German police raided five sites linked to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, as authorities announced Thursday that they were banning activities by its political wing in Germany.
The raids took place at mosques and community centers in Berlin, Bremen, Muenster, Recklinghausen and Dortmund.
German lawmakers last year called on the government to extend an existing ban on activities by the group’s militant wing to include those of its political branch. At the time, officials had warned that such a move was legally difficult, because Hezbollah doesn’t have any official presence in Germany.
The Interior Ministry said the decree issued Thursday bans all activities in support of the group in Germany, including the use of its symbols or publications.
The United States and Israel welcomed Germany’s move against the group.