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Islamist org that collected and routed money to India after anti-Hindu Delhi riots banned by Germany for funding terrorism in Syria and elsewhere

The Germany-based Islamist organization is accused of sending funds to multiple terrorist groups abroad including the Al-Nusra Front in Syria, the Palestinian Hamas (which is on an E.U. terrorism blacklist), and Al-Shabab in Somalia.

On Wednesday, Germany announced that it was banning the Islamist organization Ansaar International, for financing terrorism worldwide through its donations. A German government spokesman said that “The network finances terrorism worldwide with donations,” and quoted Germany’s Interior Minister saying, “If you want to fight terror, you have to dry up its sources of money.” The banned organization had also solicited donations in the name of post-CAA riots.

The Germany-based Islamist organization is accused of sending funds to multiple terrorist groups abroad including the Al-Nusra Front in Syria, the Palestinian Hamas (which is on an E.U. terrorism blacklist), and Al-Shabab in Somalia. Interestingly, The banned organization had also solicited donations in the name of the Delhi anti-Hindu riots. On their website, they had mentioned that they were soliciting funds for Muslims of India after these riots and had also admitted that they were providing local help to Muslims.

The German Interior Ministry has claimed that some of the money donated to Ansaar International also went to projects that can be counted as “directly within the sphere of activity of one or another of these terrorist organizations.” This claim means that it is certainly possible that any donations Ansaar International collected in the name of anti-Hindu Delhi Riots could have gone to fund international terrorism.

Raids against Ansaar International were conducted all across Germany on Wednesday morning, in ten different states to be exact.

Ansaar International’s website says that its humanitarian projects help “people in need at home and abroad,” with projects in Lebanon, Sudan, and the Palestinian territories advertised. The Islamist organization has also distributed some relief materials to Indian Muslims affected by the anti-Hindu Delhi riots, with the materials carrying the tagline, “Wake Up Ummah!”

Image obtained from the Ansaar International website

German authorities had carried out a major raid on the Ansaar network two years ago in April 2019 during which extensive materials were seized, prompting a series of investigations that have now resulted in Ansaar International being declared unlawful.

According to the German Interior Minister, Ansaar International “spread a Salafist world view and finance terror around the world under the guise of humanitarian aid.”

Germany’s domestic intelligence said in the 2020 annual report that the country’s number of Salafists had increased to an all-time high of 12,150 in 2019, listing them being “Islamist extremists.”

According to the report, the number of Salafists had more than tripled since 2011 and the Salafist scene in Germany was going through a “consolidation stage,” with followers keeping a low public profile.

This is also a lesson for India and its intelligence/security apparatus to be more vigilant of foreign organizations or other assorted NGOs who don the cloak of humanitarianism but are instead funding terrorist groups worldwide.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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