As many as 1,050 Hezbollah members and supporters reside in Germany, and the organization uses the country as a major hub for its activities, German daily Tagesspiegel reported last week, citing security sources.
The Lebanese Shi’ite terrorist group’s operations in Europe include drug-trafficking, with the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg serving as the main entry points, according to the report.
The sources also said that Hezbollah engages in money-laundering, recruitment and fundraising on the continent, and sends the money it raises in these ways to Lebanon to buy weapons and fund the group’s operations, according to Tagesspiegel. Around 30 mosques and culture centers in Germany have ties to Hezbollah, the report said.
According to a report last Thursday in German newspaper Der Spiegel, the German government is planning to ban all Hezbollah activity in the country.
Sources in the German foreign, interior and justice ministries told the news outlet that the ban could happen as early as next week. Such a move would put Hezbollah on the same level as terrorist groups such as Islamic State and the PKK Kurdish militia.
Following the ban, all activities of Hezbollah would be forbidden in the country, including the public display of the group’s flag.
The European Union has to date outlawed only the so-called military branch of Hezbollah, but not the entire group.