(New York, N.Y.) – Today, Germany designated Hezbollah in its entirety as a terrorist organization, banning all of its activities in the country. The announcement by the Federal Ministry of the Interior came hours after German authorities raided properties in Bremen, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Berlin, detaining several suspects accused of providing financial and propaganda support to the terrorist group. Germany had previously designated only Hezbollah’s so-called military wing as a terrorist group, allowing Hezbollah’s political supporters to freely operate in the country. Germany joins the Netherlands as the only EU member states to recognize the Iran-backed group as a single entity. The UK also designated Hezbollah in March 2019.
According to German intelligence reports from July 2019, there are approximately 1,050 Hezbollah supporters and 30 mosques and centers linked to the group in the country. On July 13, 2019, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell accused Hezbollah of “hunting for money in Europe.” A previous December 2019 resolution in the German parliament recognized Hezbollah’s global criminal activities and called for both Germany and Europe to freeze all of Hezbollah’s finances by banning the group in its entirety.
As Counter Extremism Project Senior Researcher Joshua Lipowsky previously wrote in January 2020, “Hezbollah has not hesitated in the past to strike on the European continent. It is responsible for the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 traveling from Athens to Rome. It is implicated in the 2012 Bulgaria bus bombing. A Cypriot court in 2013 sentenced a Hezbollah operative to prison for planning attacks on Israeli targets. And supporters continue to wave the terror group’s flags in European capitals during annual demonstrations for Quds Day, the anti-Israel rally instituted by the Iranian regime.”
To read CEP’s Hezbollah resource, please click here.
To read CEP’s Germany resource, please click here.
To read the CEP op-ed Time for Germany to outlaw all of Hezbollah, please click here.