Adonis Diaries

Beirut Terrorist Car Explosion: Exclusive Photos and the death of Mohammad Shateh

Posted on: December 27, 2013

Another nasty Beirut Explosion: Exclusive Photos and the death of former minister of Finance and academician Mohammad Shateh

These photos are becoming too familiar.

Walking nonchalantly towards the blast site, people in suits walking to their cars after they got the day off.

A powerful explosion of about 60 kilos harvested Mohammad Shateh, 8 others and injured 70 bystanders.

Apparently, Shateh was on his way to join the March 14 coalition in order to expose his project for putting an end to the endemic violent crises in his home city of Tripoli (Lebanon)

 posted this Dec. 27, 2013

Mohammad Shatah was a friend, and I fondly remember several functions in the states where I had the pleasure of having a conversation with him. The shock is still sinking in, but the reactions are all too familiar.

Rabble of people, security forces shouting, ministers and officials with 5 dozen guards each trampling all over the evidence that was already tampered with by dozens of passerby.

The same broken record on TV stations, the same, old, tired phrases that even the speakers don’t believe anymore.

Shots taken seconds after the blast

Saad Hariri’s Political and Financial Adviser, Muhammad Shatah Killed in Huge Explosion that Rocked Beirut   إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية

Naharnet Newsdesk published:

A heavy explosion that rocked the capital Beirut on Friday targeted the convoy of former Finance Minister Mohammed Shatah, who is ex-Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s adviser.

Shatah’s vehicle license was located in the area of the blast.

The body of Shatah was retrieved from the scene and transferred to AUBMC.

The blast that hit Starco area in downtown Beirut near Bank Audi-SAL also killed five people and at least 15 others were wounded. (The statistics has increased to 8 killed and 70 injured)

Around 400 meters of the area was damaged.

Caretaker PM Najib Miqati swiftly called for an emergency meeting for the Higher Council for Disasters.

“Hizbullah is pressing hard to be granted similar powers in security and foreign policy matters that Syria exercised in Lebanon for 15 years,” Shatah wrote in a tweet a few hours before his assassination.

Shatah had served as adviser to former PM Fouad Saniora and his successor Saad Hariri, whose own father Rafic was assassinated in a huge Beirut seafront car bomb in February 2005 blamed on Syria.

A meeting for the March 14 alliance (as opposed to March 8 alliance) was scheduled to be held at the Center House in downtown.

State Commissioner to the Military Court Judge Saqr Saqr arrived at the scene to inspect the site of explosion.

Saqr said that the explosion weighed between 50 and 60 kilos.

Higher Defense Council chief General Mohammed Kheir also inspected the area at the head of a delegation to determine the needs of the victims and take the necessary measures to aid them.

Early estimates said around 30 kilograms of highly combustible elements were used in the explosives.

Red Cross Operations Director George Kettaneh told LBCI that “there are more than 15 casualties.”

Caretaker Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil later ordered all hospitals in Beirut to receive those who were wounded in the explosion.

Television channels showed pictures of thick smoke near the Serail, where Lebanon’s prime minister has his offices, and a major commercial district home to shops, banks, restaurants.

People were seen running to rescue the injured as a helicopter was seen hovering over the area of the blast.

Footage broadcast by Future TV showed people on fire, others lying on the ground, some bloodied, as well as fires blazing at several other points while ambulances rushed to the stricken area.

Civil defense teams battled fire that erupted in the area of the explosion.

The blast, according to media reports, was caused by a booby-trapped car.

According to MTV the suicide attacker’s name was identified by Ahmed.

Security forces were seen opening fire in the air to disperse people gathered near the blast and began checking the identification papers of passers-by in the area.

The blast caused a major dysfunction in mobile phone communications.

Beirut has been hit by several deadly attacks over the past months, including twin suicide bombings in November that targeted the Iranian embassy and bombings in the bastion of Hizbullah in the south of the capital over the summer.

The 33-month war in Syria has deeply divided the Lebanese and triggered political tensions and sectarian clashes in the country.

Shots of the aftermath at around 10:30-11:00AM on Dec 27, 2013


Today, you need to give thought to the innocent passerby. Knowing Shatah makes this exceptionally painful, but the thought of an innocent citizen passing by and getting killed at 9:30AM on a Friday right after Christmas is just too much.

