Philip Giraldi, Unz Review, May 30 2018:… Iran’s radical pseudo-Marxist cult Mohajedeen e Khalq, better known by its acronym MEK, is somewhat reminiscent of the Israel Lobby’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in that it operates somewhat in the shadows and is nevertheless able to punch well beyond its weight by manipulating politicians and understanding how American government functions …
Iran’s Mohajedeen e Khalq: MEK Money Sure Can’t Buy Love But it can buy a lot of politicians
Iran’s radical pseudo-Marxist cult Mohajedeen e Khalq, better known by its acronym MEK, is somewhat reminiscent of the Israel Lobby’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in that it operates somewhat in the shadows and is nevertheless able to punch well beyond its weight by manipulating politicians and understanding how American government functions on its dark side. MEK promotes itself by openly supporting a very popular hardline policy of “democratic opposition” advocating “regime change” for Iran while also successfully selling its reform credentials, i.e. that it is no longer a terrorist group. This latter effort apparently convinced then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 2013 as she and President Barack responded to the group’s affability campaign by delisting MEK from the government list of terrorist organizations.
This shift in attitude towards MEK was a result of several factors. First, everyone in Washington and the Establishment hates Iran. And second, the Executive Order 13224, which designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, ipso facto defines any group fighting against it as one of the good guys, justifying the change
MEK is best described as a cult rather than as a political movement because of its internal discipline. Its members are, according to the testimony of those who have somehow escaped, subjected to considerable indoctrination best described as brainwashing. Though not exactly imprisoned, adherents are kept isolated and separated insofar as possible and cannot contact their families. Their possessions are collectivized so they have no money or other resources. If they are in contravention of the numerous rules that guide the organization they are punished, including physically, and there are reports of members being executed for trying to escape.
The current head of the group is Maryam Rajavi, the wife of the deceased co-founder of MEK, Massoud. She is reported to be politically savvy and speaks excellent English learned in part to enable her to communicate with adoring American politicians. The group itself was founded in 1965. Its name means “People’s Holy Warriors,” derived from its Marxist/populist roots and its religiosity. It was not unlike the Taliban which developed in adjacent Afghanistan. During the 1970’s it rebelled against the Shah and was involved in bombing and shooting American targets. It executed U.S. Army Lt. Col. Lewis Hawkins in 1973 as he was walking home from the U.S. Embassy and in 1975 it killed two American Air Force officers in their chauffer driven car, an incident that was studied and used in CIA training subsequently as an example of how not to get caught and killed by terrorists. Between 1976 and 1978 the group bombed American commercial targets and killed three Rockwell defense contractors and one Texaco executive.
MEK welcomed the Iranian revolution and also the occupation of the U.S. Embassy but soon fell afoul of the Ayatollah Khomeini regime. It eventually moved to join Iran’s enemy Saddam Hussein in Iraq and participated on the Iraqi side in the bloodletting that followed when the two countries went to war in 1980-8. For that reason alone, MEK is particularly hated by most Iranians and the repeated assertion that it is some kind of “Iranian democracy” alternative is ridiculous as the people in Iran would never accept it. In terms of the duplicity surrounding its marketing, it is reminiscent of Iraqi con artist Ahmed Chalabi, who also had little following inside Iraq but was able to convince Pentagon geniuses like Paul Wolfowitz that he represented some kind of democratic movement. At the time Chalabi was also secretly working for Iran.
MEK was protected by Saddam and later by the U.S. invaders who found a weapon to use against Iran useful. They were housed in Camp Ashraf near Baghdad, and later, after Ashraf was closed, at so-called Camp Liberty. In 2013, when the Iraqis insisted that they go elsewhere the President Barack Obama facilitated their removal to Albania under the auspices of the United Nations refugee program, with the $20 million dollar bill being footed by Washington. The organization’s political arm, the National Council of Resistance or Iran (NCRI), meanwhile established itself in Paris under the control of Maryam Rajavi, in part to place it closer to the American and European sources of its political legitimacy and financing. In 2001, to make itself more palatable, the group had renounced violence.
