Tema TV, November 29 2017:… The theme of the conference which took place in Tirana today was ‘Conflicts in the Middle East, ideologies and radical groups’. Guest speakers were from India, Great Britain, USA, Croatia, Turkey, Serbia and Albania. They discussed the history and ideologies of radical groups in the Middle East. The meeting also discussed what the participants described as the presence of radical groups …
Link to the source (Albanian)
(Translated by Iran Interlink)
Free Media Institute meeting on the fight against terrorism (VIDEO)
Tuesday, 28 November 2017, 14:57
The theme of the conference which took place in Tirana today was ‘Conflicts in the Middle East, ideologies and radical groups’.
Guest speakers were from India, Great Britain, USA, Croatia, Turkey, Serbia and Albania. They discussed the history and ideologies of radical groups in the Middle East.
The meeting also discussed what the participants described as the presence of radical groups in Albania and their treatment. The organizer of the meeting, Osli Jazaxhi, tells TemA TV about the meeting.
Also on You-tube:
Media e lirë, takim për luftën ndaj terrorizmit
Original Albanian Transcript:
Media e lirë, takim për luftën ndaj terrorizmit (VIDEO)
E Martë, 28 Nëntor 2017, 14:57
“Konfliktet në Lindjen e Mesme, ideologjitë dhe grupet radikale” ishte tema e takimit që u zhvillua këto ditë në Tiranë.
Të ftuar ishin pjesmarrës nga India, Britania e Madhe, SHBA, Kroacia, Turqia, Kroacia dhe Serbia, të cilët diskutuan mbi historinë dhe ideologjitë e grupeve radikale në Lindjen e Mesme.
Por në takim u diskutua ajo që pjesmarrësit e cilësuan si prezenca e grupeve radikale në Shqipëri dhe trajtimi i tyre. Organizatori i këtij takimi, Olsi Jazexhi, tregon për kameran e TemA TV apskete të takimit.
Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) exposing Maryam Rajavi’s MEK activities in Albania
IMPAKT 97: Jihad 2.0? What are the Iranian Jihadis (MKO, Rajavi cult) doing in Albania? (part 1)
IMPAKT 97: Jihad 2.0? What are the Iranian Jihadis (MKO, Rajavi cult) doing in Albania? (part 2)
Will Prime Minister Edi Rama host ISIS terrorists in Albania?
City News, Tirana, Albania, November 26 2017:… During efforts to collect material for an investigative letter for a construction permit issued by the National Territorial Council for the ‘Iranian Mojahedin Khalq’ group known as the MEK, but officially granted to an NGO named FARA, (an extremely problematic issue for Albania and Albanians), we came across in the US media “Huffington Post” an article …
Link to the source (Albanian)
Translated by Iran Interlink
Will Prime Minister Edi Rama host ISIS terrorists in Albania?
During efforts to collect material for an investigative letter for a construction permit issued by the National Territorial Council for the ‘Iranian Mojahedin Khalq’ group known as the MEK, but officially granted to an NGO named FARA, (an extremely problematic issue for Albania and Albanians), we came across in the US media “Huffington Post” an article titled “Albania’s Modern Slavery Problem Alienates Europe” written by British national Anne Singleton (Khodabandeh). The article deals in detail with the problem of Iranian MEKs sheltered in the outskirts of Tirana. Item link: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/albanians-modern-slavery-problem-alienates-europe_us_5a12eefae4b0e6450602ecfd
The article drew attention to a very problematic phrase: “The other [reason] is to empty the old university buildings in Tirana to make way for a new round of political slaves to take up residence. This time, families of Daesh fighters who have fled Iraq and Syria are rumoured to be ready to move to Albania on ‘humanitarian grounds’.”
According to the author of the article, Anne Singleton, the buildings of a private university in the suburbs of Tirana closed by the Rama government will be used instead of the Iranians some relocated members of the families of Daesh fighters (ISIS) who have fled from Iraq and Syria. This move will be for “humanitarian reasons”.
It is true that Albania as an ally of America accepted the US request to shelter no more than 10 Uighurs released from Guantanamo Prison, but many other countries from all over the world including microscopic states such as Nauru accepted such Uighurs just like Albania. It is true that the Berisha Government accepted several dozen members of the MEK in Albania, but with the clear American promise that other NATO countries would accept in their countries the rest of the MEK members who would leave Iraq. The Rama government, along with the chemical weapons cleaning deal with the Americans, in the absence of total transparency, admitted the arrival of all the MEKs in Albania.
