Germany has banned the Islamic aid organization Ansaar International, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Wednesday.
The organization is suspected of raising donations to finance terrorism worldwide. Eight sub-organizations are also prohibited.
The ban was accompanied by a series of raids in ten different states. According to the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, seventy buildings and homes of Ansaar and his employees were searched, the majority of which are located in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In April 2019, the German authorities already raided about ninety buildings of the network in nine federal states.
Founded in 2012 and based in Düsseldorf, the aid organization claims it raises money to support Muslim and humanitarian aid projects worldwide. In 2018 alone, 8 to 10 million euros in donations was raised.
However, according to the German Interior Ministry, the money is being raised to finance foreign groups such as the Palestinian movement Hamas and the al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabaab from Somalia.