Hassan Heyrani, Tirana, Albania, April 16 2019:… Maryam Rajavi told them that ‘with this situation and the conditions that the regime has been going through for up to a year and a half, we will see that the regime cannot continue and it’s over, over, over …’ After her speech, one of the members called Mohammad Ali Agahi stood up and asked, ‘Sister Maryam, why are you lying to us about this’.
MEK’s Virus Removal in Quarantine and the Overthrow Joke
In a recent meeting with cult members, Maryam Rajavi told them that ‘the regime is now ruined, we clearly see signs and symptoms of overthrow of the regime – with this situation and the conditions that the regime has been going through for up to a year and a half, we will see that the regime cannot continue and it’s over, over, over …’
After her speech, one of the members called Mohammad Ali Agahi stood up and asked, ‘Sister Maryam, why are you lying to us about this’. Many then attacked him, but more people came to support him and some minutes later the meeting was ended. Mohammad Ali and the other people who supported him were then sent to Quarantine. For those who don’t know, ‘Quarantine’ is a place of isolation where a person is kept alone until the commanders and leading members of the organization come to talk in a process of so-called ‘Virus Removal’.
The fact is that the slogans of the cult have changed so often – according to circumstances – that it has become another ideological joke in their meetings. One day overthrow is the slogan, next day it was our fault there is no overthrow, next day overthrow is not important only obeying the ideology matters. What a joke.
Mojahedin Khalq (MEK, Rajavi cult) in Albania – Inside view
Hassan Heyrani, Tirana, Albania, April 11 2019:… The cost for a smuggler to transfer one person is between 3 and 4 thousand euros or more. So, the cult made indirect contact with a smuggler and told him ‘we have a lot of people to move so reduce the price to 2.5 thousand euros each’. A group of these people have now arrived. Behrooz Ghorbani, an Iranian priest in Norway, is behind this project and is one of the cult’s mercenaries (in the MEK’s pay). I should mention that I previously spoke to this priest from the International Church in Tirana before I found out who he really is. Ghorbani is trying to raise money to smuggle people out of Albania.
Mojahedin Khalq (MEK, Rajavi cult) in Albania – Inside view
One of the MEK formers in Germany called me to say that he had heard some news about the members of the cult in Albania. He said firstly that the cult has taken the decision to remove all those who have separated from the cult in Albania from the country. This is because the cult wants to empty the ‘border’ (or no man’s land) between MEK members and those people who take a salary from the sect and say that they still support the organization. This is because when these separated people come face to face with MEK members in the streets of Tirana street, they create a kind of bad influence on them. This influence makes some of the members who are under pressure in the cult decide to get out. The cult wants to empty Tirana of every person who it calls so-called mercenaries who are critical of the cult (basically anyone who has left).
I confirmed to this friend in Germany that we in Tirana have also heard that there is currently a register of 35 people who admit that all their costs are paid by the cult, but who do not make this public because the cult doesn’t want it to became public knowledge that it would be willing to transfer these people (because it’s illegal people trafficking by a smuggler). It would also encourage more people to leave if they think the MEK will pay to smuggle them to Europe.
The cost for a smuggler to transfer one person is between 3 and 4 thousand euros or more. So, the cult made indirect contact with a smuggler and told him ‘we have a lot of people to move so reduce the price to 2.5 thousand euros each’. A group of these people have now arrived.
Behrooz Ghorbani, an Iranian priest in Norway, is behind this project and is one of the cult’s mercenaries (in the MEK’s pay). I should mention that I previously spoke to this priest from the International Church in Tirana before I found out who he really is. Ghorbani is trying to raise money to smuggle people out of Albania. He contacted my friend in Germany to ask him for 2,500 euros. But my friend found out this was a deception and Ghorbani was working for the cult because the cost of this project for each person from the beginning to the end is 5000 euros. This includes the cost a trafficker to Greece and secret residence in Greece for a while. Even though this is for around 50 people and costs around 250,000 euros, the cult is willing to pay for it. My friend in Germany also warned me ‘be careful, after this project is done, they will make trouble for you who remain in Albania’.
Mojahedin Khalq (MEK, MKO, NCRI, Rajavi cult) keyboard warriors target journalists, Academics, activists
The Listening Post, Aljazeera, September 16 2018:…”Our orders would tell us the hashtags to use in our tweets in order to make them more active,” says Hassan Shahbaz, another former MEK member. “It was our job to provide coverage of these protests by seeking out, tweeting and re-tweeting videos while adding our own comments.”MEK keyboard warriors would also target journalists, …
Faking the online debate on Iran
How keyboard warriors target journalists, academics and activists who favour dialogue instead of war with Iran.
15 Sep 2018 15:27 GMT
Last month, Google, Facebook and Twitter announced the shutdown of pages and accounts they say were linked to Iran. While the effectiveness of Iran’s online disinformation networks is far from established, the Islamic Republic has now joined Russia in the popular consciousness as another government using the internet to destabilise its adversaries.
Meanwhile, a widespread campaign of social media manipulation by actors who are opposed to the government in Tehran has had many analysts eyeing Iran’s enemies for clues to who might be behind the project.