The MEK folks in Albania have become a bit of a problem. Through various additional migrations they have multiplied and now number around 3,000 and have largely adhered to their cultish ways even though one of the original objectives of the move into Europe was to somehow deprogram and “deradicalize” them in an environment far removed from Iran-Iraq. Part of the problem is that the Albanian government likes the U.N. subsidies used to support the MEK associates, but it will not let them work as they have no legal status and they cannot resettle or lead normal lives. So they resort to criminal activity that includes promotion of fraudulent charities, drug trafficking and even a form of slavery in which their own people are sold and traded as laborers. The temporary solution has been to move the MEK out of a rundown university property in the capital Tirana to a more remote site in northern Albania dubbed Ashraf-3, but local people believe that that is just kicking the can down the road and that MEK should be forced to go somewhere else, preferably in the United States, which seems to like them so much.
Also, Albania is majority Muslim and has been subjected to the same Saudi Arabian ultra-conservative wahhabi promotion backed by lots of money that has plagued many states in the Middle East. Albanians accustomed to the mild form of Turkish Islam suddenly found themselves confronting the Sunni-Shia divide and also the MEK as agents of both Saudi Arabia and Israel. Many outraged Albanians see the unreformed MEK in their midst as a terror time bomb waiting to go off, but the government, under pressure from the U.S. Embassy has not sought their removal.
Meanwhile back in the United States everything involving the non-deradicalized MEK is just hunky dory. MEK and the NCRI are enemies of Iran and also seem to have plenty of money to spend, so they buy high ranking American speakers to appear at their events. Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton have appeared regularly, as have Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Jeanne Shaheen. At a 2015 appearance in Paris, Giuliani brought the crowd to its feet by calling for “Regime change!” after shouting out that the “Ayatollah must go!” In August 2017, Senators Roy Blunt, John Cornyn, Thom Tillis and Carl Levin met with Rajavi in Paris. Newt Gingrich also considers himself a friend of the Iranian resistance while Elaine Chao, Secretary of Labor and wife of Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell spoke in Paris for five minutes in 2015 and was paid $50,000. The payments made to the other politicians have not been revealed.
And then there is the Saudi and Israeli angle. Saudi Arabia is now the major funder of MEK/NCRI. It’s intelligence chief Turki al-Faisal spoke before the group in 2017. Israel funded the group in its early days and its external spy service Mossad continues to use MEK stay-behinds in Iran to assassinate scientists and tamper with computer systems. The CIA, which recently expanded its anti-Iran task force, it also working closely with MEK. And Giuliani, Bolton, Chao are all in the White House inner circle, which, not coincidentally, is baying for Iranian blood.
Lost in all of the above is any conceivable American interest. It is difficult to even make the claim that Iran threatens the United States or any vital interest and the drive to decapitate the Mullahs, both literally and figuratively, really comes from Riyadh and Tel Aviv. And there is potential collateral damage where it really might matter as MEK cultists continues to sit and fester in a holding pattern maintained by Washington in the heart of Europe. What comes next? War of some kind with Iran is appearing to be increasingly likely given recent remarks by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, threating to crush the Iranians. Is Washington intending to send the MEK warriors on sabotage missions inside Iran, something like the resistance to the Germans in World War 2? Maybe Giuliani and Bolton know the answer to that question.
MEPs discuss Mojahedin-E-Khalq (MEK) Threat in #Albania (Full report)
EU Reporter, Brussels, EU Parliament, April 14 2018:… Experts and political representatives from Albania were in the European Parliament on Tuesday 10thApril, asking Europe for help in preventing the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from toxifying their country’s internal and foreign relations. MEPs Ana Gomes and Patricia Lalonde hosted a round-table meeting titled ‘Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) threat in Albania’ to discuss the problem …
MEPs discuss Mojahedine-E Khalq (MEK) Threat in #Albania
EU Reporter Correspondent | April 13, 2018
Experts and political representatives from Albania were in the European Parliament on Tuesday 10thApril, asking Europe for help in preventing the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from toxifying their country’s internal and foreign relations. MEPs Ana Gomes and Patricia Lalonde hosted a round-table meeting titled ‘Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) threat in Albania’ to discuss the problem.
