The Beirut explosion took place at a warehouse that held 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been confiscated from a ship. Hezbollah also stored the chemical in southern Germany. Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: During their investigations into the Lebanese Hezbollah, German security authorities learned that ammonium nitrate was stored in Germany.

In response to an inquiry, the Federal Authority for the Protection of the Constitution (German Internal Intelligence) said in the context of investigations into Hezbollah in the past, it was found that it had stored so-called “cold packages” that contain, among other things, ammonium nitrate, according to the German news agency.


The authority added, in a statement, “The stored cold packages were taken out of Germany again in 2016. There is no information or evidence that this storage of the cold packages has anything to do with the storage of (ammonium nitrate) in the port of Beirut.”

The inquiry comes against the backdrop of a report by the Israeli Channel 12, which last spring, without mentioning its sources, stated that Israeli Foreign Intelligence (Mossad) informed German intelligence that Hezbollah had stored ammonium nitrate in warehouses in southern Germany.

Protecting interests

In response to an inquiry about a possible finding of ammonium nitrate in Germany, the German Interior Ministry said, “We cannot make statements in this regard for reasons related to protecting the interests of the German security authorities.”

The “Free Democratic Party” in the local parliament of the German state of Bavaria had contacted the state government to inquire about the report of the Israeli station, before the Constitution Protection Commission’s statement.

“Bavaria should not become a warehouse of explosive materials,” Martin Hagen, head of the party’s parliamentary bloc, told the German news agency.

Stores of ammonium nitrate

In a written request for a briefing, Hagen asked the state government to answer whether the authorities knew of stores of ammonium nitrate in Bavaria, whether they had been found, and how much ammonium nitrate had been seized in them.

A spokesman for the local interior ministry in Bavaria said, “We have no information on this.”

It is reported that more than 130 people were killed in a terrible explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut, last Tuesday, and thousands were injured, and the possible cause of the explosion was the improper storage of high explosive ammonium nitrate. The port of Lebanon where the explosion occurred was largely under Hezbollah’s control.

The German Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, said Hezbollah’s activities were banned in Germany in April.