“The turning point was really [Donald] Trump’s election,” says journalist and New America fellow Azadeh Moaveni. “Once it became clear that there would be heightened hostility with Iran, there was a profusion of new accounts, anonymous accounts who were single-mindedly and purposefully going after people who wrote about, talked about Iran with nuance.”
While Twitter did not respond directly to questions about the methodology it used to detect organised manipulation of its platform, lecturer in Middle East history at Exeter University, Marc Owen Jones, shared with us how he uses freely available Twitter metadata to detect the presence of bots.
“If you want to use bots to be effective you need a lot of accounts, which means you might create a lot of accounts on a specific day or week or month,” explains Jones. “The majority of the accounts tweeting on the #FreeIran and #Iran_Regime_Change hashtag from late December up to May, were created within about a four-month window. What that would suggest is that a lot of the activity on those hashtags came from bots.”
Most of the accounts identified had only a few dozen or a few hundred followers and used generic profile pictures. The vast majority tweet almost exclusively in opposition to the Islamic Republic with many exhibiting sympathies with an exiled Iranian dissident group, the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK).
The MEK was instrumental in Iran’s 1979 revolution but turned to violent attacks on civilian targets after being sidelined by Ayatollah Khomeini. A violent backlash forced the group into Iraqwhere they allied with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war.
In 2013, the MEK moved to Albania at the behest of the United States. The group has long lobbied for policies to overthrow Iran’s government.
The MEK declined our request for an interview citing, “terrorist threats of Iranian regime and mobilising the agents of Iranian Ministry of Intelligence under the guise of journalist”.
However, former MEK members still stranded in the Albanian capital, Tirana, having left the group, described how the MEK uses thousands of fake Twitter accounts to both promote their organisation and to boost online calls for regime change.
“Overall I would say that several thousand accounts are managed by about 1,000-1,500 MEK members,” former MEK member, Hassan Heyrani, told The Listening Post. “It was all very well organised and there were clear instructions about what needed to be done.”
The MEK online unit was especially active during several weeks of protests beginning in December 2017. Members were ordered to emphasise the anti-regime character of the demonstrations.
“Our orders would tell us the hashtags to use in our tweets in order to make them more active,” says Hassan Shahbaz, another former MEK member. “It was our job to provide coverage of these protests by seeking out, tweeting and re-tweeting videos while adding our own comments.”
MEK keyboard warriors would also target journalists, academics and activists who favour dialogue rather than confrontation with Iran.
“Because of my platform, I have received a significant amount of Twitter attacks of this kind, but I am nowhere near being alone,” Trita Parsi, author of, Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy, said. “This is actually a very pervasive phenomena, the big victim of this is that we don’t have a rational conversation about policy towards Iran.”
Since access to Iran for journalists is restricted, social media can become a proxy for where the debate is going, leaving open the possibility that both state and non-state actors can use platforms like Twitter to create and manipulate trends in ways that suit their agenda.
“It’s not like what happens on social media stays there any more,” Marc Owen Jones said. “It filters its way into mainstream media. There is so much propaganda, so much fake news that it would take very little to create a wave of what looks like popular Iranian opinion against the government that’s not necessarily real.”
Trita Parsi – Author, Losing an Enemy – Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy’
Azadeh Moaveni – Fellow, New America
Marc Owen Jones – Lecturer in Middle East History, Exeter University
Hassan Heyrani – Former MEK member
Hassan Shahbaz – Former MEK member
The ‘political cult’ opposing the Iranian regime which has created a state within a state in Albania
Borzou Dargahi, THE INDEPENDENT, September 28 2018:… An Iranian exile group that is a darling of Washington conservatives has set up what critics describe as “a state within a state” inside the tiny Balkan nation of Albania. From a well-guarded 84-acre (340,000 square metres, or 34 hectares) property it has forged on a hillside in the Albanian countryside, the group – called the People’s Mujahedin Organisation …
The ‘political cult’ opposing the Iranian regime which has created a state within a state in Albania
In Tirana, Borzou Daragahi meets defectors of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran, a controversial group which has found itself the darling of Washington
From a well-guarded 84-acre (340,000 square metres, or 34 hectares) property it has forged on a hillside in the Albanian countryside, the group – called the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran, commonly known by the acronym MEK, has begun handing out mysterious wads of cash, set up its own radio communications network, and launched deceptive information operations to influence debate about the Islamic Republic – its avowed enemy – say defectors of the group, relatives of members, and Albanian journalists, lawyers and a former intelligence official.
In addition, it has been accused of locking up members inside the camp against their will, an allegation that has long dogged the organisation, which is led by Iranian exile couple Maryam and Massoud Rajavi, and described by former members and Iran experts as a political cult.
“We are supposed to be living in a free and democratic country. But they have built a state within a state that implements its own laws,” says Olsi Yazici, an Albanian writer who is part of the legal team attempting to find out more about the group.
“They are behaving in Albania like a mafia – breaking laws, blackmailing, paying people off, beating people, threatening defectors, accusing anyone who questions them of being an Iranian agent and controlling their members in the camp through Stalinist totalitarian methods. And at the end, they claim to be democrats who will save Iran.”
The Independent reached out to several MEK spokespersons and representatives, seeking comment for the story.
