Habilian Association, May 18 2016:… Jacques Jean Edmond Georges Gaillot (born 11 September 1935 generally known in French as Monseigneur Gaillot) is a French Catholic clergyman and social activist. He was Bishop of Évreux in France from 1982 to 1995. In 1995, by decision of Pope John Paul II, he was demoted to be Titular Bishop of Partenia, an extinct diocese, for having expressed too controversial and heterodox positions on religious, political and social matters. Throughout 1989 …
A “Red Cleric” who loves terrorists (Mojahedin Khalq, Rajavi cult, MKO, MEK, NCRI, …)
Jacques Jean Edmond Georges Gaillot (born 11 September 1935 generally known in French as Monseigneur Gaillot) is a French Catholic clergyman and social activist. He was Bishop of Évreux in France from 1982 to 1995. In 1995, by decision of Pope John Paul II, he was demoted to be Titular Bishop of Partenia, an extinct diocese, for having expressed too controversial and heterodox positions on religious, political and social matters.
Throughout 1989, Gaillot continued to cause considerable tension within the French Bishops’ Conference, to the extent that the members of the episcopate voted to censure him. This disciplinary action came after Gaillot gave an interview to the publication Lui, the French equivalent of Playboy. Furthermore, he also gave interviews to leading gay magazines and lambasted the incompetence of the Roman Catholic hierarchy to judge the circumstances of homosexuality. At this point, the bishop offered his resignation to the Pope, should he feel it necessary to remove him; no such action was taken however.  He has expressed his publical support for euthanasia and same-sex marriage, when it was legalized in France.
In 2004 Bishop Gaillot met with Maryam Rajavi, MKO’s leader. Rajavi publicly thanked the bishop and expressed that his support had been very effective in promoting the cause of what she calls “Iran resistance”. Jacques Gaillot has praised the terrorists in Camp Liberty in Iraq for their brutal activities, what he calls it fighting for “bring freedom and democracy to Iran.” Camp Liberty in Iraq houses thousands of members of the terrorist group MKO.
The People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, also known as the Mujahedin e-Khalq organization (MKO, MEK, …) in its Persian acronym, is a terrorist organization, that has carried out decades of brutal terrorist attacks, assassinations, and espionage against the Iranian government and its people, as well as targeting Americans. The group used to seek to overthrow the Iranian revolutionary government with the help of Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War.
Founded in 1963 by a group of leftist Muslim Iranian university students as an Islamic and Marxist political mass movement, the MKO was originally devoted to armed struggle against the shah, capitalism, and Western imperialism. However, according to a report by the Christian Science Monitor, it was the only group that used violence against Americans in the run-up to the revolution, launching a string of assassinations and attacks against American military and diplomatic officers in Iran in the 1970s.
The US Department of State describes MKO’s terrorist activities as follows:
The group’s worldwide campaign against the Iranian government uses propaganda and terrorism to achieve its objectives. During the 1970s, the MKO staged terrorist attacks inside Iran and killed several U.S. military personnel and civilians working on defense projects in Tehran. In 1972, the MKO set off bombs in Tehran at the U.S. Information Service office (part of the U.S. Embassy), the Iran-American Society, and the offices of several U.S. companies to protest the visit of President Nixon to Iran. In 1973, the MKO assassinated the deputy chief of the U.S. Military Mission in Tehran and bombed several businesses, including Shell Oil. In 1974, the MKO set off bombs in Tehran at the offices of U.S. companies to protest the visit of then U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger. In 1975, the MKO assassinated two U.S. military officers who were members of the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group in Tehran. In 1976, the MKO assassinated two U.S. citizens who were employees of Rockwell International in Tehran. In 1979, the group claimed responsibility for the murder of an American Texaco executive. Though denied by the MKO, analysis based on eyewitness accounts and MKO documents demonstrates that MKO members participated in and supported the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and that the MKO later argued against the early release the American hostages. The MKO also provided personnel to guard and defend the site of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, following the takeover of the Embassy.
In 1981, MKO leadership attempted to overthrow the newly installed Islamic regime; Iranian security forces subsequently initiated a crackdown on the group. The MKO instigated a bombing campaign, including an attack against the head office of the Islamic Republic Party and the Prime Minister’s office, which killed some 70 high-ranking Iranian officials, including Chief Justice Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, President Mohammad-Ali Rajaei, and Prime Minister Mohammad-Javad Bahonar. These attacks resulted in an expanded Iranian government crackdown that forced MKO leaders to flee to France. For five years, the MKO continued to wage its terrorist campaign from its Paris headquarters. Expelled by France in 1986, MKO leaders turned to Saddam Hussein’s regime for basing, financial support, and training. Near the end of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, Baghdad armed the MKO with heavy military equipment and deployed thousands of MKO fighters in suicidal, mass wave attacks against Iranian forces.
