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Germany proscribes Hezbollah, and raids suspected members

Hezbollah is a political group based in Lebanon under the leadership of Hassan Nasrallah [Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters]

Berlin has banned the Lebanese militant organization and political party, Hezbollah, labeling the group a terrorist outfit as German police carry out raids on those suspected of being members.

“[Interior Minister Horst Seehofer] today banned the operation of the Shiite terrorist organization Hezbollah (Party of God) in Germany,” an Interior Ministry spokesperson tweeted on Thursday morning. 

Police measures have been taking place in several federal states at the same time since the early hours of the morning. The rule of law can also act in times of crisis.

German authorities believe some 1,050 people in the country could belong to the group’s “extremist wing,” carrying out raids to sweep up the alleged members.

The idea of banning Hezbollah by Germany began last year, with the debate being fueled by US Ambassador Richard Grenell. The notorious envoy blasted the “artificial distinction,” insisting that “Hezbollah makes no such distinction.”

The center-right CDU and CSU parties teamed up with the Social Democrats and the liberal Free Democrats, submitting a corresponding request to the government in December 2019.

Some countries which include Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the USA, and the UK all banned Hezbollah in 2019.

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