BERLIN, Germany — Germany on Wednesday banned a purported aid organization, Ansaar International, accusing it of collecting donations to help finance terrorism worldwide.
The prohibition came along with a series of raids on properties in ten states, with investigators also seizing items.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer “has banned the association Ansaar International and its related organizations. The network finances terrorism worldwide with donations,” tweeted ministry spokesman Steve Alter.
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“To fight terror, one must dry up its sources of money,” said Seehofer.
The NGO based in Duesseldorf says in its statutes that its purpose is to support projects for Muslims worldwide.
In 2018 alone, it collected 8 to 10 million euros in donations, according to its first chairman.
The interior ministry said, however, that the funds are in fact raised with the intention of financing foreign groups such as Palestinian terror group Hamas as well as the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab and Jabhat al-Nusra.
“Financial support, even for what at first glance appear to be charitable activities, secures the terrorist groups’ power and dominance in the respective region, facilitates the recruitment of activists, and saves the terrorist group money, which in turn can be used to carry out the crimes it plans,” said the ministry.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.