Participants included a UNHCR representative, Albanian opposition politicians, representatives from the Albanian embassy, the Albanian Delegation in parliament, from EU security, and reporters from various media.
MEPs Ana Gomes and Patricia Lalonde
Ms Gomes told delegates that she organised the debate because EU relations with Iran are very important, especially with the JCPOA agreement, and for human rights. This is a very different approach from the MEK which advocates regime change from outside the country.
Gomes explained that she first got to know the MEK from its recent time in Iraq where the group had interfered detrimentally in Iraq’s internal affairs. Based on her experience as a former diplomat in the UN Security Council and the UN Commission on Human Rights she was asked to write a report on Iraq in 2007-8. She found the MEK held hostage Iraq’s political relations. Even a visiting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for George W Bush agreed that MEK was a dangerous organisation.
Gomes mentioned that as head of UNAMI, Martin Kobler tried to work out a solution in Iraq, but was “miserably” attacked by MEK. He found he could not get access to the members to find out what they wanted as individuals. MEK would not allow the normal interviews that the UNHCR conduct.
MEK has new sources of funding after Saddam Hussein and is active in the EUP. Several colleagues tried to prevent today’s meeting. The MEK seem to have free rein in parliament to lobby every day. I am trying to find out by asking the EUP president, which MEPs are providing them access.
Before introducing the speakers, MS Gomes told delegates that when she hosted Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, she asked her if the MEK are a genuine opposition group. Ebadi was very clear that this group has no credibility among Iranians.
Nicola Pedde, Rome based Institute for Global Studies
Nicola Pedde, Rome based Institute for Global Studies, provided background context to Albania’s dilemma by describing how he had successfully intervened in Italy to put a stop to the MEK’s deceptive campaigns to corrupt politicians and toxify Italy’s political debate on Iran with their fake information and unwanted regime change agenda.
When the MEK and Maryam Rajavi had free access to the Italian parliament, invited by various government agencies, they gathered signatures from around 70% of MPs. But after interviewing these members it was found that most MPs did not remember signing or what they signed for. Only five members deliberately supported the MEK. There was misuse of members’ ignorance on Iran issues. Such letters were used to increase the MEK’s infiltration inside institutions where they could toxify the bilateral relations and debate between the Italian Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Now Italy has strong relations with Iran, not only economic but political level too.
This toxification was to make businesses and politicians believe that any dealings with Iran will be risky or even bring up conflict. This affected parliament and the media. Since the MEK arrived in Albania it is clear they are trying to exactly replicate the methods there. They are approaching MPs, media and opinion makers, everyone who has a role in influencing the political and social debate in Albania. It is a very small country with economic and security problems. Risking involvement in something against the national interest. Two years ago, few Albanians even knew the name of the group. Now there is the capacity of influencing parliament with information which is produced in a way to derail the interests of the country toward the Iranian government.
We have a camp and a huge amount of people who can be active in the country. They can affect the capacity of the government to stand by its own decisions.
In our experience. One of the questions about this group is ‘What is its final aim’? There is no future for them in Iran, they have no capacity to reach the Iranian population. No capacity to play a role bigger than the one they play today. It is merely about maintaining the status quo. In order to keep power, money and relevance but without escalating it to the point of it actually changing the debate on Iran. That would be too risky for them and expose the fact there is no place for them in the future of Iran. Their influence is unprecedented in Europe, with their cultish approach. Their ability to toxify the debate is increasing in the current atmosphere. The Albanian experience is another aspect of the ability of Europe in dealing with the group.
Olsi Jazexhi, Director of the Free Media Institute in Tirana
MEK arrived in Albania under a secret agreement with US and Albanian government. They began to recruit politicians, musicians, students, members of civil society, activists, even Leftists and Communists and paid them come to their events. The MEK rented accommodation from one of the mafia gangs.
