On November 27, 2020, four Iranian terrorist will go on trial in Antwerp, Belgium. Among them Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian regime diplomat, who conducted and carried out the plan to bomb a massive Iranian opposition gathering on June 30, 2018, in Villepinte, Paris. Along with Assadi, three of his accomplices, Amir Saadouni, Nasimeh Naami, and Mehrdad Arefani, will also be tried.
The bomb supposed to detonate during the big meeting of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) consisted of half a kilogram of TATP, a homemade explosive that is “very sensitive to heat, friction, and shock,” according to Belgium’s bomb disposal unit (DOVO). Although the materials in it were freely available, anyone putting it together would have needed “a good knowledge of electronics,” according to DOVO.
When police discovered the suspected package in Saadouni and Naami’s car trunk, they established a security perimeter of 200 meters. DOVO found that the suspicious package concerns a toiletry bag containing 500 grams of white powder.
The bomb package was unexpectedly detonated during manipulation by the DOVO explosives robot. The robot itself was so damaged that it went out of operation. Despite a perimeter of several hundred meters, the blast wave still caused minor injuries to a special agent. The bomb exploded in the open air, so without flying damage particles.
When we look at the photos of the convention in Villepinte, we notice that tens of thousands of people packed in the large Expo hall. A shock wave of more than 100 meters through this crowd would have had catastrophic consequences. If an armored explosive robot is damaged to such an extent to become inoperative, one can imagine the effects of such an explosion on the unprotected human body. Besides, there is the fact that such an explosion would have resulted in an enormous panic reaction, whereby the mobilization of the masses would undoubtedly also have claimed fatal victims.
Finally, the homemade TATP has a strength of 88% of the known TNT. The strength of the TATP can vary depending on the ingredients present. Considering the package’s professionalism and the knowledge and methodology of secret agent Assadi, only the worst can be assumed.
The DOVO report shows that the bomb package was composed so that all parts were connected to the explosives. In the event of an explosion, all parts would be destroyed to the maximum. DOVO speaks of a professional-made bomb package. The 3D – printed sleeve of the remote control and the system with the GSM detonator also indicate a high degree of professionalism. This modus operandi is consistent with that of a state-run Secret Service.
After the explosive transfer, there was extensive communication between Assadi and the couple to explain in detail what exactly they had to do to activate the explosive in question. Police also found a manual on how to work with the bomb in detail in Assadi’s car.
Undeniably, a large number of casualties would have occurred had the bomb detonated.
The meeting involved a peaceful gathering of the Iranian opposition. The place of the meeting was the heart of free Europe: Paris. Such an attack would have shaken the free West to its foundations. The consequences for France (and Belgium!) have been enormous. Tensions with Iran are said to have run high. Relationships are already incredibly tense as a result of these facts. So the damage is real.
A bomb attack near Paris has the almost ‘natural’ consequence that the French state structures would have been deeply affected. Besides, such a bomb attack would have terrified the population.