The MKO’s relationship with the former Iraqi regime continued through the 1990s. In 1991, the group reportedly assisted the Iraqi Republican Guard’s bloody crackdown on Iraqi Shia and Kurds who rose up against Saddam Hussein’s regime. In April 1992, the MKO conducted near-simultaneous attacks on Iranian embassies and consular missions in 13 countries, including against the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York, demonstrating the group’s ability to mount large-scale operations overseas. In June 1998, the MKO was implicated in a series of bombing and mortar attacks in Iran that killed at least 15 and injured several others. The MKO also assassinated the former Iranian Minister of Prisons in 1998. In April 1999, the MKO targeted key Iranian military officers and assassinated the deputy chief of the Iranian Armed Forces General Staff, Brigadier General Ali Sayyaad Shirazi.
In April 2000, the MKO attempted to assassinate the commander of the Nasr Headquarters, Tehran’s interagency board responsible for coordinating policies on Iraq. The pace of anti-Iranian operations increased during “Operation Great Bahman” in February 2000, when the group launched a dozen attacks against Iran. One attack included a mortar attack against a major Iranian leadership complex in Tehran that housed the offices of the Supreme Leader and the President. The attack killed one person and injured six other individuals. In March 2000, the MKO launched mortars into a residential district in Tehran, injuring four people and damaging property. In 2000 and 2001, the MKO was involved in regular mortar attacks and hit-and-run raids against Iranian military and law enforcement personnel, as well as government buildings near the Iran-Iraq border. Following an initial Coalition bombardment of the MKO’s facilities in Iraq at the outset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, MKO leadership negotiated a cease-fire with Coalition Forces and surrendered their heavy-arms to Coalition control. Since 2003, roughly 3,400 MKO members have been encamped at Ashraf in Iraq.
In 2003, French authorities arrested 160 MKO members at operational bases they believed the MKO was using to coordinate financing and planning for terrorist attacks. Upon the arrest of MKO leader Maryam Rajavi, MKO members took to Paris’ streets and engaged in self-immolation. French authorities eventually released Rajavi.
The group formally renounced the use of violence in 2001, but an FBI investigation found MKO members to be “actively involved in planning and executing acts of terrorism” as recently as 2004. In February 2012, NBC News reported that the Israeli government had coordinated with MKO to launch a series of assassinations against Iranian nuclear scientists. The group’s delisting may open the door to future cooperation with the United States as well.
The MKO was removed from the State Department’s terrorism list three years ago after a concerted lobbying campaign, which featured some of the most prominent politicians and officials in the U.S., including John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; Tom Ridge, former director of Homeland Security; and Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City.
the MKO is a kind of cult, according to the FBI, Human Rights Watch, the Rand Corporation, and just about every other organization which has investigated the group. It is precisely the kind of organization that should not testify about Islamic extremism.
Jeremiah Goulka, author of “The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq: A Policy Conundrum,” a report published by the Rand Corporation in 2009, told MintPress, “At the MKO camps, there’s a whole set of practices that are all textbook out of cult theory – sleep deprivation, make-work projects… forced celibacy, forced divorce, [and] gender segregation.”
Masoud Banisadr, a former member of the MKO, who had served as the group’s representative to the United Nations and the U.S., confirmed that forced divorces were common in the group. Banisadr told MintPress: “All members were forced to divorce their spouses, and later they have to send their children abroad to Europe and United States to be adopted by supporters and other members.”
Two former members of the MKO, Anne Singleton and Massoud Khodabandeh, published a book last September detailing coercive tactics used by the group’s leaders to maintain control and suppress dissent. A Human Rights Watch report also revealed a similarly questionable organization in Camp Ashraf.
The group currently has an office on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, where they launch campaigns related to Iran, attend congressional legislative hearings about the country, and attempt to influence public perception of Iranian government.
1. Englund, Steven (October 6, 1995). “Provocateur or Prophet? the French Church & Bishop Gaillot”. Commonweal
17,000 Dead Iranians. Who Knows? Who Cares?
Matthew Hoh, Huffington Post, May 09 2016:… The MeK has been very successful in the United States in paying American politicians and former government officials to represent the MeK. Along with the demonization with which the American government has colored Iran with since 1979, these political efforts by the MeK have succeeded in making many American leaders believe the MeK can be useful to US interests in the Middle East. Whether or not they know …
17,000 Dead Iranians. Who Knows? Who Cares?