When some MEK began to desert the group because they do not believe in the MEK’s jihad any more, I and my wife, who is a lawyer, tried to help them. Albanian people are afraid of jihadi violence and they don’t want them in their country. The irony is that the Albanian government prosecutes those who want to join the jihad in Syria but does nothing to curtail the MEK, which is something the media have queried. Another issue is that refugees from other countries have shown that they want to integrate into Albanian society. The MEK do not want to integrate. They have come as a terrorist organisation and will commit acts of terrorism in the future. They live in a paramilitary camp and their leader Maryam Rajavi every day breaks the law of Albania by calling for jihad against a foreign country. This has resulted in Sunni leaders asking, if MEK can pursue jihad, why can’t we?
Another problem is the blackmailing of Albanian media. When Anne Khodabandeh had media interviews about who the MEK are, the MEK approached the media and told them, we are the MEK and you must not broadcast these interviews. This is outrageous because we have full freedom of speech in Albania. When Top Channel broadcast interviews with former MEK who said they wanted help from the UNHCR and Albanian government to deradicalize, the MEK accused Albania’s biggest TV station of being bought by Iran. But the MEK never accept to debate with anyone.
The MEK create fake news and information and distribute it to Albanian media. They created a campaign to say that because we are talking in the EUP today this has created the risk of a terrorist attack against the MEK in Albania.
The MEK are also attacking intellectuals. Albania is a country of religious tolerance. The MEK sent anti-terrorist police to break up a New Year celebration and arrest two veteran Iranian journalists and accuse them of terrorism. This shameful incident ended only after intervention by the president.
EU parliament, which has a lot of influence in Albania, should ask the Albanian government to demand the MEK abandon their violent jihad, to integrate into our society and to accept the values of democracy. The MEK must end the intimidation, calls for terrorism, lies and misinformation and fake news in Albania. They must dismantle their paramilitary organisation. And if Maryam Rajavi and those like Struan Stevenson disagree with us, they should deal with us in a democratic way. They must come and debate with us. I ask you as Europeans to put the utmost pressure on the Albanian government to save us from this very strange terrorist organisation.
Migena Balla, Lawyer B&B Stutio Legale in Tirana
Describes how she has tried to help those MEK who have left the organisation to establish a new life for themselves. We contacted the UNHCR and other agencies who could help but it was very difficult. We asked Geneva for help for these people who have no legal status or economic support in Albania. We finally got an interview with the director of the UNHCR in Albania. He first said we cannot do anything, only offer them food and shelter for six months. He could not say what should happen to them after six months. He confirmed that the Albanian government does not give legal status to these people. The UNHCR is still reluctant to deal with these people.
Instead, the former members’ families are helping them. Those who have families with money are supported, but those without this support are even sleeping in the streets. The MEK are paying some of them but they have no bank accounts, so they get this in cash. It is not clear how this money is arriving in Albania for the MEK.
The MEK have full control over their own members. If they try to contact their families, they will be ejected from the group. Anyone who speaks about them is accused of being agents of the Iranians. Why is nobody objecting? You are not Albanian, but you come to my country and accuse me of being an agent of Iran. I don’t care about Iran, but I do care what happens in my country of Albania. This MEK activity of threatening jihad against Iran, including Americans like Rudi Giuliani who come and clearly threaten Iran. The MEK is performing illegal activity in Albania which wants to be an EU member.
How can the MEK bring democracy to Iran when they do not have any democracy inside themselves? The MEK are not free to move around, get a job or have a family. My government cannot provide them with a civil life because they have no legal status or work permit. They were brought to Albania only with a piece of paper. They are being forced to stay with the group against their will. Their movements and activities are strictly controlled by the MEK. This is like a prison happening right in front of our eyes. Every day they are training, they go running. How can I believe this is not a military group in training?
One of the relatives who came to Albania to make contact with one of his family in MEK was arrested by the police. This is helping the MEK because it makes people afraid.
