Trump began his Tuesday evening press briefing by offering sympathy to the Lebanese people after what he said “looks like a terrible attack.”
When asked by a reporter to clarify his comment, the president said his military advisers “seemed to feel the
incident was an attack based on the type of explosion.
“I’ve met with some of our great generals and they just seemed to feel that it was,Trump said.
“This was not some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of event … They would know better than I would,
but they seem to think it was an attack it was a bomb of some kind, yes.”
But Lebanese officials said on Tuesday afternoon that the blast involved a large amount of ammonium nitrate that
had been seized by the government several years ago and was being held at the site of the explosion.
“I will not relax until we find the responsible party for what happened, hold it accountable and apply the
most serious punishments against it because it isn’t acceptable that a shipment of ammonium nitrate estimated to be 2,750 tons was in a depot for the past six years without precautionary measures being taken,
said Prime Minister Diab, according to a statement by the Lebanese Higher Defense Council. Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim,
the head of Lebanon’s general security service, warned against speculation that the explosion was related to terrorism, according to The New York Times.