As this report was being prepared, the organisation released a five and a half minute video clip that showed drone footage of what it called its “residential compound”, which appears made up of dozens of buildings, and a main entrance flanked by a pair of golden lions, a symbol of the MEK.
The video showed Albanians on construction jobs in the camp, as well as members sipping tea with Albanian neighbours, or making music in a studio, including a cover of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”.
We are supposed to be living in a free and democratic country. But they have built a state within a state that implements its own laws
Olsi Yazici, Albanian writer
“Terrorist, terrorist,” the men screamed at the elderly couple, their arms locked, as they sought to walk away. Canadian-Iranians Mostafa and Mahboubeh Mohammadi say they have struggled to get their daughter, Somayeh, out of the MEK for 21 years.
They haven’t spoken to her since 2004, when they travelled to central Iraq to make a desperate attempt to get her and her younger brother out of the camp the group then occupied. Once they had been sympathisers and had even raised money for the group.
“We would spread out on the streets and show pictures of Iranians the regime had killed, and say their kids are stuck in refugee camps,” recalls Mostafa Mohammadi.
But eventually the Mohammadis turned against the group, which they claimed tricked their daughter into travelling to Iraq, seized her passport, and pressed her into the organisation. Through tremendous effort involving US and Canadian diplomats, they say they managed to extract their son, who is now living in Canada, but not their daughter.
The MEK says Somayeh is in the organisation of her own free will, and has issued videos of her disowning her parents.
At least one other former member of the group in Tirana says he was able to leave the organisation once he told them he wished to part ways.
“I choose to pursue my own life,” he says, asking that his name not be published. “There was no pressure to stay.”
A lengthy statement by the group on the website of its front group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said that that Mostafa Mohammadi had been in Tehran in 2008 – an allegation he denies – and called Mohammadi’s lawyer an “agent” of the Iranian intelligence services.
The five and a half minute video shows footage of Somayeh Mohammadi with a caption reading that she insists the “Iranian regime deployed her father to accuse MEK (of having) kidnapped her”.
When the Mohammadis first came to Albania to find Somayeh, they were given the runaround by authorities in Tirana, who insisted she was not in the country.
But they managed to get confirmation from a sympathetic local refugee resettlement group that she had arrived in Tirana in 2015. Just days before the confrontation with the MEK members, the Mohammadis managed to prompt a police officer to enter the camp and confirm that she was there, possibly the first time an Albanian official wielding a warrant entered the compound.
“This was a big shock for the MEK,” says Yazici, the writer. “This diminished the role of the commanders in the eyes of the members.”
The Mohammadis had heard that she made her way one day a week to a Tirana hospital, serving as a translator for MEK members seeking medical care. They waited nearby to catch a glimpse of her on 27 July. After a few hours they became discouraged, and began heading back to their hotel.
That’s when a group of four men – who later transpired to be MEK enforcers – surrounded the elderly couple and began screaming “terrorist” at them.
Police soon arrived to break up the melee. Startling the officers, the MEK enforcers continued to strike Mohammadi in front of them, screaming that the frail couple were “terrorists”.
The police rounded up the Mohammadis as well as the MEK enforcers and took everyone to a Tirana police station. MEK leaders summoned their lawyer, Margarita Kola, as well as some leaders of the group. Kola, who once worked as a counsel for the US Embassy in Tirana, claimed she was acting on behalf of the Americans.
“She said, ‘You know who I am or not?’” recalls Migena Banna, the lawyer representing the Mohammadis, who was also at the police station. “She said, ‘I am not just a lawyer, I’m a legal representative of the US embassy.’ Then the police changed their behaviour.”
Kola told The Independent that she did not work for the US embassy but declined to answer whether she had originally made the claim.
Under pressure, police let the MEK members go, but held on to the Mohammadis for eight hours. The Tirana prosecutors’ office told The Independent the case remains under investigation.
Mostafa Mohammadi went to a hospital for treatment for his bruises. By then, the video of the pack of MEK enforcers assaulting the couple had gone viral on Albanian social media. Local television stations arrived to meet the couple, and stories about the search for their daughter began to air. Albanians were outraged.
“We have so many other refugees, Syrians, Iraqis. They can do everything. They go shopping. They are out on the streets,” says Yazici. “Where are these MEK people? Why can’t we see them?”
Much of the world was worried when Donald Trump was elected US president in November 2016. The leaders of the MEK celebrated.
“It was like a wedding,” recalls Hassan Heyrani, a former member of the group’s political committee who defected this year. “It was the whole election of Trump that prompted the group to move forward with the new camp. They were so happy. They said, ‘The geopolitical engine of the region is turning.’”
The story of the 50-year-old group is bound up in the wars, uprisings, and political twists of the Middle East. It was founded by leftist students decades ago to fight against the regime of Iran’s Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, carrying out assassinations of US officials in Iran who were backing him.
It later turned against the clerics who took over in Tehran during the 1979 revolution, staging bomb attacks during the 1980s, when it was granted a camp northeast of Baghdad and joined along Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war.
That move destroyed its popularity among the vast majority of Iranians. But with dozens of tanks and thousands of fighters positioned at a sprawling and inhospitable desert compound called Camp Ashraf, in a province adjacent to the Iranian border, it remained a threat to the Islamic Republic.