Full text of Habilian’s interview with Matthew Hoh, Ex-US State Department Official
Sunday, 01 May 2016 09:51 Habilian
…in 2001, al-Qaeda only had about 200 members and the Islamic State did not exist. The United States validated the propaganda and the doctrine of the terrorists with our response to 9/11 and provided many thousands of young men with a rationale for leaving their homes and joining terror groups.
Can Albania Meet its Obligations and De-radicalize an Influx of Terrorists into Europe?
Massoud & Anne Khodabandeh, Huffington Post, March 02 2016:…It is impossible to ignore the fact that MEK members are radicalized to the core. They are not ordinary refugees. Enough of them have been trained in Iraq by the former Saddam regime for terrorist activities as well as forgery, intelligence, military operations and even torture methods, to make them extremely dangerous. Above all, the nature of the MEK leadership style is cultic. This means the followers …
Can Albania Meet its Obligations and De-radicalize an Influx of Terrorists into Europe?
Co-authored by Anne Khodabandeh
Situated on the east of Europe, Albania applied for membership of the European Union in 2009. As the poorest country in Europe and designated the most corrupt, there is a lot of work to be done before this country of 3 million people is accepted into the Union. A recent visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry does indicate that this work is well underway. But Albania’s efforts to reform and strengthen its political, security, judicial and civic institutions after years of dictatorship, could be drastically undermined if the country ignores or underestimates the threat posed by the arrival of the Mojahedin Khalq (MEK) from Iraq.
Albania is the target location for the transfer of the notorious terrorist organization Mojahedin Khalq into Europe. Currently based in Iraq, the MEK is now being transferred to Albania under a deal struck with America in 2013.
Since the 1980s the MEK were paid and trained in terrorism by Saddam Hussein to effect regime change in Iran. After his ouster in 2003 the MEK aligned itself variously with the US army – during Senator Kerry’s visit to Albania, the MEK was described as “a group that has supported the US in military operations in the Middle East and in its fight against terrorism” – as well as former Saddamists headed by Ezzat Ibrahim and more recently Al Qaida insurgents and Daesh in Iraq. Each successive government of the newly sovereign Iraq tried repeatedly to evict the group from their country, but the MEK leader Massoud Rajavi – himself a fugitive from justice – ordered his followers to put up violent resistance.
Even if they would agree to go willingly, the United Nations refugee agency has struggled to find third countries to take them in. It seems that, although Western countries have benefitted openly from the MEK’s sometimes violent anti-Iran activities, and found the group particularly useful as a thorn in Iran’s side through the period of nuclear negotiations, the MEK is deemed too dirty for them to willingly host any of them even as refugees.
In an attempt to encourage other countries to take some of the MEK, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton persuaded the then Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha in 2013 to take just over 200 MEK members on humanitarian grounds. That process got underway, but in 2016 Albania is now expected to take up to 3,000 MEK after the President of Romania, Traian Basescu, refused to take them in 2014.
This agreement has attracted surprisingly little attention from either inside Albania or even from a world media sensitive to terrorism and organized crime. The reason is partly because the transfers are taking place in small groups of around twenty at a time in a piecemeal fashion as the UNHCR is forced to defer to Massoud Rajavi’s demands in order to circumvent threats of violence. Rajavi hand-picks the members he allows to be transferred, many using false identities. He ensures that each group of ordinary MEK members is accompanied by minders and enforcers to keep them under control and prevent them breaking loose. In order to accomplish their mandate to remove the MEK from Iraq, UN officials have had to accede to transferring the refugees under such conditions even though it reinforces the concept that the members belong to the MEK in conditions of modern slavery.
Once they arrive in Albania, the MEK leadership takes charge of the transferees. Although the US made a donation of $20 million to the UN refugee agency to help resettle the MEK, and according to a State Department official the US has provided the Albanian government with “security and economic development assistance, to help the country build up its physical capacity to house the refugees”, none of this benefits the individual refugees. In Tirana the MEK has purchased an abandoned university campus into which it has corralled the new arrivals and recreated the conditions of isolation and cultic control which have always prevailed for the membership. What started out as a humanitarian gesture has turned into the mass relocation of a terrorist group to Europe. The MEK has created a de facto enclave in Albania which is outside the law, just as they did in Iraq.
This has put the refugees out of the reach of the Albanian authorities and because they are not free to mingle with Albania’s citizenry, the influx of over a thousand trained terrorists has cleverly avoided detection and therefore controversy.
However, even though it appears that the MEK are somehow quietly contained, the citizens of Albania are entitled to ask whether the new refugees pose any actual threat to their civic life, to their security and to their ambitions to accede to membership of the European Union.
To answer this, we must ask why the Iraqi government is so desperate to expel them and why other Western countries are so extremely reluctant to accept them.
