Thursday, July 11, 2019

30 German mosques and cultural centers tied to Hezbollah: intel report

Some 30 mosques and cultural centers in Germany have ties to the U.S.-classified terrorist organization Hezbollah, according to a Hamburg intelligence agency report. The U.S. government and a bipartisan group of American lawmakers have urged Berlin to outlaw the Lebanese terrorist group in Germany. “In Germany, there are currently about 30 known cultural and mosque associations in which a clientele regularly meets that is close to Hezbollah or its ideology,” wrote the intelligence agency. According to the 282-page intelligence document and other German reports reviewed by Fox News, there are 1,050 Hezbollah supporters and members in Germany.U.S. Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell told Fox News: “The danger that Hezbollah sympathizers are raising funds in Hamburg is further evidence that Hezbollah must be banned from Germany in its entirety. Any funds bound for Hezbollah are used by the Iranian regime to support Assad’s violence in Syria and sponsor terrorism around the world.”Iran’s regime is a major financial sponsor of its chief proxy Hezbollah. Both Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran are allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Hamburg intelligence report states “the collection of donations is one of the most important tasks of the associations” where Hezbollah operatives meet. Do the findings raise questions about how much money German Hezbollah members and supporters are sending to Lebanon to aid their organization in advancing terrorism in the U.S. and Europe and waging war against Syrian civilians? According to the report, “the associations are characterized by the effort to strengthen the bonds of the Lebanese living here [in Hamburg] with their homeland and to the organization.” The document noted that there are 30 Hezbollah supporters in Hamburg.Additional German intelligence data shows that Hezbollah operatives across Germany send funds to the terrorist group’s headquarters in Beirut. The Hamburg intelligence report covers a wide range of security threats targeting the city-state. In addition to the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Israel, and the Arab League have designated Hezbollah’s entire movement as a terrorist organization. In 2013, Germany and the European Union merely proscribed Hezbollah’s so-called military wing as a terrorist entity. In June, a bipartisan group of U.S. congressional representatives — Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., Grace Meng, D-N.Y., Ted Deutch, D-Fl., and Gus Bilirakis, R-Fl — urged German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a letter “to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.”

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