Its fortunes changed after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and toppling of Saddam Hussein. US forces at first bombed the group as an appendage of the Baghdad regime, pulverising many of its tanks. But Washington conservatives later began to cultivate MEK as a potential way of pressuring Tehran.
The group eventually ran afoul of Iranian-backed politicians of the new Iraqi political elite. Members were pressured to leave Camp Ashraf, which was taken over by the Iranian-backed Badr Brigade militia, and relocate to Camp Liberty, on the same compound as US forces and the Baghdad International Airport.
Under pressure by Baghdad authorities to remove the group, the US managed to convince the government of Albania to take in a couple hundred members of the group as refugees in 2013, in what was described as a humanitarian gesture.
But as they came under attack by Iranian-backed Shia militias, as well as pressure by Isis militants, the plan to move a few hundred to Albania somehow turned into bringing the entire organisation from Iraq to southeastern Europe.
Once they had fully moved to Albania, the group first took up residence in a series of empty apartment buildings scattered around the city, and continued its fade into obscurity and irrelevance.
Leaders tried in vain to keep long-isolated members – curious about the modern world, and barred from sex and dating –from drifting away. They tried to erect barriers around one apartment building, but they were promptly torn down by angry local authorities.
With Mr Trump’s election, everything changed. The MEK had spent years cultivating Washington figures such as John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani, who were forces in the new administration in Washington.
In addition, an ambitious and stridently anti-Iran Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman took the reins in Saudi Arabia, and began looking for allies in his aim to roll back and possibly topple the clerical government in Tehran.
Beginning in July 2017, just as Trump began re-imposing sanctions on Iran that Obama had lifted as part of the nuclear deal, the MEK suddenly began buying plots of land in Albania, in a rural stretch of farmland near the town of Manza, between the Albanian capital and the Adriatic Sea.
The Trump administration continues to maintain strong ties with the MEK. At the weekend, the president’s lawyer addressed a gathering of the group at a midtown Manhattan hotel, describing the MEK as an antidote to the brutality and repression of the “outlaws and murderers” in power in Tehran. “Iran is entitled to freedom and democracy,” he said.
Albanian investigative journalist Gjergi Thanasi said the group paid $13m (£9.9m) to buy the first 200,000 square metres of the compound, has since bought another 140,000 square metres, and continues buying up property and racking up significant water, electricity, and internet bills.
They pay for everything with huge wads of cash, sometimes piles of local currency that they purchase through street vendors rather than banks or exchange shops, but also with “crisp hundred-dollar bills”, says Thanasi, leaving no bank trail.
“They pay bills on time,” he says. “They pay in cash. They buy small things in shops or even in malls. They always pay in cash. They do not use bank cards. They love not leaving a footprint.”
Thanasi found the group purchased 1,700 Lenovo brand computers and monitors from an Albanian firm. At first he thought it was some scam to evade import duties and resell the computers at a profit. But the MEK paid full price for the devices. They wanted the computers for the camp, and paid for them in cash. “What the hell do you need so many computers for?” he quips.
The group has a number of big-ticket expenses. It has set up a dedicated high-speed internet. It also managed to obtain official permission to set up its own antenna atop Mount Dajti, on the peaks overlooking Tirana, giving it effectively its own communications network.
A private Albanian security firm, called Argon, guard the camp and its entrances, deploying perhaps nine personnel armed with assault rifles and handguns in six-hour shifts around the clock.
It remains unclear why Albania, a small Balkan country struggling to overcome its reputation for corruption and money laundering in order to become a member of the EU, would allow such a shadowy group to operate with so little scrutiny.
“If I want to buy a car for 2,000 or 3,000 euros I have to use a bank in order to pay for the car,” says Thanasi. “I have to circulate the money through the bank and justify that this quantity comes out of my personal savings.”
The organisation appears to have strong connections to senior Albanian officials. Pandeli Majko, a minister in the current Albanian government of Prime Minister Edi Rama, Fatmir Mediu, a former defence minister, and Elona Gjebrea, a former deputy interior minister, were with Giuliani when he visited Tirana earlier this year for Persian New Year festivities hosted by the MEK.
Heyrani, the 38-year-old former member of the MEK’s political section, says he suspected the group’s sudden riches were coming from Saudi Arabia’s coffers, through a channel organised by Saudi prince Turki al-Faisal, who over the summer, attended an MEK rally in France, along with Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer, and Bolton, the White House National Security Adviser.
Heyrani says he had no evidence of Saudi support for the group other than conversations with members of its political leadership. “I said, ‘What a big camp, with so many buildings,’” Heyrani recalls. “He said, ‘Finally, Faisal laid the golden egg.’”
A spokesperson for the the Saudi embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment. Ali Shihabi, founder of the Riyadh-backed Arabia Foundation think tank, said that Prince Turki has denied serving as a conduit for MEK funds.
Hassan Shahbaz, 50 years old, had joined the MEK shortly after the US invasion of Iraq. But it wasn’t until he got to Tirana that he discovered that his elderly mother, two brothers, and two sisters had risked their lives to travel to Iraq in the midst of that country’s 2006 civil war to visit him. When they arrived they were turned away from the camp entrance. “They told them I wasn’t there, and turned them back,” he says today.