Daesh in Albania
We personally believe that the survivors of Daesh terrorists killed in the battlefields in Iraq and Syria are likely to come to Albania. There are signs that young women and children or even babies of terrorist fathers are turning into an extraordinary mess for western countries, especially the US. The Rama government is likely to be silent about hosting in Albania the families of terrorists in exchange for even half a US pledge to close an eye to the hard and soft drugs that are produced and transited through Albania, money laundry and delivery of weapons, ammunition and explosives from Albania to European countries.
The Swedes managed to repatriate to Sweden, under diplomatic pressure, an ethnic Swedish teenager who, after falling in love with a terrorist, went to the ISIS territories and had two children with the terrorist who was killed 3 years later. The German authorities are determined to transfer to Germany some ethnic German nationals who ended up in ISIS territories along with their lovers. These Germans, including children, are in the Iraqi prisons and detention centers of Shiite militias in Iraq.
From the above two examples it emerges that serious Western states are trying to evacuate women and children who are their own citizens. Understandably, no German, French, Belgian, Swedish, Luxembourg or ethnic Albanian women, along with their children, will be killed after being with men or lovers killed as members of ISIS. Here will become home to terrorists who would be killed in places where their lives are endangered, or at least they would be imprisoned and tortured. All Tunisians and Moroccans, Azeris and Turkmen, Malaysian and Malaysian, Indonesian and Nigerian Nigerians (Niger) will arrive in Albania. etc. In the best case, they will come only from such nationalities. But with Belgian, French, Spanish, Italian, English, etc. nationalities not being admitted back into those EU countries because they are a threat to national security, supposedly those who threaten the safety of major European countries do not endanger the safety of such a country as Albania!!!!
Where is the risk?
They will not stay in Albania for weeks of months, but will stay for ever! After Rama becomes the Qammah, the old Latin saying in our case can be spelled out. With belan: family of killed terrorists let the governments of Post-Rama deal!
Most of the women of Daesh’s terrorists have done at least a rudimentary training in the use of combat weapons, explosives and explosive booby-traps. If this training will add to their experience in the battlefield, then their level of combat is higher not only than the police in the Tahiri era, but comparable to the capabilities of Albanian commando combat troops. We have seen in the documentaries and the propaganda photos in “Dabiq” magazine or the media “Hayat”, even 10-year-old children are forced to execute Daesh hostages. I ask the reader how many Albanian policemen did not kill, but just shot in the flesh one single time during their police career?!?!?!? Imagine a 10 to 12-year-old child who is traumatized by killing people for ISIS, or rapists sheltering in Albania where illegal weapons are still openly available!
The hypocrisy of the Rama Government
Prime Minister Edi Rama’s government is most likely to make an agreement to shelter victims of terrorists killed by ethnicities from all four corners of the world. But this government should not shy away from concern about the fate of Albanian women [wives] and children of terrorists killed in Iraq and Syria… Valbona Berisha, with her brain stunned by ISIS’s propaganda grabbed her boy (her third child), abandoned her ordinary immigrant partner in Italy and fled to Syria. Rama’s government made ZERO effort to find this miserable kid. The Italian law enforcement authorities, Italian diplomats in Damascus, Tehran, Beirut and Baghdad did what they could to recover the infant, and the foolish and criminal father and mother who were ethnic Albanians, but also lawful immigrants in Italy. When you’re not interested in getting the miserable child from the hell of Valbona Berisha, why the hell is he worrying about the widows and children of terrorists?!!?!? Why was Julia Sergio (Fatima), the terrorist spouse of Lushari terrorist Aldo Kobuzi, sent to Italy in January 2017 with the assistance of the border police of Vlora and was not given residence in Albania, but instead they ask to bring these widows and orphans of foreign terrorists here. Julia Serxhon was a bride from Albania, and we had an Italian group, why go away in Africa and Asia to bring widows and young kids of murdered terrorists?!?!?! The most likely answer is simply that the Prime Minister’s parliamentary seat should not expire in January 2018, but some 4 years later!
