Germany bans, raids 3 groups linked to Hezbollah


BERLIN — Police raided sites in seven German states on Wednesday as German authorities announced a ban on three groups linked to the Lebanese militant organization Hezbollah.

Germany’s Interior Ministry said the groups are suspected of raising funds for families of killed Hezbollah fighters. Hezbollah, which is rooted in Lebanon’s Shiite community and has close ties to Iran, is an avowed enemy of Israel.

“Whoever supports terror won’t be safe in Germany,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said in a statement. “Regardless of what shape the support takes, they won’t find any place to retreat to in our country.”

Germany announced last year it was banning activities by Hezbollah’s political wing in Germany, a move welcomed by the United States and Israel.

German security officials estimate there are about 1,000 Hezbollah supporters in Germany.

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