When he confronted MEK superiors about their action, they told him to let it go. “For now, freeze it,” he was told.
A few weeks later, during an outing with other MEK members in April, he quietly slipped away from the group, took a taxi back to Tirana and became one of the growing members of the group to defect.
“Back then when they kept us locked up, they could say it’s for our own protection, that the government of Iraq is in the pocket of Iran,” he says. “What’s the argument here?”
Sheltered inside the camp, which members nickname Ashraf 3, the organisation has recreated what critics call its cult-like structure. Members are told to spy on each other, recount their dreams, and take part in hours-long indoctrination sessions.
Defiant members are punished with days-long isolation, barred from contact with their comrades. After outings to hospitals or shops they are patted down, for fear they have tried to smuggle phones into the camp.
The camp is divided into several sections, with the northernmost end reserved exclusively for France-based Rajavi on her rare visits, and an underclass of mostly male labourers separated from the rest of the elite by fences and checkpoints at the far south of the camp.
Heyrani calls the camp a version of Animal Farm, after the book written by George Orwell about an isolated and authoritarian society. In a statement, the group said MEK members “have been been targets of the Iranian regime’s terrorism,” and needed protection. The statement said the MEK members at the camp “have always welcomed friends, dignitaries and journalists from Albania and other countries, both in their current and previous residences. But they are vigilant and experienced enough not to welcome the Iranian regime’s agents.”
Unable to draw new recruits, the organisation is aging and greying, and many of the members might choose to remain in the camp for fear of the outside world.
“They are very lost people,” says retired Colonel Ylli Zyla, a former Albanian counter-terror and intelligence official. “On average they are more than 50 years old. They are slowly, slowly dying off one by one. They don’t have any useful professional backgrounds. All of them are brainwashed.”
Most days, the cadres seem to be deployed on the social media battleground, in an attempt to give an illusion of the popularity the group lacks on the ground.
They spend long hours engaged in Twitter wars against supporters of the Tehran government or even Islamic Republic opponents who also publicly oppose the MEK. “We are told to attack accounts of people who are opposed to or critical of the MEK,” says Heyrani. “Or we would retweet Maryam Rajavi’s speeches.”
They were also told to pretend to take political identities other than MEK supporters. “They would tell us right now the environment is not good for us,” he recalls, in an allegation that was confirmed by other defectors. “They would say that because of the propaganda against us by the regime, it’s better to pretend we’re monarchists, or just Iranian democracy activists.”
Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman for the MEK, on Twitter denounced allegations that the group was running a troll factory in Albania as “preposterous”, calling it a narrative “dictated” by Iranian intelligence officers to international media. The video for the group shows a room full of computers, with members collecting video of protests inside Iran.
Zyla has become something of an expert on the group. Though he says it poses no threat to Albanian national security, he says it has begun to challenge the country’s public order. Its members have been known to harass defectors, who mill about in Tirana’s cafes, and attend weekly vocational training sessions organised by the UN. One defector said he’s been threatened six times since he left the group.
“Even the police are not allowed to go inside,” Zyla tells The Independent. “The Ministry of Interior almost has no control over the camp. Police patrols, to my knowledge, are not allowed in the MEK complex. Their camp has turned into a mysterious bunker.”
Albanian Police Report says Mojahedin Khalq (MEK, MKO, Rajavi cult) Kill Their Own Members
Iran Interlink, September 13 2018:… The report acknowledges MEK’s history of killing its own members in Iraq and says police believe this will also happen in Albania. In June 2018, Albanian media reported a possible MEK assassination after one of the camp residents was reported drowned in an irrigation channel. The alarm was raised by some MEK members who gave conflicting accounts …
Albanian Police Report says Mojahedin Khalq (MEK, MKO, Rajavi cult) Kill Their Own Members
Following a Channel Four News report on the MEK in Albania, presented by international editor Lindsey Hilsum, there has been widespread interest in this issue in the Albanian media. In particular journalists have focused on a secret report by Albania’s National Police, which was obtained by Channel Four News. The report states that MEK in Albania poses a lethal threat to their own members if they try leave or try to leave.
The report acknowledges MEK’s history of killing its own members in Iraq and says police believe this will also happen in Albania.
In June 2018, Albanian media reported a possible MEK assassination after one of the camp residents was reported drowned in an irrigation channel. The alarm was raised by some MEK members who gave conflicting accounts of Malek Shara’i’s drowning. This indicated that they knew from the start he was dead, even though after extensive searches by expert police and navy divers, no body was found for over two weeks.
Eventually, after the scandal of his disappearance became headline news in Albania, a body was suddenly discovered. Shara’i’s family in Iran made a plea to the authorities to discover how he had died. However, MEK convinced the Coroner that a post mortem investigation would be against Iranian sacred burial traditions! MEK then took away the body. There is now a grave bearing his name in the cemetery in Tirana alongside other MEK who have died in that country. The case was closed.
Shara’i’s next of kin are his immediate family who quickly got in touch with the Albanian authorities. They informed investigators that Shara’i had been a strong swimmer and a lifeguard back in Iran. However, they were not consulted at any stage in the investigation or asked for permission for an autopsy, nor told a cause of death or asked about burial preferences.