Army and police were hindering our fun and merriment very efficiently the past few days, but to actually do their job and do something to protect us? Absolutely not.

They’re just the clean-up crew when they’re not busy arresting kids on Christmas. Dis-gus-ting.

I’m leaving Beirut for a couple of days, will be back then.

Till then, my deepest condolences to Chatah’s family and all the innocent passerby.

Makes you wonder when’s our turn to get killed while idly going about our lives in our beloved Beirut…

As I finish this post, the tiny church surrounded by massive skyscrapers has its bells ringing, probably on automatic, as the Christmas tree in Omar’s place shifts in the wind creeping in from the broken window… Merry Christmas indeed…


Personal Note 1: A powerful explosion that kills, maims and injures innocent people with the main target is meant to send several messaes to different parties.

Since the Lebanese government never divulge the perpetrators and its investigations to the general public, it up to the citizens to conjecture (upfront and immediately) on the assassinating parties and the purposes behind the gory attempt.

Depending on which alliance you consider yourself to lean toward, the Evil or the Saint Alliances, you have the pick among these various choices as to the goal of the massive blast:

1. Shateh was the prime mover of the received funds from foreign powers to be channeled to the violent factions in Lebanon and in Syria

2. Sahteh knew too much of who and how the funds were transferred and was to be eliminated as a dangerous witness since the bloody Syrian case has been settled

3. Shateh received the Green Light from abroad to position himself as a viable Prime Minister and a few parties, internally and externally didn’t want this potential candidate to reach a point of no return in the mind of the citizens as the consensus candidate…

4. Shateh is a dual US and Israeli spy who communicated all Lebanon data (citizens and institutions) to the US and Israel and he was to be eliminated in pomp after the latest assassination of Israel of Hezbollah’s intelligence chief Hassan Laqkiss. Since Lebanon barely gather statistics, not even conduct census, whatever information you need on Lebanon you’ll have to dig into Israeli achieves.

5. Blowing up Shateh is a strong message to the former Prime Minister Saniora that if the judicial system in Lebanon cannot touch him, a bomb will take revenge of his being an Israeli agent since 1976.

6. Shateh has been dipping his hand very deep into the funds meant for other purposes…

7. Shateh has been trying to dissociate himself from the shady operations that he  committed himself decades ago. The Saudi Wahhabi political trend is violence or nothing “Either with us or against us” and Shateh angered this obscurantist monarchy…

8. Seniora is the prime beneficiary of Shateh’s assassination as the natural contender to run the financial business of the Hariri clan… Seniora proved in a hurried speech that he is pleased and immediately blamed Hezbollah for the explosion in order to divert the investigation toward political tangents.

Bref, follow the money trail

Note 2: Shatah was born in 1951 in Tripoli (North Lebanon) and graduated in business administration from AUB in 1974 and received a PhD in economics in 1983 from  Texas University. He worked 11 years for the International Monetary Fund. Late Rafic Hariri appointed him as one of the vice-presidents of Lebanon Central Bank and then ambassador to the US (1997-2000). He became one of the small circle in Hariri financial team. He rejoined the IMF until Rafic was assassinated and returned to take on the finance ministry in Seniora PM cabinet… He was lately the advisor to Saad Hariri…

He is married with two grown up boys.

Note 3: Omar, the eldest of Shateh’s two sons, was in the USA at the date of the explosion and returned to Lebanon. He had this to say:

Going to bury the greatest father one could ever ask for. The funeral is at 10:30am Sunday morning at Mohammad Al Amin Mosque in downtown. I can't believe they took him from us. 

Don't be angry and don't try to score political points. For God's sake don't listen to political speeches or sycophants waxing polemic or poetic.

Just ask for justice and accountability for all the crimes they have committed. We know many of their names. Hold them to account.

I love you dad.
“Going to bury the greatest father one could ever ask for. The funeral is at 10:30am Sunday morning at Mohammad Al Amin Mosque in downtown.
I can’t believe they took him from us. Don’t be angry and don’t try to score political points.
For God’s sake don’t listen to political speeches or sycophants waxing polemic or poetic. Just ask for justice and accountability for all the crimes they have committed.
We know many of their names. Hold them to account. I love you dad.”

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December 2013

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