Germany confirms Mossad help with Hezbollah ban but upset about credit

The German government confirmed on Wednesday that the Mossad played a role in building a legal case to ban the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah within the borders of the federal republic.However, unnamed German government sources told the weekly paper Die Zeit that Berlin was not pleased that Israel took major credit for the proscription of Hezbollah as a terrorist entity.

“Within German government circles, they are not happy with the statements made by the Israeli official. The information about the ice packs was indeed received from the Mossad.”In early May, Channel 12 reported that an Israeli official said the operation to ban Hezbollah in Germany was “the result of many months of work with all parties in Germany. The heads of services were required to present explicit evidence and legal proof… linking the organization to significant terrorist activity, and that is what we did,” the official said. “Bruno Kahl, the head of the German intelligence organization BND, is a close friend of Mossad,” he added.The German paper said the Mossad material provided to the authorities is, according to the Berlin government sources,”a single component in a complex investigation process…The German services themselves had done the vast majority of the work.” Zeit wrote that it obtained the 30-page interior ministry memorandum outlining the reasons for outlawing Hezbollah.According to the document, “so-called travel sheikhs” were sent by Hezbollah “to advise Hezbollah-affiliated associations in Germany and Europe.”The paper said “a famous Hezbollah preacher spoke in Shi’ite communities in Berlin and Bremen in 2018 and 2019. A server in Germany was also used to store malware that Hezbollah used to spy on the cell phones of soldiers and civilians in Israel and the United States. The document provides the names of supporter websites and a donation association and describes how Hezbollah-related youth organizations in Germany wooed young people.”

The paper asked why the Mossad took significant credit for the Hezbollah ban. According to German government sources, Zeit wrote, they “suspect that the Israeli authorities wanted to signal in this way that they could inflict a painful blow on their Hezbollah archenemies, even in other European countries.”It is unclear how reliable the German government sources are who played down the role of the Mossad in the article by Paul Middelhoff.German and American commentators noted that the US government’s acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell,
was the driving force in convincing a largely recalcitrant German government to outlaw Hezbollah. Grenell also serves as the US ambassador to Germany.The Jerusalem Post exclusively reported last year on a Hezbollah member declaring in a Hezbollah-controlled mosque in the German city of Münster: “We belong to the party of Ruhollah [Khomeini]. We have been accused of being terrorists – we are proud of terrorism.”The Post received a tip about the pro-Hezbollah terror activity in the Imam Mahdi center in Münster. The intelligence agency for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where Münster is located, told the local media that it was unaware of the pro-terror declaration.The German officials raided the Imam Mahdi center in late April.The Post reported on May 2 that the intelligence was collected by the Mossad throughout several months in a complex operation.The information included incriminating details about Hezbollah operatives on German soil.One of the discoveries made thanks to the Mossad intelligence was a collection of warehouses in southern Germany belonging to Hezbollah operatives and containing hundreds of kilograms of ammonium nitrate, which is used to make explosives. Shi’ite businessmen were involved in transactions and money laundering and transferred millions of euros to bank accounts belonging to Hezbollah.The ice packs mentioned by the German sources in Zeit have been used by Hezbollah in the United Kingdom  to contain ammonium nitrate for explosives.In 2018, the Post reported that the Al-Mustafa Community Center in the northern German city-state of Bremen is a major hub for raising funds for Hezbollah in Lebanon and sends the money directly to Hezbollah’s main headquarters in Beirut.The Mossad has a history of supplying counter-terrorism officials in Europe with information to stop jihadi terrorism.The British Daily Telegraph reported last year that the United Kingdom had foiled Hezbollah efforts to stockpile explosives in London in 2015. The Kan public broadcaster said the Mossad furnished the British authorities with material that stopped the Hezbollah terror operation.

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