There is a growing suspicion that Rama & Co. are negotiating … humanitarian shelter for the foreign families of ISIS terrorists killed in the ranks of ISIS because of the government’s “omertas”. By applying the rule of journalism to hear both sides of the issue, we addressed the question by SMS to Gjebrea, whose name is quoted in the article written by Anne Singleton. Ms. Gjebrea as the former Deputy Minister of the Interior Ministry answered us by SMS by suggesting, inter alia, that we should contact the councillor for internal affairs of the interior ministry. We contacted Bita’s Advisor by SMS on 20 November 2017. The SMS response was: “Mr. Thanasi! I receive info and write to you FLM!” An answer quite polytheistic and correct. On November 22 we again contacted Mr. Bita, because no response came from him for 2 days. We believe it enough to be informed whether there is any truth or not in the issue of transferring family members of terrorists to Albania. Until the evening of November 24, 2016, we asked but got no reply. This is typical for Mrs Rilindja for whom Rama flags up transparency over taxpayer money, but the matter of Daesh, “humanitarian” terrorists, does not!
Written for Citynews.al – Gjergj Thanasi
Postscript: We invite the reader to take courage and look at all 12 illustrative photos to better understand what refugees Mr Rama will, on an allegedly humanitarian basis, host in Albania.
Warning: MEK moving members to a remote and isolated camp in Albania (aka Mojahedin Khalq Rajavi cult)
Sahar Family Foundation, Tirana, Albania, November 19 2017:… For three days now, the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK, MKO, Rajavi cult) in Albania has been relocating its members to a remote and isolated camp in Albania which they have called the ‘Ashraf Three’ base after Camp Ashraf, the main MEK garrison in Iraq. The new base is surrounded by high walls and barbed wire to prevent the members from escaping. Since a long time ago …
Warning: MEK moving members to a remote and isolated camp in Albania (aka Mojahedin Khalq Rajavi cult)
For three days now, the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK, MKO, Rajavi cult) in Albania has been relocating its members to a remote and isolated camp in Albania which they have called the ‘Ashraf Three’ base after Camp Ashraf, the main MEK garrison in Iraq. The new base is surrounded by high walls and barbed wire to prevent the members from escaping.
Since a long time ago the Rajavi cult has been covertly establishing facilities far away from Tirana, or any other town or city, to which it can move its members and separate them from the outside world. The aim is to exert maximum control over them to enable further brainwashing them without interference. A remote and isolated place similar to Camp Ashraf in Iraq is an ideal place for coercive psychological manipulation because it allows the leaders to control the followers both physically and mentally.
At present, the MEK members in Tirana enjoy some limited access to the outside world. This is not tolerable for the cult. The cult leader Maryam Rajavi wants her followers captive all the time. If they have free access to the outside world they will realize they are continually being told lies and they will discover that there is a way out.
The method of controlling the members inside the MEK is mind manipulation which requires an isolated area from which the members cannot escape and gradually people forget about the free world and accept their lives in there.
Cults like the MEK do not allow their members access to uncensored news or information. If they are moved to this new base the situation will be even worse than it was for them in Iraq since they now know a lot more than they did before about the outside world and therefore the internal pressure and suppression will be more severe.
The cult has also forced members to sign documents to swear that they wish to move to the new place willingly and voluntarily and they have no right to leave the place ever. They are told that this is for their own safety and security which is not correct. In this way they are giving away their rights and freedom for the rest of their lives.
The members have also been given promises of excellent facilities and services which are all lies and even if any such privileges existed these do not replace family relations and contact with the outside world which the cult is denying.
For instance, is it not worse that the members will not have access to the internet and will not be able to contact their families? In Rajavi’s world one has to live isolated from the world and only listen to the cult leaders.
Sahar Family Foundation urges all humanitarian activists and organizations around the world to prevent this human catastrophe from happening and rescue these people from being deceived into a lifelong prison.