Anne Khodabandeh, Open Minds, De-Radicalisation Consultant
Starting with an explanation of the state of MEK graves, both in Albania and Iraq, the presentation highlighted the unaccountability of the MEK. In Iraq, many of the hundreds of graves were found to be fake, the contents did not correspond with the stones, some had no bodies, others had two or three. The official numbers of MEK who have arrived in Albania are also vague and imprecise. The US detained 3800 in 2003. After ten years of attrition due to dissociation, conflict, deaths by natural causes, suicides and murder, the UNHCR brought a total of 2901 individuals to Albania in September 2016. By the end of the year this number reduced to 2745.
A police report which quoted this figure also tried to account for the membership. But the numbers do not add up. These discrepancies demonstrate that we don’t know how many there are. By this account there are certainly fewer than 2500 loyal MEK members. Most of these have now been taken to the closed camp Ashraf Three to which we have no access. These numbers matter because we don’t actually know who they are. So, Senator Robert Torricelli, a MEK supporter, claims there are 4,000 MEK in Camp Ashraf Three. Where did they come from?
The police evaluated the MEK as deeply indoctrinated and having taken part in war and trained for terrorism. They know the group is dangerous but cannot keep track of them. Due to the work of investigative journalist Gjergji Thanasi we know the MEK’s activities in Albania are illegal. They do not have permits or pay taxes. He also discovered that America plans to bring more jihadis to Albania, this time the widows and orphans of killed Daesh members.
Journalists who filmed the new camp were not allowed near. Even Albanian authorities, including the police and security services are not allowed inside the camp without MEK permission and escorts. The UNHCR cannot go in and check on the state of the people there. Thanasi also discovered through planning permission permits issued by the Land Registry that Camp Ashraf Three is to have three-and-a-half-meter perimeter walls with guard turrets, a small-arms shooting range and reinforced concrete armoury, as well as a helipad. Things consistent with a military training camp.
It is also not possible for MEK members to leave the camp without permission or escort. They are essentially trapped in there. The people in the camp are living in conditions of modern slavery, like MEK everywhere. This means that the people who come to the European Parliament are actual slaves. We are familiar with the idea of sex slaves or cannabis farm slaves, but these are a genre of political slaves. They don’t get paid, they don’t have rights, like holidays, pensions, healthcare. No family relations are allowed. In fact, you can say that every single right in the UN Declaration of Human Rights is denied to them.
We know that most MEK members would like to leave and would do so if they had somewhere to go. The Albanian government doesn’t support them. UNHCR support is very limited. The UN International Organization for Migration says it is not responsible for them, even though they are foreign nationals brought from a second country to a third country.
The MEK leaders keep them in the camp through imprisonment, coercion and psychological manipulation. Why keep these people if they are so much trouble? The reason must be that two thousand people provide cover for around fifty highly radicalized members who are trained and willing to die and kill to order. The trouble is that, as has been shown, we don’t know exactly who they are because none of the residents have any recorded identity or legal status in the country.
The MEK’s raison d’être is terrorism, violent regime change. That’s what they are there for.
Maryam Rajavi can do as she likes, have people killed, send them here there and everywhere. But in the bigger world, in Albania and in Europe, who is responsible for them? Whatever they do, who must answer for them?
MEP Patricia Lalonde made the closing remarks.
The MEK presence in the EU parliament is very disturbing because of its history of interference in the internal affairs of Iraq. This is also happening in Europe. In France the failure to curtail the MEK in politics has resulted in problems in French and Iranian relations. The MEK must not be allowed to interfere in politics or economic relations.
She told delegates that in 1998 as an MP in the French parliament she had found some sympathy for the MEK cause as a feminist. When she attended an MEK rally she was told how to walk and where to stand and it felt like being in a cult, like in ‘1984’. She cut all contact with the MEK. However, when she was elected as an MEP a year ago, Lalonde was shocked that the first thing to greet her, stuffed under her door, was paper to sign for the MEK. ‘I said, “Oh my God! Are they still alive”.’ It is not acceptable that they are interfering in parliament.
