Iranian proxy Hezbollah activities are on rise in Germany, according to a report by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the domestic intelligence agency for the German state of Lower Saxony. Iran-backed Hezbollah is a Shi’ite militancy outfit based in Lebanon.
According to the German language intelligence report reviewed by The Jerusalem Post, the number of supporters and members rose from 1,050 in 2019 to 1,250 last year.
There are about 180 Hezbollah members and supporters in the state of Lower Saxony, a rise of 20 members from 160 in 2019.
Lower Saxony’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the formal name for its domestic intelligence agency, wrote that “Hezbollah denies the right of the state of Israel to exist and fights it with terrorist means. In Germany the followers of Hezbollah maintain organizational and ideological cohesion, among other things, in local mosque associations, which are primarily financed by donations.”
The report added that: “For the Shi’ite community, ‘Hezbollah,’ founded with the help of the Islamic Republic of Iran, demands the application of the Islamic legal system of Sharia.”
Last year Germany’s Interior Ministry banned all Hezbollah activities within the territory of the federal republic.
Hezbollah is cited 37 times in the 436-page intelligence document that covered the year 2020. The report documents security threats to the constitutional and democratic system of the state of Lower Saxony.
The report did not explain the reasons for the increase in Hezbollah members and supporters in Germany and Lower Saxony.
Hezbollah uses “their propaganda against Western institutions” and is, as a result, “directed against the international understanding and the peaceful coexistence of peoples,” noted the report.
The intelligence agency said Hezbollah’s anti-Western ideology and terrorism permits it to be subjected to observation by German intelligence officials.
According to the report, Hezbollah “supporters from the same associations visit the same mosques.” The report said the “mobilization potential of Hezbollah should not be underestimated in Germany.”
In Lower Saxony there are supporters of Hezbollah, as well those who sympathize with Hezbollah, in many organized associations.
The pro-Hezbollah associations are active in the cities of Hanover and Osnabrück in southern Lower Saxony as well as in the area of the city-state of Bremen, noted the report.
The intelligence data said the associations are financed mainly through membership fees and donation activities.
“The connection to the Hezbollah takes place via functionaries who come from Lebanon always again for special occasions, for example, the anniversary of the withdrawal of the Israeli army from southern Lebanon or on high Muslim holidays.”
The number of Islamists increased in Germany by roughly 700 to 28,715 in 2020. The German Muslim Brotherhood network, which is largely aligned with the terrorist organization Hamas, grew by 170 members to 1,900 in 2020.
In addition to Germany, Hezbollah’s entire movement has been classified as a terrorist organization by the US, the Arab League, the Netherlands, Israel, Canada, the United Kingdom, Austria, Czech Republic, Japan, Lithuania, Slovenia, and many additional European and Latin America countries.
France, Spain, Italy and the European Union have merely designated Hezbollah’s so-called military wing a terrorist entity.