by: Rami Dabbas
How is Germany important to Hezbollah?
In the footsteps of the United States of America and The United Kingdom, the authorities in Germany recently announced a complete ban on the activities of the Lebanese “Hezbollah” in Germany. After it revealed a serious intention to take such a step several months ago, the security in Germany began a campaign to pursue and besiege each of the Militia’s followers on German soil; This places Hezbollah in a real predicament, given their vital dependence on an external network of supporters spread throughout the world.
Institutions and centers
Germany represents one of the countries that has witnessed an extensive spread of Hezbollah institutions, religious centers and associations, and it seeks to mobilize support for it. According to a report published by “Fox News” based on German intelligence reports issued last year, there are 1050 Hezbollah operatives active in Germany, and that about 30 mosques and cultural centers on German soil have links to Hezbollah.
Hezbollah is facing a real dilemma with increasing pressure on its branches and the pursuit of its working with institutions in the countries of the world; especially those responsible for providing and transporting money. The German Ministry of the Interior indicated that the authorities are investigating mosques and associations linked to “Hezbollah”, on charges related to financial support and propaganda for the Militia in Europe.
The “Fox News” report also revealed intelligence information in Bremen, stating that the “Mustafa Community Center“, controlled by “Hezbollah”, is a major fundraising center for the Militia, and it worked to send funds directly to its headquarters in Beirut.
Hezbollah, by setting up an infrastructure of this size for Hezbollah in Germany, opens wide questions about its tasks; whether at the level of money transfers or prohibited trade, pointing out that there is an intelligence war to reveal what Hezbollah is doing in more than one country in the world, and this has lead to an organized international campaign against the Militia.
Hezbollah has an external operations unit that is trying to find a foothold in all areas vital to the Militia; Either in Latin America or in Europe.
An important step
Canada, the United States, Britain, the Netherlands, Israel, the League of Arab States, and a number of Latin American countries currently entirely ban the organization of Hezbollah; but the European Union banned only the “military wing” of Hezbollah in 2013, while allowing its “political wing” to operate in Europe.
Hezbollah has always relied on a network connections to the organization, associations, and foundations in many countries of the world; with the aim of mobilizing financing on the one hand, and finding logistical headquarters for its activities on the other hand, with Germany’s recent ban putting them in a predicament.
The German government justified its important move to besiege the Militia; because of its “continuing to demand the annihilation of Israel and the fight against its existence”, in addition to the party’s responsibility for the killing of many people in different regions around the world; among them are hundreds of thousands of Syrians.
Germany is of great importance to the party; it is considered a safe haven for some of its members, and this is what the German Foreign Ministry said, noting that “the party is working to collect donations in Germany and Europe through all the organizations and associations that have close ties with Arab and Islamic countries”.
As the German step is very important, because it opens the way for more countries to follow their example in Europe. In Germany, there are no official institutions that work directly for Hezbollah. This made the tracking task difficult, but the authorities succeeded in confining them and storming them in several German cities after the ban was issued.