(photo credit:Reuters/Khalil Hassan)
BERLIN – The head of Germany’s federal agency for domestic intelligence and the
country’s Interior Ministry have recently presented a report showing Hezbollah’s
use of German based mosques and their affiliated organizations to raise funds for
the terrorist group’s activities in Lebanon.
According to the 2012 report
published this month by the domestic intelligence agency, known as the Federal
Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the terrorist organization
finances its activities through “Hezbollah-affiliated mosque associations” and
raises funds within the framework of “religious ceremonies” as well as
Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich, the head of Germany’s
Interior Ministry, and Dr. Hans-Georg Maaßen, the relatively new director of the
intelligence agency introduced the report several weeks ago in Berlin.
is unclear from the report if the Hezbollah funds in Germany are funneled to aid
the terrorist group’s efforts in Syria to support the regime of President Bashar
The report showed a steady presence of Hezbollah members in the
Federal Republic, 950 members, the same figure for 2011. The intelligence
agency’s 2010 report showed the number of Hezbollah members to be
The 381-page 2012 intelligence report lists the Hezbollah attack on
Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria, under the category of Islamic
Although the Bulgarian Interior Minister blamed Hezbollah for
the attack, which resulted in the deaths of five Israelis and their Bulgarian
bus driver, the German report stated that “Hezbollah was brought into connection
with the attack” but that the link was not yet definitively proven. The report
was published before the Bulgarian government submitted new evidence, according
to a JTA article last week, showing a Hezbollah operative used a printer in
Lebanon to aid the terrorists with fake documents as part of their planning for
The German report also contained information about the July
7, 2012, arrest of a Hezbollah member in Cyprus who plotted to kill Israelis and
Jews on the Island. Germany’s report, however, does not contain the March
conviction of Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, who admitted he was a Hezbollah operative
and part of the terrorist organization’s global mission to monitor
Young German Hezbollah members are strongly connected and active on
the Internet, including social media and various web forums, the report noted.
Growing street demonstrations involving Hezbollah supporters and members were
documented, including an event attended by 1,100 Hezbollah supporters last year
at the Al-Quds Day march in Berlin. At 600, the 2012 number of young members
almost doubled from 2011.
According to the report, as many as 3,000
Hezbollah supporters participated in the Iranian-sponsored Al- Quds Day march in
the 1990s. The event calls for the destruction of Israel and stokes anti-Western
Though not cited in the agency’s report, The Jerusalem Post
reported in 2012 that the Imam Ali Mosque in Hamburg, widely considered by
experts in Germany and abroad to be part of the long arm of Iran’s regime in the
Federal Republic, chartered buses and sent Hezbollah supporters to an
anti-Israel and anti-Western demonstration. Hamburg’s local intelligence agency
stated that “two buses with roughly 90 people traveled to Berlin this year. The
costs for the travel were paid for by the IZH,” an organization that operates
the Shi’ite mosque.
According to the report, Berlin has 250 active
Hezbollah members. It revealed that in Berlin there is an annual “victory
celebration of the liberation” celebrating the IDF withdrawal from south Lebanon
in May 2000. On May 26, 2012, roughly 700 Hezbollah participants took part in
The report noted that in September 2012, Hezbollah members in
many German cities protested against the anti-Islam film Innocence of
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called for worldwide
demonstrations against the film.
The most recent intelligence report
cited the Hezbollah-controlled Orphans Project Lebanon in Germany as a way to
send money to Lebanon.
Hezbollah has long used German territory to raise
funds for the families of suicide bombers involved in killing Israelis. A 2009
report from the European Foundation for Democracy titled “Hezbollah’s
Fund-raising Organization in Germany” revealed that the Orphans Project Lebanon,
based in Göttingen, Lower Saxony, is “the German branch of a Hezbollah
suborganization” that “promotes suicide bombings” and aims to destroy
Germany still allows the Orphans Project Lebanon to operate but
eliminated its tax subsidy several years ago.
With the new push by
Germany, France and the United Kingdom to ban Hezbollah’s military wing in the
EU, it remains unclear whether the blacklisting efforts will affect the work of
the Orphans Project Lebanon. Austria, the Czech Republic and Finland have
rejected the move to sanction Hezbollah within the EU.
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