Putting aside the possible reason that Shara’i died – former members said he had long wanted to leave but knew sensitive information which MEK wanted to keep secret – the failure of the Coroner to challenge MEK’s ridiculous assertion that a post mortem examination is against ‘their’ culture, leaves an opening now for MEK to kill and bury unwanted members with impunity. Apparently, no Albanian institution has the will or capability to resist MEK corruption.
Nevertheless, as the following reports demonstrate, Albanian citizens as well as their security forces, are seriously questioning the appropriateness of MEK’s presence in their small and vulnerable country.
Police secret report: Mojahedin pose a threat to security in Albania
7 September 2018
Mojahedin pose a danger to Albania’s security, according to the English Channel 4 public broadcaster. The television channel’s main correspondent, Lindsey Hilsum, has broadcast a report on the Mojahedin in Albania, including a secret police file of the State Police.
According to this document, signed by director general of the Albanian State Police, Ardi Veliu, Mojahedin constitute a security risk in Albania, as there are reasonable suspicions that members of the MEK group may kill members who leave or attempt to get out of the group.
Mojahedin “may have implications for internal security, as these individuals are deeply indoctrinated, have been part of military structures, have participated in fighting and acts of terror,” the secret document says.
The Mojahedin cult, otherwise known as MEK, became a terrorist group and was included in the 2012 U.S. list of terrorist organizations. Given the indoctrination of members and their activity in Iraq, State Police suspects that they may repeat their killings of members who leave the group.
“Former members of this organization have been murdered in Iraq after they have appeared publicly in opposition to the organization’s activities … following the indication of the actions and behaviors of the citizens in question who are currently separated from this organization, there are reasonable grounds for suspicion that this situation is the same as happened in Iraq, which was followed by murder”, reads the document signed by Ardi Veliu.
Currently the Mojahedin have been accommodated in a large camp at Manez in Durres, where they are under continuous scrutiny by the Albanian authorities to prevent any potential danger they may have for the security of the country.
SECRET POLICE REPORT / Mojahedin ALBANIA, capable of terrorist acts, must be kept under control (documentary CHANNEL 4 NEWS)
10 September 2018
Within Albania, a giant camp is being built for the Mojahedin. Information and some video footage were collected by journalist Lindsey Hilsum, an international editor and presenter of Channel 4 News, who has come to Albania and tried to visit the camp.
She wanted to go to the headquarters of MEK, Iran’s largest opposition group, which has been established for several years in Albania. And one of Iran’s opposition’s friends, is US President Donald Trump.
John Bolton, President Trump’s advisor, spoke to members of the Iranian opposition last year in Albania and how they should take power.
Journalist Lindesy Hilsum has gone to the camp and was not allowed by private guards to enter the camp to conduct interviews.
“I do not understand why the private guards won’t allow us. We are here in Albania”, she says in the documentary, while she says she was accused by the Mojahedin as a spy in the Iranian regime.
But behind the camp’s wire fence the journalist has seen numerous machines working, highlighting the fact that the camp is expanding, though no one will speak.
Even though she has presented her journalist’s identity card, the Albanian private guards have not allowed her to do her job. “Stop the footage”, the private security guard is heard on the camera and then puts his hand on the camera to prevent the footage.
In the Iran-Iraq war, MEK fought on the side of Saddam Hussein, the journalist says, against their country. The Iranian regime at that time executed hundreds of members of the opposition, MEK. They operated from military bases in Iraq and were then classified by the US as a terrorist organization.
When the Americans removed Saddam in 2003, MEK surrendered to US troops. But they were always under attack by pro-Iranian forces. And at that moment the US has revoked MEK’s terrorist status and then dispersed the Mojahedin in four US-backed countries, one of them being Albania.
“In Tirana, I met a couple of Canadian citizens who distributed leaflets to citizens while saying that MEK is not good for their country.
They said they came to Albania to see their daughter, Somayeh, claiming she was kidnapped by MEK 20 years ago and they found her in Albania.”
“I am not against Mojahedin. I have no interest in politics. I want to see my daughter, only for 10 minutes”, says the girl’s father to the Channel4News journalist.
Somayeh Mohammadi told another reporter that her father was an Iranian spy and she would not see him. “He came to Albania to spy on our camp. He has come to Albania to tell people that Mojahedin have abducted me. But this is not true” was the girl’s assertion.
The Mojahedin in the Albanian camp are afraid that former members of the group are spying on them and want to eliminate them.
The journalist also found a former Mojahedin member who shows that life in the MEK camp is not free. He has talked willingly about the division of men and women in the camp and that they should not have any opinion about sex. “During the day, every camp member had to write about sexual thoughts and every evening we should read them in front of others and commanders”, he says.
Plan of Albanian police measures
The journalist has come across the plan of the Albanian police to maintain the Iranian opposition in Albania. The document is titled, “Action Plan for Monitoring and Preventing and Preventing Possible Crime in the Perspective of Iranian Nationals Members of the MEK Organization Hosted in Albania”.