Sahar Family Foundation – Tirana
November 18, 2017
Activities of three MEK survivors in Albania Initial report (aka Mojahedin Khalq, Rajvi cult)
Sahar Family Foundation, Tiran, Albania, November 10 2017:… Expressing concern about the covert agreement made between the MEK and some political bodies which apparently safeguards some kind of modern slavery. Why the content of this agreement which was signed in Geneva and is regularly mentioned must be kept secret? The necessity of looking after the former members (providing even the same minimum level of support as it is granted …
Ne dokumentarin me poshte al Jazeera tregon historine e terrorit te muxhahedineve iraniane. Menyrat e manipulimit dhe rekrutimit qe ata i kane bere qytetareve iraniane, masakrat kunder kurdeve dhe abuzimin me anetaret e tyre. Kjo eshte organizata qe Shqiperia strehon qe prej vitit 2013. Emisioni Kulti i Kameleonit eshte prodhuar ne vitin 2007.
Activities of three MEK survivors in Albania
Two survivors of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK aka the Rajavi cult) named Bahman Azami and Saadallah Seifi who recently managed to escape the cult, along with Adel Azami, a former MEK member who joined them from the UK, (all three from Kermanshah Province in the west of Iran), took part in various activities in Tirana, as below, to talk about their experiences:
– Two separate interviews with Gazeta Impakt
– An interview with the television TemA TV in two episodes
– Two separate meetings with the UNHCR and RMSA (the Albanian refugee agency)
– Inviting officials of the UNHCR and RMSA to visit other MEK survivors in the MEK hostel in Tirana and accompanying them on this visit
– Two meetings in the Albanian ministry of interior affairs
– Meeting in the US embassy in Tirana
– Visiting various media and NGOs in Albania
These above mentioned individuals raised the following issues in their visits and interviews:
– Describing the problems the European Union has with Albania and concerns about the presence of a terrorist cult in the country
– Protection of the former members of the MEK and how their security is ensured by the Albanian government
– Introducing Sahar Family Foundation in Tirana to the Albanian government and the US embassy and the UN as the only solution to the present problems
– Expressing concern about the covert agreement made between the MEK and some political bodies which apparently safeguards some kind of modern slavery. Why the content of this agreement which was signed in Geneva and is regularly mentioned must be kept secret?
– The necessity of looking after the former members (providing even the same minimum level of support as it is granted to a prisoner), such as shelter, food, medication, family visits and etc., in order to prevent people being forced to go back to the cult or resort to criminal behaviour.
In these meetings, during which a representative of Sahar Family Foundation was present, the other parties were urged on behalf of the suffering families to clarify all agreements made within them and avoid any illegal and inhuman acts and also to not prevent the families and friends from helping their loved ones.
The Sahar Family Foundation representative emphasized that at the present time the Albanian authorities do not give any help themselves but nor do they allow the families to help their loved ones.
The officials met promised cooperation in the future in all aspects and mentioned that they know the present procedure is not right and there is a need to review the whole situation. They expressed that they are waiting for further contact and mutual activities with the Sahar Family Foundation.
In these meetings it was explained that as far as the EU parliamentarians are concerned they were informed that the US and Albania had plans to dismantle the cult and help the captured members return back to normal life, but that so far not even a trace of activity in this regard has been seen. This has created grave concern amongst the Europeans that an intact and active terrorist cult has now been moved away from the Iranian border and now sits on the border of the European Union.
The other parties said that they are aware of the concerns expressed by the EU parliamentarians about the presence of the MEK inside Europe. They understand that concerns about the security of Europe are serious. And they know that if this problem is not resolved in the proper way this will remain as an obstacle to Albania joining the EU.
The issue of former MEK members who have left Albania illegally and have become a problem for neighboring countries was also discussed. The Sahar Family Foundation was asked to inform the former members that under no circumstances should they try to leave Albania illegally since this would make their situation even more complicated. The former members should sort out their legal difficulties inside Albania.
Links to some of the media coverage in Albania:
IMPAKT 97: Xhihad 2.0? Cfare duan xhihadistet iraniane ne Shqiperi? (pjesa 1)
IMPAKT 97: Jihad 2.0? What are the Iranian Jihadis (MKO, Rajavi cult) doing in Albania? (part 1)
Anne Singleton – Khodabandeh an ex-Iranian Mojahedin member discusses with Dr. Olsi Jazexhi the presence of the Iranian Mojahedin in Albania
IMPAKT 98: Jihad 2.0? What are the Iranian Jihadis (MKO, Rajavi cult) doing in Albania? (part 2)
Anne Singleton – Khodabandeh an ex-Iranian Mojahedin gives the testimonies of three ex-Mojahedins (Mojahedin Khalq: MEK, MKO, NCRI, Rajavi cult) members who have abandoned MKO in Albania. The Mojahedin defectors show how they were recruited, brainwashed and kept in servitude by the Rajavi cult and how they gained their freedom from MEK.
