German Companies Hosting Sanctioned Hizbullah Al-Manar TV-Website

November 1, 2023

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here. 

The English and Arabic website for Lebanese Hizbullah-owned-and-operated Al-Manar television uses a Lebanese registrar for its domain name and hosts files for its servers in Germany, according to a WhoIs domain lookup.

This comes despite the fact that Al-Manar TV is subject to U.S. sanctions as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entity. Al-Manar is not specifically designated under Germany or EU sanctions, but the entirety of Lebanese Hizbullah is sanctioned by the German government, while its armed wing is sanctioned by the EU.[1] German authorities banned the broadcasting of Al-Manar in 2008.[2] 

MEMRI JTTM was able to identify the company hosting the servers of Al-Manar Television website by first pinging the web address of Al-Manar's website. This search produced an internet protocol (IP) address.  A WhoIs lookup of the IP address indicated the webhost for the site (e.g.: the company holding the files used for the site) as, a German company whose website states it is located in the city of Hanau, according to data created in 2022. According to German corporate records, it was established in 2003, and its majority owner is a Hong Kong-based firm also named[3] Two German firms own smaller shares: Bayern Connect and Minds + Machines. Documents from Velia identify the company as an affiliate of U.S. registrar giant GoDaddy.[4] LinkedIn lists several office locations associated with Velia, including three locations in the U.S.: St. Louis, Phoenix, and Miami.

Conducting a similar search using Domain Tools indicates that, a Lebanese company, registered the domain for Domain registration is different from webhosting, in that the latter involves operating servers that save the files, whereas registering a domain merely involves reserving a web address for a specific site.

Pinging the web address of Al-Manar revealed its IP address.

A screenshot of a computerDescription automatically generated
Looking up the IP address using WhoIs indicated that the IP address is administered by, a German firm.

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The "Contact" page on Velia's website states that the company is based in Hanau, Germany.

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A close-up of a logoDescription automatically generated
A logo on a report identifies the company as an affiliate of U.S. company GoDaddy.

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LinkedIn lists three locations in the U.S. associated with

A screenshot of a computerDescription automatically generated
Domain Tools lists Velia.Net as the host, and as the registrar, of

Warning Signs Ignored

Some of the data mark as obvious the intent behind the registration. For example, the registrant organization was listed as the Lebanese Communication Group, which is classified by the U.S. as an SDGT. The registrant name was listed as Ibrahim Farhat, who is the channel's General Director and whose relationship to the organization has previously been documented by MEMRI TV.[5]

Several elements derived from freely-available online sources make obvious the connection of the IP address to Al-Manar.

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A video on Al-Manar's website identifies Ibrahim Farhat, who registered the Al-Manar website, as the channel's general director.

The website was also registered with another email address with an Al-Manar domain name. That domain,, is just two letters different from the current address and similarly resolves to an Al-Manar site with a different IP address. Conducting a WhoIs lookup for that address indicates that the site is hosted by German firm Contabo, a cloud-hosting firm headquartered in Munich with offices in Australia, Japan, Singapore, the U.K., and the U.S.

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A slightly different web address resolves to an identical Al-Manar website.

A similar website name for Al-Manar resolves to a different IP address.

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WhoIs indicates that the second IP address is hosted by German firm Contabo.

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Contabo is headquartered in Munich.

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Contabo has offices around the world.

[1]; accessed October 31, 2023., accessed October 31, 2023.

[2], accessed October 31, 2023.

[3];jsessionid=8C09B2EA21B90823AEF70C6E4D6C6548.web01-1?submitaction=showDocument&id=32992905, accessed October 31, 2023.

[4], accessed October 31, 2023.

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The Cyber & Jihad Lab monitors, tracks, translates, researches, and analyzes cyber jihad originating from the Middle East, Iran, South Asia, and North and West Africa. It innovates and experiments with possible solutions for stopping cyber jihad, advancing legislation and initiatives federally – including with Capitol Hill and attorneys-general – and on the state level, to draft and enforce measures that will serve as precedents for further action. It works with leaders in business, law enforcement, academia, and families of terror victims to craft and support efforts and solutions to combat cyber jihad, and recruits, and works with technology industry leaders to craft and support efforts and solutions.

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