Pressure by the Trump administration on the German government paid off when that country finally banned Hezbollah, the Shiite Islamist terror militia in Lebanon allied with Iran. And Iran’s role in spreading the Wuhan Virus probably didn’t help either.
And after the ban, a belated crackdown followed.
Germany on Thursday completely banned Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement from carrying out activities on its soil, as police raided mosques and venues linked to the group.
Like the European Union, Germany had until now only outlawed Hezbollah’s military wing while tolerating its political wing.
But in a shift immediately welcomed by the United States and Israel, the German interior ministry said it now considered the entire movement a “Shiite terrorist organisation”.
“Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation deemed responsible for numerous attacks and kidnappings worldwide,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told Germany’s Bild daily.
Not exactly news.
Dozens of police and special forces stormed mosques and associations linked to Hezbollah in Bremen, Berlin, Dortmund and Muenster in the early hours of the morning, German media reported.
The Al-Irshad mosque in Berlin was sealed off with at least 16 police vans parked outside, an AFP photographer saw. Masked police officers were seen walking in and out of the mosque.
Although Hezbollah has no official presence in Germany, security forces estimate it has roughly a thousand members in the country.
They are thought to use Germany as a safe haven to make plans, recruit sympathisers and raise funds, including through criminal activities.
Why raid mosques? Because contrary to the myth that Islamic terror has nothing to do with Islam, mosques are incubators of terrorism in the United States, Europe, and around the world. Islamic terrorist groups are rooted in Islam and set up their core bases using Islamic institutions.
US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell welcomed Berlin’s change in stance and called on “all European Union member states to take similar action”.
Grenell gets most of the credit for the move.