“Currently, in the territory of the Republic of Albania, 2745 Iranian citizens have been sheltered for several years. These citizens are part of the MEK organization, otherwise known as the Iranian opposition. The arrival of Iranian asylum seekers in our country can have implications for internal security, as these individuals are deeply indoctrinated, have been part of military structures, have participated in fighting and acts of terror”, the Albanian police write.
According to the document, Mojahedin Khalq or Iran’s Mojahedin Organization, otherwise known as MEK and PMOI, is a revolutionary Marxist-Islamic group, founded in 1965.
In the secret document of the Albanian police, it is said that three Iranian nationals, separated from the camp and living in Tirana, have had their lives threatened by the MEK. And they have reported this at the police station in Tirana in February 2018.
“With regard to these situations and from the data obtained in the operative, it has been learned that: Previously in Iraq Former members of this organization have been murdered in Iraq after they have appeared publicly in opposition to the organization’s activities with the intent of damaging its cause. As can be seen above, and the statements given by Iranian citizens on the “Fiks Fare” show and the charges made to the police commissariats by these citizens, the time, the way of acting, their behavior is similar to the way in a situation of happened earlier in Iraq.
Along the way, by looking at the indications of the actions and behaviors of the concerned citizens who are currently separated from this organization, there are reasonable grounds for suspicion that this situation is the same as happened in Iraq, which was followed by murder.
Assessing the importance of the above information from the state police institution, a maximum assessment of this situation should be carried out and full measures should be planned as follows:
- To undertake a thorough assessment of security measures, to ensure public safety, to prevent any criminal act that may occur between members of the MEK organization and its detained persons.
- Assess any information related to this situation in order to prevent possible criminal incidents.
- Instruct, engage and maximize the capabilities of all state police officers to recognize and engage in the pursuit of these elements. Identification of all settlements and settlements of Iranian nationals in our country and mainly in Tirana and Durres, “reads in the secret police document of the state.
Ylli Zyla, former Chief of Information Service from 2008-2012, also spoke about this organization. “It is strictly strict and if anyone comes out of their criminal framework they are executed by their own members within themselves”, says Ylli Zyla.
Channel4 contacted MEK but was accused of spying for Iran and wanting to break the Iranian opposition. Meanwhile, the journalist shows the support of many politicians from the United States.
“Maybe, according to journalist Lindsey Hilsum, MEK is more threatened by itself than by Iran. In the camp, while they are not allowed to have children, there will be no new generation.
Outside Tirana, we found in the cemetery those who died of a disease, or even age. Everyone has died without seeing their families, and far from their homes.
RAPORTI SEKRET I POLICISË/ MUXHAHEDINËT NË SHQIPËRI, TË AFTË PËR AKTE TERRORISTE, TË MBAHEN NËN KONTROLL (DOKUMENTARI I CHANNEL4NEWS)
Publikuar tek: AKTUALITET, më 13:42 10-09-2018
Brenda Shqipërisë, është duke u ndërtuar një kamp gjigand për muxhahedinët. Të dhënat dhe ato pak filmime janë marrë nga gazetarja Lindsey Hilsum, editore ndërkombëtare e Channel4News, që ka ardhur në Shqipëri dhe ka tentuar të hyjë brenda kampit.
Ka dashur te shkojë te zyrat qendrore te MEK, grupi më i madh opozitar i Iranit, që prej disa vitesh është vendosur në Shqipëri. Dhe një ndër miqtë e opozitës iraniane, është presidenti i SHBA, Donald Trump.
John Bolton, këshilltar i presidentit Trump ishte vitin e kaluar në Shqipëri, ku foli përpara anëtarëve të opozitës Iraniane dhe mënyrës sesi ata duhet të marrin pushtetin.
Gazetarja Lindesy Hilsum, ka shkuar në kamp dhe nuk është lejuar nga rojet private të hyjë brenda kampit për të kryer intervistat.
“Nuk e kuptoj pse nuk na lënë rojet private. Ne ketu jemi në Shqipëri”, thotë ajo në dokumentarin e realizuar, ndërsa thotë se është akuzuar nga muxhahedinët si një spiune e regjimit iranian.
Por gazetarja, prapa telave të kampit, ka parë makineri të shumta që punojnë, duke evidentuar faktin se kampi po zgjerohet, edhe pse askush nuk do të flasë.
Edhe pse ka prezantuar dokumentin e saj si gazetare, rojet private shqiptare nuk e kanë lënë të kryejë detyrën. “Stop filmimeve”, dëgjohet në kamera roja i sigurisë private dhe më pas vendos dorën tek kamera për të mos lejuar filmimet.
Në luftën Iran-Irak, MEK u vendos në krah të Sadam Hyseinit, thotë gazetarja, kundër vendit të tyre. Regjimi iranian në atë kohë, ekzekutoi qindra anëtarë të opozitës, MEK. Ata operonin në baza militare në Irak dhe në atë kohë ishin klasifikuar nga SHBA si organizatë terroriste.
Kur amerikanët rrëzuan Sadamin në 2003, MEK u dorëzuan te trupat amerikane. Por gjithmonë ishin nën sulmin e forcave pro-iraniane. Dhe në këtë moment, SHBA revokoi statusin e terroristëve për MEK. Dhe më pas, shpërndanë muxhahedinët në katër vende që kishin mbëshetjen e SHBA, dhe një prej tyre ishte Shqipëria.
