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Hezbollah threatened top judge probing Beirut port blast, source says

New speculation that Hezbollah urged the Lebanese government to stop investigating the Beirut port blast has emerged. According to those familiar with the situation, high-ranking Hezbollah official Wafiq Safa issued a verbal warning to Judge Tarek Bitar via an unidentified intermediary. The intermediary was reportedly a known individual to the judge, and the threat mentioned Safa by name. Safa is currently the head of the Iran-backed militant group’s Liason and Coordination Unit. Since 2019, he has been on a US Treasury sanctions list due to allegations of exploiting Lebanon’s port and border crossings to smuggle contraband on behalf of Hezbollah.

The reports remain unconfirmed by either party, and neither Hezbollah nor Safa have been named by the state as official subjects of the investigation into the port blast. The conversation was reported by Lebanese local media and correspondent Edmond Sassine. It is unclear what the threat itself meant, however, the organization has been previously accused of employing intimidation tactics against officials.

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