Ekskluzive/ Ekspertja britanike: Ju rrëfej për muxhahedinët (VIDEO)
E Hënë, 06 Nëntor 2017, 16:04
Ekspertja britanike Anna Khodabandeh, një ish-muxhahedine e kampit MEK në Iran ka ardhur në Tiranë për të bindur çdokënd që opozita iraniane nuk është ajo që duket. Në një intervistë ekskluzive për TemA TV ajo lëshon disa mesazhe. Mes të tjerave ajo thotë se MEK po tenton të mbledhë rreth vetes rininë shqiptare.
(Google Translate: Exclusive / British Expert: You Confess About Mojahedin (VIDEO)
Monday, 06 November 2017, 16:04
British expert Anne Khodabandeh, a former Mojahedin of the MEK camp in Iran, has come to Tirana to persuade everyone that the Iranian opposition is not what it seems. In an exclusive interview with TemA TV she issues a few messages. Among other things she says that MEK is trying to recruit Albanian youth.)
The statement of the TV channel announcing the interview of the three survivors
Ekskluzive/ Tortura në kampin e muxhahedinëve në Tiranë, flasin dy të arratisur (VIDEO)
Dy prej muxhahedinëve iranianë që janë arratisur nga pallatet e Yzberishtit ku ndodhen mijëra të tjerë, rrëfejnë eksperiencat e tyre në Tiranë. Në një rrëfim ekskluziv për TemA TV ata tregojnë sesi raportonin endrrat dhe mendimet tek krerët eMEK-ut dhe më pas mijëra persona mblidheshin rreth tyre dhe qeshnin.
(Google Translate: Exclusive / Torture at Mujahideen Camp in Tirana Two Fugitives Speak (VIDEO)
Monday, 06 November 2017, 18:53
Two of the Iranian mujahideen who fled from the Yzberisht palaces, where there are thousands, confess their experiences in Tirana. In an exclusive story for TemA TV they show how they reported dreams and thoughts to MEK leaders and then thousands of people gathered around them and laughed.)
Sahar Family Foundation
Tirana – Nov 8, 2017
Iran’s Social Network Sites (SNS): We Hate Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK, MKO, NCRI, Rajavi cult …)
Dr. Raz Zimmt, The Moshe Dyan Center, Tel Aviv university, August 08 2017:… The angry reactions aroused by MEK’s conference in Paris attest to the intensity of the hostility towards the organization among Iranian citizens, including critics of the regime. Most of the Iranian public view the organization’s conduct since the Islamic revolution as a series of treacheries that climaxed with the organization’s support of the Saddam regime …
We Hate Mojahedin-e Khalq: SNS Respond to a Conference of the Iranian Opposition
In early July, Iran’s National Resistance Council, the political wing of the opposition group Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), held its annual conference at the Villepinte Exhibition Center in a suburb of Paris. The conference sparked angry reactions and public criticism on Iran’s social networking sites (SNS). This anger was exacerbated by Saudi and US representation at the conference, which was seen as evidence of Saudi and American efforts to instigate political change in Iran through compromising support of a terrorist organization widely considered traitorous by Iranians.
MEK’s ideology combines Shi‘ite Islam with Marxism. During the early 1970s, the organization emerged in opposition to the Iranian monarchy. The United States and the European Union previously designated MEK as a terrorist organization due to its involvement in terrorist attacks in Iran, with several attacks against Western (including American and Israeli) targets. Shortly after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, MEK and the new regime fell into severe conflict, with the regime implementing strongly suppressive measures against MEK. As a result, the organization transferred most of its activities to Iraq, where it aligned itself with the Saddam Hussein regime. In the 1980s, during the Iran-Iraq War, MEK even participated in several Iraqi army operations against Iran. As a result, MEK was left with very little support in Iran proper, with many Iranians considering MEK activists traitors. In recent years, there has been no evidence of the organization’s involvement in terrorism. Instead, it focuses mainly on political activity in Europe and the United States aimed at enlisting support for regime change in Iran. Nonetheless, critics believe this political activity is merely a façade.
