German authorities have executed raids on 54 locations connected to the Islamic Center of Hamburg (IZH), suspected of supporting the militant group Hezbollah.
Iran-backed Hezbollah, its biggest regional proxy based in Lebanon, is designated in several countries including the US and UK, and was designated by Germany in 2020. However, the IZH still has a deep influence on the likes of schools and mosques in Germany, believed to be an extension of the regime.
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser highlighted that the IZH has been under continuous surveillance by German intelligence services, being categorized as "Islamist."
"We have the Islamist scene in our sights," she said following the Thursday raids. "Especially now, at a time when many Jews feel particularly threatened, it's important to state: we do not tolerate Islamist propaganda or anti-Semitic and anti-Israel agitation."
Cities across the world have seen a massive rise of antisemitism since the war began on October 7 when Iran-backed Hamas militia invaded Israel, killing at least 1,200 mostly civilians and taking around 240 more hostage. Israel's response has been the most deadly since Hamas took control of the strip in 2007.
Since the war broke out, a firebomb attack was carried out on a synagogue in Berlin and German police arrested a convicted Islamist on suspicion of planning an attack on a pro-Israel event.
According to DW, SPD politician Andy Grote, the interior senator for the city-state of Hamburg, called the raids a "hard blow" against the IZH whose time, he said, "has run out." "The sooner the IZH disappears from Hamburg entirely, the better," he said. "Today, we've come a great deal closer to that."
"I'm pleased that the federal interior ministry is pushing strongly for a ban. I am confident that this process will be concluded thoroughly and that the IZH will soon be closed," Grote said.