EUReporter exclusive interview with Ana Gomes MEP and Patricia Lalonde MEP (Mojahedin Khalq, MEK, Threat in Albania – Parliamentary Round Table)
Mojahedine-E Khalq (MEK) Threat in Albania – Ana Gomes MEP
Mojahedine-E Khalq (MEK) Threat in Albania – Patricia Lalonde MEP
EUReporter exclusive interview with Olsi Jaxezhi and Anne Khodabandeh (Mojahedin Khalq, MEK, Threat in Albania – Parliamentary Round Table)
Mojahedine-E Khalq (MEK) Threat in Albania – Olsi Jaxezhi
Mojahedine-E Khalq (MEK) Threat in Albania – Anne Khodabandeh – Open Minds
Albanian media fooled by MEK ‘misdirection’ (aka Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult, MKO, NCRI …)
Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Balkan Post, Marcy 23 2018:… In Albania last week, two Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) members asked permission from their commanders to leave their base, Camp Ashraf Three in Manza, to visit the graves of MEK buried on the outskirts of Tirana. After leaving the camp they travelled to the UNHCR in Tirana to ask for refuge. They are now living among over two hundred other dissociated members in Tirana. This event tells us several disturbing things about the MEK in Albania …
Albanian media fooled by MEK ‘misdirection’ (aka Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult, MKO, NCRI …)
MEK leader Maryam Rajavi (who took over after the death of the cult leader Massoud Rajavi)
In Albania last week, two Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) members asked permission from their commanders to leave their base, Camp Ashraf Three in Manza, to visit the graves of MEK buried on the outskirts of Tirana. After leaving the camp they travelled to the UNHCR in Tirana to ask for refuge. They are now living among over two hundred other dissociated members in Tirana.
Graves of MEK buried on the outskirts of Tirana
This event tells us several disturbing things about the MEK in Albania.
First, that MEK members must ask permission for an activity as simple as visiting a graveyard. Second, that members are trying to escape the group. Conditions inside Camp Ashraf Three are difficult to independently ascertain. It is a closed camp. Not even government agencies such as security services and customs are allowed inside. The UNHCR cannot freely visit and inspect the premises. But according to conversations with dissociated members in Albania, it seems the residents are suffering the same conditions as they did in Iraq. There they were held in conditions of modern slavery and forced to undertake work for the group with no pay. Every aspect of their everyday lives was dictated by the leader Maryam Rajavi (who took over after the death of the cult leader Massoud Rajavi); who they spoke with, what they believed in and even what they ate and wore.
The event also alerts us to the fact that many MEK are dying in Albania. According to dissociated members speaking anonymously, there are three times as many deaths by natural causes in Albania as there were in Iraq. In Iraq the MEK excuse was “no doctors”. It would be interesting to discover what the MEK excuse is now.
One reason, of course, is that many of the MEK are elderly, many are sick. The average age of MEK members is above 60. At this age most people would be looking forward to a comfortable and relaxed retirement, to allow the younger generation to take over their work. Not the MEK. They have no younger generation after forced divorces and the removal of children left an ageing polity. Members must work until they die. Recruitment has proved extremely difficult because the group is hated by almost all Iranians. As a result, the MEK resorts to deceptive recruitment and coercive control for maintaining members.
One aspect of this deception is that rather than being ‘refugees’ as the MEK claim, the members have legal status in Albania. The government of Iraq did not allow them refugee status in Iraq because they are terrorists. They were brought to Albania by the UNHCR without travel documents; each migrant was given a piece of paper stating, ‘on humanitarian grounds’. Similarly, the government of Albania does not allow the MEK members or ex-members to be given either refugee status or residence or work permits. The secret agreement between Albania, the US and the MEK leader struck in 2013 included the provision for de-radicalisation once the members arrived in Tirana. This did not happen; the earmarked budget remains untouched in the American embassy, the MEK remain radicalised for terrorism.
The graveyard also raises another disturbing issue. There are sixteen public graves. It is reported that many others have since died but the MEK now buries them inside Camp Ashraf Three. It has already been ascertained that independent investigation cannot take place there, so it is not known how many graves there are. In Iraq there were hundreds.