This year’s annual MEK conference was chaired by the organization’s leader, Maryam Rajavi, and attended by hundreds of participants from around the world, including Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, who formerly served as head of Saudi intelligence, as well as largely hawkish former US officials, including the former ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, former US Senator Joseph Lieberman (Ind.-Conn.), and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In their speeches at the conference, these senior officials harshly criticized the Islamic republic, accused it of supporting terrorism, and called for regime change in Tehran.
The conference aroused strong reactions in Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who ended an official visit to Paris on the eve of the conference, criticized France for permitting the opposition group to operate within its borders, saying that regional and European countries are well aware of MEK’s terrorist activities. Ali Akbar Velayati, the Iranian Supreme Leader’s advisor on international affairs, emphasized that hosting terrorists would not contribute to regional or international peace. On SNS, thousands of Iranian users mobilized a virtual campaign against the organization using the English and Persian hashtags “Iran hates MEK” and “No to MEK.” The posts included insults and slurs against members of the organization accused of causing the death of thousands of Iranian citizens. Users contended that MEK is a terrorist organization entirely unrepresentative of the Iranian people, and devoid of popular support. They stressed that opposition to MEK unites Iranians, regardless of ideology or political outlook. As one user tweeted, “There is no difference between conservatives, reformists or independents! We all agree on hatred for Munafakin [a derogatory term for the MEK, meaning hypocrites or false Muslims].”
Predictably, the main criticism of the organization was based on its alignment with the Iraqi regime during the Iran-Iraq war. Iranian users called MEK members “betrayers of the homeland” and “traitors,” accusing them of collaborating with the Ba‘ath regime’s chemical attack on the citizens of Iran during the summer of 1987. “When Iranian women and children trembled in fear of Iraqi missiles, the MEK drank faludeh [a cold Iranian beverage],” wrote one commenter. Many users emphasized that the Iranian people would neither forget nor forgive the organization for its historic misalignment.
Along with expressions of hatred towards the opposition group, users also attacked its supporters in the West and Saudi Arabia. Many users compared MEK to ISIS, arguing that there was no difference between supporting the Iranian opposition group and supporting the Islamic terror organization. Western support for MEK, spearheaded by American politicians close to the current administration, was considered further proof of the West’s hypocrisy. Critics contended that while Western countries claim to defend democracy and human rights against terrorism, they perpetuate a terrorist organization responsible for thousands of innocent civilians’ deaths, and for serious human rights violations in internment camps it operated in Iraq. “Trump administration wants to back an Islamist terrorist cult (MEK) to bring democracy to Iran. What a sick joke,” tweeted one user. Meanwhile, Saudi support for this opposition group reignited Iranian hostility towards Saudi Arabia, which has been the target of Iranian users’ hatred and racism for the past several years of worsening relations between the countries. “Saudi Arabia supports Maryam Rajavi as leader of Iran, but within Saudi Arabia women have no right to drive!” read one tweet.
The angry reactions aroused by MEK’s conference in Paris attest to the intensity of the hostility towards the organization among Iranian citizens, including critics of the regime. Most of the Iranian public view the organization’s conduct since the Islamic revolution as a series of treacheries that climaxed with the organization’s support of the Saddam regime during the Iran-Iraq war, which remains a traumatic memory for Iranians. Therefore, Iranians consider any support for MEK to be an illegitimate offence against national pride. The Iranian public’s aversion to foreign interventions and allies of Iran’s enemies sporadically captivates SNS discourse, as exhibited by the conference’s backlash.
 “Iranian FM decries France green light to MKO activities,” Press TV, July 1, 2017.
 “Velayati Blasts France for Hosting MKO Terrorists,” Fars News Agency, July 3, 2017.
 #IranHatesMEK and-#No2MEK
 In this context, see Iranians’ responses to a letter in which Iranian activists in exile urged US President Trump to adopt an aggressive policy towards Iran .Raz Zimmt, “Critics or Traitors? Responses to Iranian Exiles’ Letter to Trump,” Beehive, 5(1), January 2017,
Dr. Raz Zimmt investigates Iranian social media responses to the annual conference of Mojahedin-e Khalq, an Iranian opposition group whose support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War remains a searing national trauma.
