Top terror group official seen at customs often since Oct. 7

Hezbollah using Beirut airport to store Iranian arms, Lebanese whistleblowers claim

Workers say missiles, highly explosive RDX powder stored at international airport, fear it could become military target; transport minister denies ‘ridiculous’ claims

A picture shows a view of Beirut International Airport on June 21, 2024. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)
A picture shows a view of Beirut International Airport on June 21, 2024. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

Lebanese whistleblowers have come forward with allegations that Hezbollah is using Lebanon’s international airport in Beirut to store large quantities of Iranian weapons, a British daily reported Sunday.

According to The Telegraph, the Iran-backed terror group is using the Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport to store a variety of weapons, including ballistic missiles, unguided artillery rockets, and laser-guided anti-tank guided missiles.

A highly explosive and toxic white powder known as RDX is also being stored at the airport, the whistleblowers were quoted as saying.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah-affiliated Minister of Public Works and Transport Ali Hamieh held a press conference at the airport in response to the report, dismissing the “ridiculous” allegations.

Speaking to the British daily, an airport worker said that the weapons arrive at the airport on flights from Iran in “mysterious large boxes.”

“When they started to come through the airport, my friends and I were scared because we knew that there was something strange going on,” he said, adding that the situation was “extremely serious.”

Lebanese Hezbollah terrorists parade during a press tour in the southern Lebanese village of Aaramta, on May 21, 2023. (ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

According to the whistleblowers, the shipments from Iran have increased dramatically since the start of the war in Gaza, leading to fears that the airport could become a military target if war erupted between Israel and Hezbollah.

“If they keep bringing in these goods I’m not allowed to check, I really believe I’ll die from the explosion or I’ll die from Israel bombing ‘the goods,'” one of the whistleblowers said. “It’s not just us, it’s the ordinary people, the people coming in and out, going on holiday. If the airport is bombed, Lebanon is finished.”

One of the whistleblowers also said he sees Wafiq Safa, a top Hezbollah commander and interlocutor with Lebanese security forces, come to customs frequently since October 7, and that he has close ties with the customs managers.

“I feel like if we don’t do what they say, our families will be in danger,” the whistleblower said.

The Hezbollah lawmaker said at the airport Sunday that his office was in the process of filing a lawsuit against The Telegraph over the report, adding that details of the lawsuit would be “announced later.”

Hamieh invited journalists and ambassadors to take a tour of the airport’s facilities on Monday morning, to prove that “there is nothing to hide,” Lebanese media quoted the minister as saying.

In a statement to The Telegraph, the Israel Defense Forces said Hezbollah’s strategy of storing weapons in civilian areas endangers innocent people in times of “escalation.”

“If Hezbollah were to target Israeli civilians from these sites, the IDF would have no choice but to react, potentially placing Lebanese civilians in harm’s way, causing international outrage toward the IDF,” the statement read.

This photo taken on April 12, 2018 shows senior Hezbollah security official Wafiq Safa at his office in the Lebanese capital Beirut. (AFP)

“We have been aware of this for years, but we are unable to do anything without international legal action,” a security source at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said. “We are hand-tied to do what we’d really like, which is to close the airport and have all the weapons and explosives removed.”

Israel has in the past accused Iran of using direct flights to Lebanon to transfer equipment and arms to Hezbollah and also said the terror group hides underground precision missile production facilities close to Beirut’s international airport.

Since October 8, Hezbollah-led forces have attacked Israeli communities and military posts along the border on a near-daily basis, with the group saying it is doing so to support Gaza amid the war there.

So far, the skirmishes on the border have resulted in 10 civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of 15 IDF soldiers and reservists. There have also been several attacks from Syria, without any injuries.

Hezbollah has named 349 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 64 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and dozens of civilians have been killed.

Israel has warned it can no longer tolerate Hezbollah’s presence along its border, with tens of thousands of Israelis displaced from their homes in the north due to the rocket and drone attacks, and has warned that should a diplomatic solution not be reached it will turn to military action to push Hezbollah northward.

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