The number of graves matters. When the US army detained the MEK in 2003, there were 3,800 members. (See RAND Corporation – The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq A Policy Conundrum, Summary xiii.) Over the next fifteen years, attrition of members through dissociation, conflict, deaths by natural causes, suicide and murder meant that when the UNHCR brought the last group of MEK to Albania in September 2016, the total number relocated was 2,901 individuals with 2,745 remaining at the end of that year. Since then well over two hundred have left; some departed Albania, around two hundred remain destitute in the country.
However, according to a report from US Senator Robert Torricelli, an official representative of the MEK, there are currently over four thousand MEK in Camp Ashraf Three. Where did the extra numbers come from? Are these MEK or are they the widows and orphans of killed Daesh members which investigative journalist Gjergji Thanasi discovered were destined to be the next controversial influx of undesirables dumped on Albania by the Americans. Have some already arrived?
Thanasi made the discovery while investigating import permit irregularities linked to the construction of MEK’s closed Camp Ashraf Three. This led to the further discovery that MEK is not registered for tax and does not conform to any Albanian law or customs or morals. And since the MEK members are not registered anywhere – they have no identification documents, have no work permits and pay no taxes – they could be anyone. The four thousand residents of Camp Ashraf Three – with its small-arms firing range, reinforced concrete armoury, three-meter wall and guard turrets – could be literally anyone.
Yet instead of investigating this disturbing situation, with some notable exceptions, Albania’s media have seen fit to uncritically publish the MEK’s defamatory statements aimed at silencing critics and diverting attention from their criticisms. When confidence tricksters do this, it is called ‘misdirection’; divert the attention of the target while they are robbed. When the MEK do it, it is called politics.
If it was the intention of some Albanian media outlets to politicise the MEK presence in the country, and by doing so bring the conflict between America, Israel and Saudi Arabia with Iran, to Tirana, then they have succeeded. However, it is surely not the role of an independent, objective media to act as a mouthpiece for any side. It is far more fitting for serious journalism to investigate the serious and evidenced allegations of human rights abuses, modern slavery, tax evasion, people trafficking, political corruption and facilitating terrorism which are levelled against the MEK, and report the facts to their country’s citizens.
Anne Khodabandeh shpjegon si eshte radikalizuar nga muxhahedinet iraniane dhe sesi ndodh procesi i radikalizimit
Fact-Finding Mission to Rescue Separated MEK Unearths Profound Security Issues
Iran Interlink, December 07 2017:… Anne Khodabandeh of Iran-Interlink visited Albania twice for a fact-finding mission in November and December. The fact-finding mission was to investigate the situation of separated members of the MEK and to see what needed to be done to help them and others who will be separating in future. Anne was also invited to speak in a workshop about her work as an expert in prevention … Under President Macron, France can play a pivotal role in Western relations with Iran
Fact-Finding Mission to Rescue Separated MEK Unearths Profound Security Issues
Anne Khodabandeh of Iran-Interlink visited Albania twice for a fact-finding mission in November and December. The fact-finding mission was to investigate the situation of separated members of the MEK and to see what needed to be done to help them and others who will be separating in future. Anne was also invited to speak in a workshop about her work as an expert in prevention and de-radicalisation of violent extremism and terrorism. Khodabandeh works as ‘Open Minds’under the UK government’s Prevent Duty programme.
During her humanitarian mission during which she spoke to many separated members about their experiences and difficulties, Khodabandeh also discovered a great deal of disconcerting information in regard to the MEK’s activities in Albania. Some of this information has already been made public through various written pieces and media interviews and television reportsfrom Tirana. This concerns the MEK actively recruiting Albanian youth [also], links with theAlbanian mafia and plans to move the members to an isolated camp.
However, Anne Khodabandeh went on to brief British and American security services about the various security issues which have arisen as a direct result of the MEK’s presence in Albania.
On Tuesday, following a meeting on Monday between the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the EU Parliament on Monday and Ditmir Bushati, Albania’s foreign affairs minister, Khodabandeh was able to brief officials in European Parliament buildings who have direct concern for Albanian affairs. They acknowledged that this information would be helpful in appraising Albania’s efforts to join the European Union.
Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) briefed officials in European Parliament buildings
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
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