Germany has banned all Iran-backed Hezbollah activity on its soil and designated it a terrorist organization, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday.
Police also conducted early morning raids on mosque associations in four cities across Germany. Security officials believe up to 1,050 people in Germany are part of Hezbollah's extremist wing.
Israel and the United States had been pushing Germany to ban the organization. Germany had previously distinguished between Hezbollah's political arm and its military units, which have fought alongside President Bashar al-Assad's army in Syria.
German special police gather near the El-Irschad (Al-Iraschad e.V.) center in Berlin, Germany, April 30, 2020, after Germany has banned Iran-backed Hezbollah on its soil and designated it a terrorist organization. (Reuters)
A spokesman said Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had banned the activities of Hezbollah.
“Even in times of crisis, the rule of law is capable of acting,” tweeted the spokesman.
A heavily armed Shia extremist group already designated a terrorist organization by the United States, Hezbollah is also a significant backer of the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab, which took office in January.