Mehr News and Tehran Times, October 22 2019:… Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad said on Sunday that members of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) are using super-modern computers to publish disinformation and fake news in order to manipulate the public opinion in Iran. Posting a photo of the group’s members, Baeidinejad tweeted, “This photo of members of the Monafiqeen (MEK) in Camp Ashraf in Albania was recently leaked.” He added, “Many of the members of the organization, with non-military clothes, have laid their hands on new weapons, which are super-modern computers by which they extensively publish fake news and disinformation in order to poison public opinion.” . MEK Trolls In Albania – Cyber Terrorism against Iran
MEK Trolls In Albania – Cyber Terrorism against Iran
1- Baeidinejad : MKO terrorists trying to manipulate public opinion
Mehr News, October 22 2019
Link to the source
In a Twitter message on Sunday, Hamid Baeidinejad posted an image of a group of MKO members in a big computer lab and wrote, “The MKO members in Ashraf camp, Albania, have been trying to use a new type of weapon [against Iran].”
Their weapon includes the supercomputers by which they are trying to spread lies and fake news to poison the public opinion
“Their weapon includes the supercomputers by which they are trying to spread lies and fake news to poison the public opinion,” he added.
The MKO, which is currently acting as a proxy against Tehran, fled Iran in 1986 for Iraq and was given a camp by former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. It fought on the side of Saddam in the Iraqi imposed war on Iran during which the former Iraqi dictator used chemical weapons against Iranian civilians on a massive scale. The notorious group is also responsible for killing more than 17,000 Iranians in different acts of terrorism, including bombings in public places and targeted killings.
It was listed as a terrorist organization by the US and European Union in 1997 and 2002 respectively, but as more efforts got directed to vilify Iran, the MKO got delisted by the EU on January 26, 2009 and by the US on September 28, 2012.
After Washington formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations, the group became able to have its assets under the US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with the American entities.
این عکس اعضای سازمان منافقین در پادگان اشرف در آلبانی اخیرا به بیرون رسیده است. بسیاری از اعضای سازمان با لباس غیرنظامی دست به اسلحه های جدید برده اند که عبارتند از کامپیوترهای سوپر مدرنی که از طریق آنان برای مسموم کردن افکار عمومی بصورت وسیع به دروغ پردازی و جعل خبر می پردازند. pic.twitter.com/1c1eEayQmV
— Hamid Baeidinejad (@baeidinejad) October 20, 2019
2- MEK trolls publish anti-Iran disinformation: envoy
Tehran Times, October 22 2019
Link to the source
TEHRAN – Iranian Ambassador to London Hamid Baeidinejad said on Sunday that members of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) are using super-modern computers to publish disinformation and fake news in order to manipulate the public opinion in Iran.
Posting a photo of the group’s members, Baeidinejad tweeted, “This photo of members of the Monafiqeen (MEK) in Camp Ashraf in Albania was recently leaked.”
He added, “Many of the members of the organization, with non-military clothes, have laid their hands on new weapons, which are super-modern computers by which they extensively publish fake news and disinformation in order to poison public opinion.”
The MEK was established in the 1960s to express a mixture of Marxism and Islamism. It launched bombing campaigns against the Shah, continuing after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, against the Islamic Republic. Iran accuses the group of being responsible for 17,000 deaths.
Based in Iraq at the time, MEK members were armed and equipped by Iraq to fight against Iran alongside the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during a war which lasted for 8 years.
In 2012, the U.S. State Department removed the MKO from its list of designated terrorist organizations under intense lobbying by groups associated to Saudi Arabia and other regimes opposed to Iran.
A few years ago, MEK members were relocated from their Camp Ashraf in Iraq’s Diyala Province to Camp Hurriyet (Camp Liberty), a former U.S. military base in Baghdad, and were later sent to Albania.
Murteza Hussain of The Intercept have recently revealed how the MEK uses fake social media accounts to curate a false narrative about Iran to influence U.S. policy.
Then a series of photographs were leaked from inside the MEK’s camp in Albania and published in Iran. The photos offer an unguarded glimpse into the operational and organizational life of the cult.
Earlier this year, Germany’s Der Spiegel revealed that members of the MEK undergo horrific training in a camp in Albania.
Der Spiegel said the members held in the camp practice “cutting throats with knife”, “breaking hand”, “removing eyes with finger” and “tearing down mouth”.
The German weekly magazine added those who left the cult group say the members are being tortured and subjected to psychological trauma.
Talking to 15 members of the group, the magazine said the camp in which 2,000 members are kept is 50 times the size of a soccer field.