ISIS Drew On MEK Expertise For Terror Attacks On Tehran (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult)
Massoud Khodabandeh, Iranian.com, June 20 2017:… The following piece has been written by somebody I know well. He does not want his real name to be used because that would jeopardize the sensitive nature of his current work in counter terrorism in Europe – Massoud Khodabandeh… As a former member of the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist organization (MEK), I followed the news of terrorist attacks on Tehran with shame, guilt and anger. My shame and guilt stem …
ISIS Drew On MEK Expertise For Terror Attacks On Tehran (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult)
The following piece has been written by somebody I know well. He does not want his real name to be used because that would jeopardize the sensitive nature of his current work in counter terrorism in Europe – Massoud Khodabandeh.
As a former member of the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist organization (MEK), I followed the news of terrorist attacks on Tehran with shame, guilt and anger.
My shame and guilt stem from having been involved in such attacks in the past as a member of the MEK. My anger springs from what I see as the MEK’s ongoing influence in these current attacks. Based on my inside knowledge of the MEK I believe this organization has now helped the most notorious terror organization in the world to attack our country and our people.
As I followed news of the attacks I was forced to remember my own role in a similar mission and how my membership of the MEK had almost cost me my life. While analyzing the details of the ISIS attack as they emerged, it was easy to see that these operations in Tehran had been based on the expertise of MEK operations in several ways. I have identified some of these similarities which I have given in outline below.
The targets selected by ISIS were sites constantly targeted by the MEK. The Iranian Parliament and its members had always been primary targets for the MEK since the 1980s. The group had managed to assassinate several members of the Parliament and tried to plant a bomb there at one point. They were unsuccessful and some members were killed by security forces while other terrorist teams were arrested. Similarly, after Ayatollah Khomeini’s shrine was created, Massoud Rajavi, the late MEK leader, announced that “Khomeini’s grave must be exploded”. It became a mantra among MEK members which they would chant in indoctrination sessions. The MEK tried unsuccessfully to send terrorist teams there in 1991 and 2002.
While ISIS and the MEK have the same interests in attacking Iran, ISIS could have caused much greater anti-government fear and hatred among the civilian population in line with its regime change agenda if they had bombed a civilian target like transport infrastructure or a shopping mall. They could have done more damage by targeting the Revolutionary Guards whose forces are in Syria. Instead, the ISIS targets matched those which had been constantly under attack by the MEK for thirty years.
ISIS used locally recruited Iranians for this attack. Their main challenge was to get their weaponry to Tehran without being detected by Iranian security forces. This had always been the main challenge for MEK terrorists. They used different methods to get their weapons to Tehran. For example, hiding the weapons in a small truck loaded with food or inside an empty computer case. The MEK experiences were helpful to the ISIS attackers. They paid a female acquaintance to join them to go to Tehran, pretending it is a family visit. This was to raise less suspicion. Between 2000-2003, the MEK used the same approach to get their terrorists from Iraq to Tehran. The first suicide bomber in Iran was a female MEK member. Since then, the MEK used women in suicide operations to ‘normalize’ their terrorist teams.
The suicide mission
An important similarity is the human factor. Just like the MEK, ISIS terrorists selected and trained for suicide missions are thoroughly brainwashed first. They undergo intensive indoctrination and psychological manipulation sessions and afterwards they are not allowed to think of anything else but their mission; terror. From the videos and reports, it is clear that the terrorists are numbed and fearful people who are prepared to use weapons as a first resort against innocent unprepared people. The ISIS terrorists exploded their vests in their first moments of contact with security forces. A couple of them even exploded their vests as soon as they just saw the security forces. This is similar to MKO terrorists who were brainwashed to assassinate unarmed civilians or perform a mortar attack in a large city like Tehran. They were also armed with cyanide pills and a hand grenade and ordered that rather than risk capture they must commit suicide and hurt as many of the people around them as possible.
It has been widely reported that, just like the MEK, ISIS also gets support from inside Saudi Arabia. After the Tehran terrorist attacks neither Saudi Arabia nor the MEK condemned the events. This echoes MEK behaviour under the Saddam regime. The MEK could not and would not condemn any action of Saddam or the Saudis because they were being paid and supported by them.
The MEK needed governmental level backing to move across national borders. Saddam arranged for MEK operatives to get inside Iran from Pakistan and Turkey rather than cross the Iraqi border which was under international scrutiny. ISIS has also been able to cross borders and move weapons and fund its activities in a way that indicates governmental level of support.
