German authorities will reportedly request that the terrorist outfit Hezbollah be placed on the EU’s list of terrorist groups if suspicions are confirmed that the organisation was behind the bus bombing in Bulgaria last year.
Recent reports signalled strongly that the Lebanon-based terror outfit was complicit in the bombing, however with further evidence still coming to light, the German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said he favoured banning the group in Europe.
The question of whether to place Hezbollah on the EU’s designated terror list has been a long-fought battle on both sides, with those against such a move arguing that relations with the group that forms part of Lebanon’s government is integral to EU-Lebanon relations. The argument is also made that there is a difference between Hezbollah’s armed, terrorist wing, and its political wing. Opponents to this have argued that it is a false distinction, and that the entirety of the group should be proscribed.
According to Spiegel Online, after talks with representatives of the American Jewish Committee and security experts, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said he favored banning the group in Europe.
In early February, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, then Bulgaria’s Minister of Interior, made an official statement saying the probe on the attack that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver gives grounds to believe it was organised and carried out by Hezbollah’s military wing. At the time, Germany warned of “consequences” for Hezbollah if allegations were confirmed.
Only two EU countries currently label Hezbollah a terrorist organisation – the UK and the Netherlands. The UK blacklists only the “military wing” of the Shiite organization.
Blacklisting the organisation could allow regional authorities to…