that for a second, why would they align the charge to shoot down, if Hariri's car was passing on the side? Why not angle it sideways?

There's so much about this event I don't understand, and I'd like very much to have more information, but sadly, that isn't possible. The actual information is not widely available, so all we're left with is broad statements in the media that draw our conclusions for us, and do so by alluding to facts attested to by one expert or another.

I have absolutely no agenda on this thing, I really just want to know what happened. I'm sure there are others who are similarly curious. It would be nice to see the data used by these experts to draw their conclusions, so we can have a better idea of just how feasible said conclusions are.

I know one thing for sure. Cratering charges are rated according to their effectiveness when buried - they're not rated in the open air (meaning there isn't any easily referenced chart, that I'm aware of, on the damage they produce in varying quantities outside the ground) because they're basically useless in that environment. They'll make a lot of smoke and noise, and do very little damage.

Of course, I have absolutely no frame of reference for explosives of this size. Could the updraft from the blast actually suck the roadway up and out to leave a crater? I just don't know.

So how would someone go about determining the effects of 4000 lbs of explosive X in the open air, above the ground, without actually recreating the incident? I'm lousy when it comes to higher math...

posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 07:44 PM
Well, I've been talking to some people about the plausibility of packing 4000 lbs into a minivan, and the consensus is that it would be possible, if not safe.

Of course nobody with a 4000 lb bomb is worried about safety...

General consensus among the people I talked to was that the engine would be seriously overtaxed, also the transmission and obviously the suspension and the brakes. However, it could be feasible, for short distances, at slow speed. It wouldn't take long to to strip the transmission and fold the suspension, but the rig would be driveable for a time at least - long enough, presumably, to get it into position and park it.

So my initial question has somewhat been answered. I'd still like more input, from anyone who knows a thing or two about car parts (stresses, etc.), but I'm pretty much sold on the idea that a minivan could carry a 4000 lb load, unsafely, temporarily, awkwardly, but carry it nonetheless.

posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 05:41 AM
A couple of things:

First, Wiki says that the explosion was caused by the equiv of about 1,000kg of TNT, which is around 2,200lbs. Still, very lethal, but about half of what you propose.

Then again, your sources cite "new information", which makes your figures correct.

As far as driving an overtaxed van, think of it from this angle: Maybe it was partially loaded, parked, and then completely loaded.

posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 06:31 AM
Good post Wyrdeone. Its amazing this case has taken so long to be solved. Its a shame because that man had done a lot to rebuild Lebanon , even using his own finances to do it with. He was a Billionaire but he was helping his people. It should be a priority for them to figure out who did this.


posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 03:40 PM
Yeah, the original estimates on the size of the bomb were about half of what they are now. I suspect the Wiki entry just hasn't been updated yet, since this report was fairly recent. I honestly don't know if 1 ton of explosives, or 2 tons of explosives, or even 5 tons of explosives are sufficient to leave a crater that size.

Open air explosives are never used in demolition work, because it's not efficient. I wish I could get some numbers, a chart or something, showing how many pounds of explosive X to equal one pound of the same explosive buried.

I've seen charts that allow you to figure out the depth and breadth of the crater left by certain common explosives when they're buried, but nothing dealing with the open air. I suspect such charts simply don't exist, or if they do, it was a military test rather than a private sector effort.

The PieMaN
Yeah, from everything I've read about him he was not necessarily a nice guy, but he did a lot for his country. I think it's interesting that whenever he's mentioned in the press, he's usually called 'Anti-Syrian' - which is not entirely accurate. He was also 'Anti-Israeli', or 'Pro-Lebanese' depending on how you want to spin it.

Why isn't that ever mentioned?

I think the way this story has been dealt with in the press speaks volumes about the conclusions we're expected to draw.

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