There is no indication that the MEK were directly involved in the Tehran attacks. But from my inside knowledge and based on having performed a similar style of suicide attack in Tehran myself some years ago, there is little doubt in my mind that ISIS have been able to use MEK expertise to pursue this modern terrorist attack.
National Geographic, March 04 2017:… Leading MEK members squirm under the knowing gaze of Michael Ware. Watch the shifty looks and glances as the MEK representatives try to lie about their true intentions. They admit to wanting regime change, but claim to be pacifists. Ware asks ‘Why does a political organization still need to have a para-military organization?’ He then cleverly gets them to …
Associated Press, February 16 2017:… The group at one point successfully infiltrated the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, according to a State Department report. And a series of bombings attributed to the MEK accompanied visits by presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter to Iran, including one to target an American cultural center. In 1973, MEK assailants wearing motorcycle helmets shot dead U.S. Army Lt. …
Iran Interlink, February 15 2017:… The following OpEd by MEK advocate Col. Wes Martin was published first in The Hill, followed by Mojahedin Khalq’s “Iran Probe” and the “NCRI” websites. Iran Interlink has published it here as indication of how hysteria has become the new normal in American published writing. A form of madness appears to have infected US politics and now all and sundry are dancing …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, February 07 2017:… He also signals that his war is not with ISIS but with the country Iran. Donald Trump rose to victory in part on the promise to take on ISIS and defeat the group. Yet ISIS cannot be defeated except by a coalition of forces that includes Iran. The facts on the ground in Syria and Iraq demonstrate unequivocally that ISIS forces in Aleppo and Mosul have been defeated largely due to the involvement
Gazeta Impakt, Albania, Translated by Iran Interlink, January 01 2017:… According to Fatos Klosi, former director of the National Intelligence Service, the American CIA chief has warned Albania that Donald Trump will renounce support for the MEK terrorists and it will be the Albanian Government itself which must deal with internal security and must confront a group trained militarily from the time of Saddam Hussein …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, December 24 2016:… That can only happen if journalists and investigatory bodies (human rights, nuclear experts, war crimes, etc) are able to base their work on facts and not the fake and fictionalised fantasies of stooges like the MEK, which are clearly designed to misinform on these issues. The information laundry cycle is not difficult to follow – the Washington Times takes its report …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, November 12 2016:… In particular, Rudi Giuliani, John Bolton and Newt Gingrich. Putting aside their weak personalities as well as their individual neoconservative agendas, the common thread which links these names together is their decade long support for the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist organisation (also known as Saddam’s Private Army or Rajavi cult). It is certain that …
Iran Interlink, October 30 2016:… Local observers in Tirana are reporting that the Mojahedin Khalq cultic terror group (MEK) is buying and creating several sandwich and kebab shops in the city and is using the MEK members to work in these fast-food businesses. On the surface this may look like a positive move. In an article titled ‘Albania: What would a de-radicalization program for the Mojahedin Khalq involve’, it was …
Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh, Iran Interlink, October 16 2016:… In spite of American promises, no de-radicalisation programme is in place to deal with over 2500 members of the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group who have relocated to Tirana from Iraq. The MEK has a long history of violent and criminal activity. This has not stopped now they are in Tirana. Unless the Albanian government introduces its own programme, it must accept …
Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington post (and Top Topic), October 09 2016:… For the local citizens, mystery surrounds their arrival and their lifestyle. Should these secretive and covert neighbours be treated with suspicion or kindness? At a local level, the first thing neighbouring families need to be aware of is that among all MEK members, sexual relations have been banned for over 25 years. This means there are no marriages or children or young people in the organisation. More troubling …
Massoud & Anne Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, July 14 2016:… Whether Rajavi is already dead or now killable is not known – only he can answer this – but he and his whole organisation are certainly now, body and soul, in the capable hands of the Saudi Prince. If he is still alive, Rajavi’s only role is to act as go-between to instruct his wife what she must do on behalf of the Saudis. If he is dead
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, July 08 2016:… Clearly this message is not aimed at Iranians. The clamour for regime change in Iran does not emanate from inside the country in spite of its many social, civic and political problems. Who then is Maryam Rajavi’s constituency? Fro