February 16th, 2012
(HigginsBlog) – U.S. officials tell NBC Israel runs a terrorist organization known to conduct bombings, unconventional warfare, and targeted assassinations throughout the Middle East.
Israel Is Working With Designated Terror Group (The Peoples Mujahideen) To Kill In Iran
Summary: Airing Date Feb.09, 2012
Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.
The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.
The attacks, which have killed five Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct involvement.
For background on the group, some clips from Wikipedia.
People’s Mujahedin of Iran
The People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI, also MEK, MKO) (Persian: سازمان مجاهدين خلق ايران sāzmān-e mojāhedin-e khalq-e irān) is a militant Terrorist organization that advocates the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
IRAN EVEN OFFERED TO GIVE UP THEIR NUCLEAR PROGRAM AND STOP BACKING HEZBOLLAH AND HAMAS IF THE U.S. WOULD HELPD TO SHUT DOWN THE GROUP.
A “bargaining chip” between Tehran and Washington?
During the Iraq war, U.S. troops disarmed the PMOI and posted guards at its bases. The U.S. military also protected and gave logistical support to the MEK as U.S. officials viewed the group as a high value source of intelligence on Iran. The PMOI is credited with revealing Iran’s nuclear program in 2003 and alerting Americans to Iranian advancements in nuclear technology.
The same year that the French police raided the PMOI’s properties in France (2003), Tehran attempted to negotiate with Washington. Iranian officials offered to withdraw military backing for Hamas and Hezbollah, and to give open access to their nuclear facilities in return for Western action in disbanding the PMOI, which was revealed by Newsnight, a BBC current affairs program, in 2007. The BBC uncovered a letter written after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 where Tehran made this offer The proposition was done in a secret letter to Washington via Switzerland. According to the BBC, the U.S. State Department received the letter from the highest levels of the Iranian government. According to Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff of Secretary of State Colin Powell, interviewed by the BBC, the State Department initially considered the offer, but it was ultimately rejected by the office of Vice President Dick Cheney.
The group is listed as a terrorist organization by several nations.
The United States, Canada, Iraq and Iran have designated the PMOI a terrorist organization. On January 26, 2009, following what the group called a “seven-year-long legal and political battle”, the Council of the European Union removed the PMOI from the EU list of organisations it designates as terrorist.
Interesting how the EU removed the the group from their terrorist list. Might that have anything to do with them knowing the group is an Israeli front?
And here is the BBC running a false report on the group no longer being active.
The group has had thousands of its members for many years in bases in Iraq, but according to the British Broadcasting Corporation “they were disarmed in the wake of the US-led invasion and are said to have adhered to a ceasefire.”
News reports also confirm that the groups works with the U.S. intelligence agencies. So the U.S. is allowed to do business with terrorist organizations but no one else is.
Here’s a report Council of Foreign Relations meant to mitigate the perceived threat from the group an keep them of the U.S. intellegence radar.
In 2005 the US think-tank, Council on Foreign Relations, believed that the PMOI had 10,000 members, one-third to one-half of whom were fighters. The think-tank claims PMOI membership has dwindled, the organization has had little success attracting new recruits.
A list of the organizations crimes:
It has been alleged that MEK killed six Americans in 1973, 1975, and 1976.
- The PMOI failed in an attempt to kidnap the U.S. Ambassador to Iran, Douglas MacArthur II, on November 30, 1971.
- USAF Brig. Gen. Harold Price was wounded in a May 1972 assassination attempt.
- The first success in the assassination campaign was the murder of Lt. Col. Louis Lee Hawkins, a U.S. Armycomptroller. He was shot to death in front of his home in Tehran by two men on a motorcycle on 1973-06-02.
- A car carrying U.S. Air Force officers Col. Paul Shaffer and Lt. Col. Jack Turner was trapped between two cars carrying armed men. They told the Iranian driver to lie down and then shot and killed the Americans. Six hours later a woman called reporters to claim the PMOI carried out the attack as retaliation for the recent death of prisoners at the hands of Iranian authorities.
- A car carrying three American employees of Rockwell International was attacked in May 1976. William Cottrell, Donald Smith, and Robert Krongard were killed. They had been working on the Ibex system for gathering intelligence on the neighboring USSR.
Leading up to the Islamic Revolution the Marxist wing of the PMOI conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets. According to the U.S. Department of State and the presentation of the PMOI by the Foreign Affairs group of the Australian Parliament, the group conducted several assassinations of U.S. military personnel and civilians working in Iran during the 1970s. After the revolution the group actively supported the U.S. embassy takeover in Tehran in 1979, and opposed the release of the diplomats in 1981 by the Iranian regime, and called for their execution instead. As a result they staged a large demonstration.
The U.S. and Isreal used the group to launch attacks against Iran from Iraq.
National Liberation Army of IranFurther information: Operation Mersad
Near the end of the 1980-1988 war with Iran, a military force of 7000 members of the PMOI, armed and equipped by Saddam’s Iraq and calling itself the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA), went into action. On July 26, 1988, six days after the Ayatollah Khomeini had announced his acceptance of the UN brokered ceasefire resolution, the NLA advanced under heavy Iraqi air cover, crossing the Iranian border from Iraq. It seized and razed to the ground the Iranian town of Islamabad-e Gharb. As it advanced further into Iran, Iraq ceased its air support and Iranian forces cut off NLA supply lines and counterattacked under cover of fighter planes and helicopter gunships. On July 29 the NLA announced a voluntary withdrawal back to Iraq. The PMOI claims it lost 1400 dead or missing and the Islamic Republic sustained 55,000 casualties (either IRGC, Basij forces, or the army). The Islamic Republic claims to have killed 4500 NLA and Iraqi troops during the operation. The operation was called Foroughe Javidan (Eternal Light) by the PMOI and the counterattack Operation Mersad by the Iranian forces.