As a violent criminal organization, the MEK thrives where the rule of law is weak – in countries like Iraq and Albania which are emerging from past turmoil and troubles. In such conditions the MEK can be dangerous through criminal activity and violence.
As expert propagandists and manipulative persuaders, the MEK leaders have no problem making connections with and bribing government officials, power brokers and media types – let’s be clear, the MEK has always been well financed. Former MEK have also reported that the MEK leaders are already vigorously pursuing links with Albania’s mafia-like gangs. The MEK will work with these gangs for mutual benefit as they did with Saddam Hussein’s regime. In the long run, if the MEK organization does become established Albania – with the quiet collusion of political circles who benefit from the cult’s track record of terrorism – they will be better placed to do from Tirana what they can’t do from Paris.
The CIA characterizes Albanian corruption as a ‘transnational’ problem involving drugs, money laundering and illegal aliens. In this sense it is the very location of the country which makes it attractive to international criminal organizations and thereby creates huge problems for law enforcement agencies. Albania essentially acts as a gateway into Europe from the rest of the world.
Now, while the various routes to Turkey, Syria and Iraq are under stringent scrutiny, terrorist commanders from any mercenary group can slip beneath the radar and seek training and logistical support in Tirana. What better location to establish a clandestine terrorist training camp than in Albania? It is in Europe, but not in the EU and therefore not so open to scrutiny by the international community.
With the changed political mood following the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1, the MEK is looking for new friends and benefactors. The group has already aligned itself with the Syrian Free Army and has offered to help the Saudis fight against the Shias in Yemen. The MEK has over forty years of experience in terrorist activities. The real danger posed by this group is not only that they can re-arm themselves in Albania, but they can invite other groups in for training.
The worry is that the MEK has branched out and is open to do business with any terrorist group.
It is impossible to ignore the fact that MEK members are radicalized to the core. They are not ordinary refugees. Enough of them have been trained in Iraq by the former Saddam regime for terrorist activities as well as forgery, intelligence, military operations and even torture methods, to make them extremely dangerous. Above all, the nature of the MEK leadership style is cultic. This means the followers are not able to resist the orders of the leaders even if they wanted out. So there is a danger they will be used for a variety of criminal activities without their real consent. There are already examples of people trafficked by the MEK from Albania to Western Europe and used for money laundry activities in Germany.
However, the refugees could also be described as extremely vulnerable. Another reason they have not attracted attention is that the MEK can easily be dismissed as a defunct fighting force; the average age of its fighters is sixty years old and many of them are ailing with mental and physical disease after years of punishing training in the Iraqi deserts. But while this is true of the majority, there are still many among them who are expert terrorist recruiters and trainers, people who know how to train others for suicide missions; strangely transferrable skills in today’s world of global terrorism.
Not all the members who arrive in Albania do stay with the MEK. There is a growing community of formers – around two hundred to date – who have turned their back on the group and want to return to their families and to normal life. Interestingly, it is from this pool of former members that the US has carefully selected a quota of eighty individuals to be given asylum in America. They have undergone rigorous interviews to ascertain that they have completely rejected the MEK and so no longer pose any danger. Some others have been accepted by other European countries under the same conditions but the rest remain in Albania under conditions of hardship.
With the stakes set very high, Albania’s authorities will need to stop this organization from covertly establishing a terrorist base in Europe. The first step would be to remove the MEK members from the source of their radicalization. If this doesn’t happen, the problem will simply have been moved instead of being solved.
The authorities in Tirana can ensure that all the newly arrived refugees are treated as individuals, not as belongings of the MEK leader. They should be given protection and helped with accommodation and financial support as people entitled to determine their own future paths. Experience in Iraq has already shown that once these people are physically removed from the coercive atmosphere imposed by the MEK leaders and reinforced by their peers, they very quickly find that their commitment to terrorism evaporates and the de-radicalization process can begin.
De-radicalization is greatly helped when they have contact with their families. There are numerous examples of former MEK who managed to leave the cult and establish new and successful lives. Some now live in various western European countries because they have family there who have been able to help them. Some have returned to Iran – even though Iran doesn’t want them back – where they have been granted amnesty and lead normal lives under the supervision of the UN and ICRC. Some others now live in Iraqi Kurdistan and have transferred their family assets there from Iran there so they can set up in business.
Once they are out of the ‘pressure-cooker’ of the cult their lives can be sorted out through humanitarian organizations. As a Red Cross official told the authors, ‘As individuals, three thousand is nothing, we sort out millions every year. But as a group, neither us nor any other organization can deal with or help them.’ It is a choice the Albanian government cannot ignore, for to do nothing is to risk everything.
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