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Report: Experts Opinion on 2018 Foiled Bombing of “Free Iran” Rally

On Thursday, a court in Antwerp, Belgium, heard the appeal case of three Iranian operatives who had attempted to bomb the “Free Iran” rally in Paris in 2018. During this court session, two explosive experts testified. The experts’ testimonies shed light on shocking dimensions of the possible casualties if the bomb had exploded.

Thursday’s court session again underlined what inhumane and criminal motives this foiled bombing had. The operation was ordered by the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, and the target was Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the Iranian Resistance’s president-elect as well as other participants in the “Free Iran” gathering.

According to expert testimonies on Thursday, the regime’s explosive experts made this bomb in Iran. Iran’s diplomat-terrorist Assadollah Assadi had transferred the bomb from Iran to Austria using a commercial airliner on June 22, 2018. Assadi had delivered the bomb to Nasimeh Na’ami and Amir Sadouni on June 28, 2018. French authorities confiscated the bomb from the couple’s car on June 30, 2018. The following are technical details of the bomb.

 

General Overview of the Technical Assessment of the Bomb

1-     The bomb had a professional structure that indicates that it was designed by explosive experts inside Iran.

2-     The bomb contained 596 grams of TATP explosive material. Its dimension was 832 cubic centimeters, as determined by accurate calculations by Belgian police experts.

3-     Contrary to the defendants’ claims, the structure of the bomb was designed to increase the amount of shrapnel propelled by the explosion and add to its lethal effect.

4-     The bomb partially exploded while being defused, injuring a police officer who was standing 80 meters away.  Had the bomb fully exploded, the extent of the damage could have been much greater.

5-     According to the accurate assessment of police experts, the blast would have been lethal for up to 53 meters.

Therefore, since the targeted venue was crowded, the bomb’s explosion could have resulted in hundreds of deaths and injuries. The casualties would have increased due to the resulting chaos and people’s attempt to leave the place. The bombing could have turned into the greatest humanitarian catastrophe in Europe in the 21st century.

Testimony of Explosive Experts

During the appeal of three of Assadollah Assadi’s accomplices, the court heard from two explosives experts about the extent of the destructive effects of the bomb.

Refusing to appeal the verdict, Assadollah Assadi has practically accepted the 20-year prison sentence and did not attend the previous hearings. His associates tried to downplay their role in the conspiracy by appealing, and they even claimed that the bomb they were trying to detonate did not have much destructive power. Therefore, the court summoned two experts to examine the claims.

 

Testimony of an Explosives Specialist from Germany

A German expert first appeared as a witness in court and answered questions from the judge and subsequently the defendants’ lawyers and the lawyers of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and other plaintiffs.

The German experts underlined that the blast wave depends on the bomb’s weight and distance and noted that a policeman was injured during defusing the bomb despite being at a long distance.

The experts underlined that had the bomb exploded, its parts could have acted like bullets, as proof thereof that the bomb was made professionally. He also noted that the parts of the bomb were designed to increase casualties and that even the blast wave could have been deadly.

Testimony of an Explosives Specialist from Belgium

Another expert from Belgium stated that the bomb was a professional bomb. He said that the camera of the robot used in defusing the bomb was destroyed, even though the robot was designed to resist explosions. Besides its camera, one of the robot’s handles has also been destroyed and cannot be repaired.

He underlined that the bomb was “partially” exploded. Had it fully exploded, there could have been much more damage. The Belgian expert stated that they have data and evidence leading them to conclude that the bomb was professionally made. He said the materials used showed the designers knew what they were doing.

“For example, the battery was placed in a specific way, so all components be together. They would have been destroyed during the explosion, and this is another sign that the bomb was professionally made,” the expert noted.

When the judge asked the expert whether he can confirm the bomb was professionally made, he said: “Yes. The one who created the bomb was an expert. This is true about the remote control. One could have mistaken it with a garage door opener remote. It was not easy to identify the remote.”

The bomb contained 596 grams of TATP explosive material. Its dimension was 832 cubic centimeters, as determined by accurate calculations by Belgian police experts. The Belgian expert underlined that once the bomb was exploded, it would have created a fireball, burning everything in its surroundings. “The way we calculate is that we have software that calculates the numbers, and we have a table that the US military uses,” he said.

He also said that if the bomb was exploded, it could have a lethal effect in a radius of 53 meters. The expert also emphasized that a police officer standing 80 meters away from the bomb was injured. This is while the bomb did not actually explode.

How was the bomb carried and concealed?

According to the documents in the file, the bomb was embedded in the lining of a women’s bag carried by Nasimeh Na’ami. The bag was in a suitcase inside the couple’s car, and the remote control was placed inside a makeup bag.

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