Then the U.S. invaded Iraq in the First Persian Gulf war. After leaving the U.S. used the group to squash rebel groups in Iraq.
According to presentations of the PMOI by the U.S. Department of State and the Foreign Affairs group of the Australian Parliament, the PMOI assisted the Iraqi Republican Guard in suppressing the Kurdish and Shiite uprisings in Iraq after the 1991 Persian Gulf War.Maryam Rajavi, who assumed the leadership role of the PMOI after a series of years as co-leader alongside her husband Massoud Rajavi, has been reported by former members of the PMOI as having said: “Take the Kurds under your tanks, and save your bullets for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.”
In the following years the PMOI conducted several high-profile assassinations of political and military figures inside Iran, including Asadollah Lajevardi, the former warden of the Evin prison, in 1998 and deputy chief of the Iranian Armed ForcesGeneral Staff, Brigadier GeneralAli Sayyad Shirazi, who was assassinated on the doorsteps of his house on April 10, 1999.
Of course, this explains why the U.S. didn’t go after the camps after taking over Iraq in the second invasion.
After the 2003 invasion of Iraq, PMOI camps were bombed by coalition forces because of its alliance with Saddam Hussein. On April 15, U.S. Special Forces brokered a ceasefire agreement with the leaders of the PMOI and entered into a ceasefire agreement with the coalition after the attack. Each compound surrendered without hostilities. In the operation, the US reportedly captured 6,000 PMOI fighters and over 2,000 pieces of military equipment. This was a controversial agreement both in the public sphere and privately among the Bush administration due to the MEK’s designation as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.
While other terrorists and even American’s charged as enemy combatants can be held indefinitely without trial in secret CIA torture prisons under the NDAA, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had no problem declaring captured members of this organization “protected persons” under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
In the operation, the US reportedly captured 6000 MEK soldiers and over 2000 pieces of military equipment, including 19 British-made Chieftain tanks. The MEK compound outside Fallujah became known as Camp Fallujah and sits adjacent to the other major base in Fallujah, Forward Operating Base Dreamland. Captured MEK members were kept at Camp Ashraf, about 100 kilometers west of the Iranian border and 60 kilometers north of Baghdad.
After a four-month investigation by several U.S. agencies, including the State Department, only a handful of charges under U.S. criminal law were brought against PMOI members, all American citizens. The PMOI remains listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the Department of State. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared PMOI personnel in Ashraf protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention. They are currently under the guard of US Military. Defectors from this group are housed separately in a refugee camp within Camp Ashraf, and protected by U.S. Army military police (2003-current), U.S. Marines (2005–2007), and the Bulgarian Army(2006-current).
Despite being listed terrorists, the U.S. government also refused to allow the military to raid their camps in Iraq. Finally, in 2009. the Iraq government raid the groups camps and crackdown on the organization, telling them they had to base their operations somewhere else. Even after being arrested by the Iraq government, the captured terrorists where allowed to be released only 72 days later.
Iraqi government’s crackdown
On January 23, 2009, and while on a visit to Tehran, Iraqi National Security Advisor Mowaffak al-Rubaie reiterated the Iraqi Prime Minister’s earlier announcement that the MEK organisation will no longer be able to base itself on Iraqi soil and stated that the members of the organisation will have to make a choice, either to go back to Iran or to go to a third country, adding that these measures will be implemented over the next two months.
On July 29, 2009, eleven Iranians were killed and over 500 were injured in a raid by Iraqi security on the MEK Camp Ashraf in Diyala province of Iraq. U.S. officials had long opposed a violent takeover of the camp northeast of Baghdad, and the raid is thought to symbolize the declining American influence in Iraq. After the raid, the U.S. Secretary of State stated the issue was “completely within [the Iraqi government's] purview.” In the course of attack, 36 Iranian dissidents were arrested and removed from the camp to a prison in a town named Khalis where the arrestees went on hunger strike for 72 days, 7 of which was dry hunger strike. Finally, the dissidents were released when they were in an extremely critical condition and on the verge of death.
In 2003, when the group tried to move their headquarters to France, they where raided and arrested. The U.S. government attacked France over trying to prevent the terrorist group from moving their headquarters to Paris. French officials where quickly pressured to released those arrested.
2003 French raidFurther information: Irano-French relations
In June 2003 French police raided the PMOI’s properties, including its base in Auvers-sur-Oise, under the orders of anti-terrorist magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière, after suspicions that it was trying to shift its base of operations there. 160 suspected PMOI members were then arrested. In response, 40 supporters began hunger strikes to protest the arrests, and ten immolated themselves in various European capitals. French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy (Union for a Popular Movement) declared that the PMOI “recently wanted to make France its support base, notably after the intervention in Iraq”, while Pierre de Bousquet de Florian, head of France’s domestic intelligence service, claimed that the group was “transforming its Val d’Oise centre [near Paris]… into an international terrorist base”.
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas and chairman of the Foreign Relations subcommittee on South Asia, then accused the French of doing “the Iranian government’s dirty work”. Along with other members of Congress, he wrote a letter of protest to President Jacques Chirac, while longtime PMOI supporters such as Sheila Jackson-Lee, Democrat of Texas, criticized Maryam Radjavi’s arrest. However, the PMOI members were quickly released.
Source: Higgins Blog