The European Union (EU) this week released a new report on terrorism that outlines Hezbollah’s international network of terror backing and exposes how Lebanese nationals operated with organised crime organisations to finance Hezbollah’s terrorist actions.
The 2018 Terrorism Situation and Trend Report from the European Union stated that “In 2017, member states carried out several investigations into financing of terrorism. One major investigation focused on a large network of Lebanese nationals offering money laundering services to organised crime groups in the EU and using a share of the profits to finance terrorism-related activities of the Lebanese Hezbollah’s military wing”.
The report added: “The cooperation of these money-launderers and Hezbollah’s military wing was a clear example of a nexus between organised crime and terrorism”.
The Iranian regime is the key financial backer of Hezbollah, with an annual $700 million provided by Tehran to the Lebanese Shi’ite group.
According to a German intelligence report published by the Bremen intelligence agency in June, the Al-Mustafa Community Centre Bremen in Germany is a major centre for raising funds for Hezbollah in Lebanon. The agency said there are roughly 60 Hezbollah groups in Al-Mustafa’s organisation and “the Arab- Shi’ite association functions as a point of contact for Shi’ite Muslims in Bremen, especially those from Lebanon”. Roughly 950 Hezbollah operatives are in Germany, according to numerous German intelligence reports.
In 2013, the UK successfully led an EU-wide effort to proscribe the group’s ‘military wing’ as a terror organisation.