A report by a German intelligence agency has found a rise in the number of members and supporters of the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah in Germany.
According to the report by the domestic intelligence agency for the German state of Lower Saxony, the number of Hezbollah supporters and members increased from 1,050 in 2019 to 1,250 in Germany last year.
The state of Lower Saxony alone reported a rise of 20 Hezbollah members and supporters to hit 180 in 2020, the Jerusalem Post reported.
“In Germany, the followers of Hezbollah maintain organizational and ideological cohesion, among other things, in local mosque associations, which are primarily financed by donations,” said the intelligence agency known as the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
In April 2020, Germany banned all of Hezbollah’s activities in the country.
According to the report, Hezbollah “supporters from the same associations visit the same mosques”.
In Lower Saxony, there are supporters of Hezbollah, as well those who sympathize with the group, in many organized associations.
The report noted that the pro-Hezbollah associations are active in the cities of Hanover and Osnabruck in southern Lower Saxony as well as in the area of the city-state of Bremen.
According to the intelligence data, the funding of the associations comes mainly from membership fees and donation activities.
“The connection to the Hezbollah takes place via functionaries who come from Lebanon always again for special occasions, for example, the anniversary of the withdrawal of the Israeli army from southern Lebanon or on high Muslim holidays.”
Hezbollah was established following the 1982 Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon.
Since then, the movement has grown into a powerful military force, dealing repeated blows to the Israeli military, including during a 33-day war in July 2006.
The intelligence report also said that the number of members of the German Muslim Brotherhood network, which is largely aligned with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, grew by 170 members to 1,900 in 2020.