update deskIsrael at War

Germany raids Hezbollah-linked group

The Islamic Center of Hamburg and affiliated groups were targeted at 54 locations across seven federal states.

German police on a raid. Credit: Jay P. Lee via Flickr.
German police on a raid. Credit: Jay P. Lee via Flickr.

German authorities on Thursday morning conducted nationwide raids against the Islamic Center of Hamburg (IZH) for suspected connections to the Hezbollah terrorist group, Deutsche Welle reported.

The Interior Ministry said that searches took place at 54 locations across seven federal states. No arrests were made but evidence was collected on the suspicion that the Islamist association was “acting against constitutional order” and “supporting [the] terror organization Hezbollah.”

In 2020, Germany designated the radical Shi’ite Iranian proxy in Lebanon a terrorist organization and banned its activities on German soil.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said that police also raided five affiliated groups of the Hamburg Islamic Center.

“We have the Islamist scene in our sights,” Faeser said following the raids.

“Especially now, at a time when many Jews feel particularly threatened, it’s important to state: we do not tolerate Islamist propaganda or antisemitic and anti-Israel agitation,” she added. 

“Now especially is the time to be on high alert and for a tough approach. This is why we are following every reasonable suspicion seriously,” she said.

IZH was founded in 1953 by Iranian immigrants to Germany, and Germany’s domestic intelligence services believe that the mosque is an extension of the Iranian regime. The Interior Ministry says that IZH spreads Iranian revolutionary ideas to Germany.

Earlier this month, Faeser announced a complete ban on Hamas activities in Germany.

Already designated a terror organization in the Germany, Berlin moved to ban its activities completely following its Oct. 7 massacre of 1,400 Israelis.

“With Hamas, I have today completely banned the activities of a terrorist organization whose aim is to destroy the State of Israel,” said Faeser.

The German wing of Samidoun, a Palestinian organization with close ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group, will also be disbanded.

Faeser said that Samidoun works under the guise of a solidarity group for Palestinian prisoners to spread antisemitic hate and anti-Israel propaganda.

“The holding of spontaneous ‘celebrations’ here in Germany in response to the terrible terrorist attacks of Hamas against Israel shows the antisemitic, inhuman worldview of Samidoun,” she said.

In other action, legislation under consideration by the Bundestag seeks to block antisemites from gaining German citizenship, amid a sharp rise in antisemitic incidents in the country following Hamas’s Oct. 7 assault on Israel.

According to a statement released by Berlin’s Interior Ministry on Oct. 23: “The Citizenship Act should make it clear that antisemitic, racist, xenophobic or other inhumanely motivated actions are incompatible with the human dignity guarantee of the Basic Law and violate the free democratic basic order. Such actions therefore exclude naturalization. Of course, this also includes anti-Israel antisemitism.”

The draft law comes amid a 240% increase in antisemitic incidents in Germany in the week following Oct. 7, according to the watchdog organization RIAS Berlin.

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