MEK Trolls In Albania – Cyber Terrorism against Iran
White House MEK Trolls and the Iran Case
Jason Rezaian, Washinton Post, June 11 2019:… After the report, Twitter appears to have suspended the account. But the MEK, the organization that “Team Heshmat Alavi” represents, has a nasty history. It was on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations for years before being removed in 2012. These days, it has no discernible popular support in Iran and egregiously mistreats its members. Despite its history and negligible influence among Iranians, the MEK happens to have the support of many U.S. officials, including Trump advisers John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani, both of whom have appeared as paid speakers at the group’s events. White House MEK Trolls and the Iran Case
White House MEK Trolls and the Iran Case
Why does the U.S. need trolls to make its Iran case?
This weekend, a new wrinkle was added to the ongoing saga about the information war over Iran policy: the stunning revelation that an online persona that was cited by the Trump administration to justify leaving the Iran nuclear deal is likely not a real person, after all.
On Sunday, the Intercept published an investigation into “Heshmat Alavi,” a rabid supporter of the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), a controversial Iranian opposition group. Since 2014, he had amassed a large Twitter following, which he apparently leveraged to attract interest in freelance submissions.
But according to the Intercept report, it turns out Alavi, the self-proclaimed “Iranian activist with a passion for equal rights” who claims to be “in contact with sources that provide credible information about the mullahs’ regime in Tehran,” was a team of MEK members producing the content in Albania.
That didn’t stop Forbes, the Hill, Daily Caller and even the Voice of America from amplifying Alavi’s platform as a voice on Iran policy. All of these outlets, and several more, have published articles by Alavi that claimed the MEK is the main opposition to the current Iranian regime.
More disturbing than the articles, however, were the Twitter tirades that Alavi directed at established journalists who write on Iran — including me — referring to us “lobbyists,” “agents” and “collaborators” of the Islamic republic. These efforts actively sought to undermine our credibility about the best approach to deal with Iran and resorted to personal attacks in order to do so.
Apparently, libel isn’t a concern if you’re not actually a person.
After the report, Twitter appears to have suspended the account. But the MEK, the organization that “Team Heshmat Alavi” represents, has a nasty history. It was on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations for years before being removed in 2012. These days, it has no discernible popular support in Iran and egregiously mistreats its members.
Despite its history and negligible influence among Iranians, the MEK happens to have the support of many U.S. officials, including Trump advisers John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani, both of whom have appeared as paid speakers at the group’s events.
The new revelations come less than two weeks after reports that the State Department had been funding an initiative called the Iran Disinformation Project, which was outed last month by Iran watchers for targeting and spreading lies about knowledgeable and experienced Iran commentators. The State Department suspended the funding to that initiative temporarily, but a full accounting of how taxpayer money may have been used against U.S. citizens — a crime under U.S. law — has not happened yet.
The Heshmat Alavi saga does not appear to be directly linked with the Iran Disinformation Project. But both operations raise similar concerns.
In both instances, the U.S. government — knowingly or not — aided in the flow of falsehoods perpetuated by opaque sources targeting U.S. citizens and attempting to discredit journalists and other commentators. And in both cases, the administration seemed to care more about advancing their views on Iran than about verifying the truth.
In the current atmosphere, any discussion of Iran that doesn’t explicitly advocate for the most severe measures against Iran — and, by extension, all people inside Iran — is branded apologia by supporters of President Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign. The MEK and Iranian Disinformation Project talking points have a captive audience here in the capital. So, too, do the rants of others echoing the most hawkish elements of the Trump administration’s Iran rhetoric.
But this is the United States of America. In this country, at least, we can and must have these conversations in the light of day, and maintain an atmosphere where we can openly debate and defend dissenting views without spreading falsehoods or slander. This is critical, not just for our democracy, but also for long-term peace and stability.
Political commentators have pointed to this rhetorical buildup against Iran as similar to the George W. Bush administration’s case for war with Iraq. But the comparison isn’t entirely apt: We are not at the same informational disadvantage we were as a nation in the lead-up to the Iraq War.
The current Iranian American population is much bigger than the Iraqi American population of the early 2000s. It’s better positioned economically in the society and has more political representation. And crucially, there is a flow of Iranian Americans who still routinely travel to the country. Social media is rich with images from inside Iran telling myriad stories.
So, instead of resorting to false narratives and personal attacks, we should cultivate our Iran policy — because there still isn’t a coherent one — the old-fashioned way: by making real arguments, backing them up with actual evidence and prioritizing real people over the tactics of manipulation and fraud preferred by authoritarians.
White House MEK Trolls and the Iran Case Fake MEK Writers