The number of Hezbollah members and supporters in the German state of Lower Saxony increased from 150 in 2018 to 160 in 2019, according to a damning new intelligence report released in late May.The report said that in “Lower Saxony supporters and sympathizers of Hezbollah are organized in several associations that have specified the care and dissemination of Lebanese culture and the practice of their religion as their purpose and goal in statutes.”
The report said that Hezbollah associations are located in Hanover, the capital of Lower Saxony, the city of Osnabrück and the town Uelzen. Hezbollah members and supporters are also located in South Lower Saxony. The report added that Hezbollah “activities can also be observed in the area around Bremen in Lower Saxony.” The German Interior Ministry declared Hezbollah a terrorist movement in late April and banned all Hezbollah activity in Germany.The intelligence document said that “the Lebanese Shi’ite organization Hezbollah (Party of God) uses terrorist means to fight the State of Israel, but also directs its propaganda against Western institutions.”It is unclear if the German authorities plan to take legal action against the Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah members and supporters in Lower Saxony and their mosques and associations. The report did not provide reasons for the increase in Hezbollah members and supporters in Lower Saxony.The intelligence report said “the associations are mainly financed by membership fees and fundraisers. The connection to Hezbollah is made by officials who come from Lebanon again and again on…occasions such as…the anniversary of the withdrawal of the Israeli army from southern Lebanon or on high Muslim holidays.”
According to the intelligence document, “in Lower Saxony, members of various associations also visit the same mosques. Regardless of a certain sympathy in parts of the Shi’ite Lebanese living here for the political and ideological goals of Hezbollah.” The state of Lower Saxony has a population of nearly 8 million.The report noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran backs Hezbollah with funds.“The model for Hezbollah is the revolutionary Iran,” wrote the intelligence officials. According to various German intelligence reports, there are 1,050 Hezbollah members and supporters in the federal republic.The Lower Saxony intelligence agency wrote that Hezbollah seeks to propagate a radical system of Islamic law (Sharia) against the liberal, democratic social and political order, adding that” the mobilization potential of Hezbollah in Germany should not be underestimated.”Hezbollah members and supporters from Lower Saxony have participated in the annual al-Quds rally in Berlin last year that calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, according to the report. “Among the demonstrators were people who had come from Lower Saxony.” Activists from the German Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel were present at the rally. A sign displayed at the rally read: “Boycott Apartheid Israel.” The intersection between BDS and US and EU designated terrorist entities at anti-Israel protests in Germany frequently occurs.