“Në Tiranë takova një cift me shtetësi kanadeze që shpërndanin fletëpalosje për qytetarët ndërsa thoshin se MEK nuk është gjë e mirë për vendin e tyre.
Ata thanë se kanë ardhur në Shqipëri të shohin vajzën e tyre, Samaja, që pretendojnë se është rrëmbyer nga MEK, 20 vjet më parë dhe gjendet në Shqipëri.
“Nuk jam kundër muxhahedinëve. Nuk kam asnjë qëllim për këtë. Unë dua të shoh vajzën time, vetëm për 10 minuta” thotë i ati i vajzës për gazetaren e Channel4News.
Samaja Mohamedy, i tha gazetares së Channel4 se babai i saj ishte një spiun iranian dhe ajo nuk do ta shohë atë. “Ka ardhur në Shqipëri për të spiunuar kampin tonë. Ai ka ardhur në Shqipëri t’u thotë njerëzve se muxhahedinët më kanë rrëmbyer. Por kjo nuk është e vërtetë” ishte pohimi i vajzës.
Muxhahedinët në kampin shqiptar janë të frikësuar se ish komandantët janë duke i vëzhguar dhe duan t’i eleminojnë.
Gazetarja ka gjetur edhe një muxhahedin që i tregon se jeta në kampin e MEK nuk është e lirë. Ai ka treguar me vullnet të lirë ndarjen e burrave dhe grave në kamp dhe se në të, ata nuk duhet të kishin asnjë mendim as për seksin. “Gjatë ditës, çdo anëtar i kampit duhet të shkruante për mendimet seksuale dhe çdo mbrëmje duhet t’i lexonim ato përpara të tjerëve dhe komandantëve” thotë ai.
Plani i masave i policisë shqiptare
Gazetares i ka rënë në dorë plani i masave të policisë shqiptare për të ruajtur opozitën iraniane në Shqipëri. “Plan masash për monitorimin dhe mbajtjen nën kontroll dhe parandalimin e ngjarjeve të mundshme kriminale në drejtim të shtetasve iranianë pjesëtarë të organizatës MEK të strehuar në Shqipëri” është titulli i dokumentit.
“Aktualisht në territorin e RSH janë strehuar 2745 shtetas iranianë të ardhur prej disa vitesh. Këta shtetas janë pjesë e organizatës MEK e njohur ndryshe si opozita iraniane. Ardhja në vendin tonë e azilkërkuesve iranianë, mund të sjellë implikime në sigurinë e brendshme, pasi këta individë, janë të indoktrinuar thellësisht, kanë qenë pjesë e strukturave ushtarake, kanë marrë pjesë në luftime dhe në akte terrori” shkruan dokumenti i policisë shqiptare.
Sipas dokumentit, Mojahedin e Khalq ose Organizata e Muxhahedinëve të Popullit të Iranit, njohur ndryshe si MEK dhe OMPI, është një grup revolucionar marksist-islamik, i themeluar në vitin 1965.
Në dokumentin sekret të policisë shqiptare, thuhet se tre shtetas iranianë, të shkëputur nga kampi dhe që jetojnë në Tiranë, janë kërcënuar me jetë nga MEK. Dhe ata kanë denoncuar në komisariatin e policisë në Tiranë në shkurt 2018.
“Në lidhje me këto situate dhe nga të dhënat e marra në rrugë operative është mësuar se: Më parë në Irak kanë ndodhur vrasje të- ish anëtarëve të kësaj organizate të shkëputur prej saj pasi ata kanë dalë publikisht duke iu kundërvenë veprimtarisë së organizatës me qëllim dëmtimin e kauzës së saj. Nga sa shihet më lart dhe intevistimet e dhëna nga shtetasit iranianë në emisionin “Fiks Fare” si dhe kallzimet e bëra në komisariatet e policisë nga këta shtetas, koha, mënyra e të vepruarit, sjelljes së tyre është e ngjashme si mënyrë me një situatë të ndodhur më parë në Irak.
Në vijimësi, duke parë indikacionet e veprimeve dhe sjelljeve të shtetasve në fjalë të cilët aktualisht janë të shkëputur nga kjo organizatë, ka dyshime të arsyeshme se kjo situatë është e njëjtë me atë të ndodhur më parë në Irak e cila është pasuar me vrasje.
Duke vlerësuar rëndësinë e informacioneve të mësipërme nga strukturat e policisë së shtetit duhet të kryhet vlerësim maksimal për këtë situatë dhe të planifikohen masa të plota si më poshtë vijon:
Të bëhet vlerësimi i lartë i masave të sigurisë, për të garantuar sigurinë publike, parandalimin e ndonjë akti kriminal që mund të ndodhë midis anëtarëve të organizatës MEK dhe personave të shkëputur prej saj.
Të vlerësohet çdo informacion lidhur me këtë situatë me qëllim parandalimin e mundshëm të ngjarjeve kriminale.
Instruktim, angazhim dhe vlerësim maksimal i të gjithë punonjësve të policisë së shtetit që të njihen dhe të angazhohen në ndjekjen e këtyre elementeve. Identifikimin e të gjitha vendbanimeve dhe vendqëndrimeve të shtetasve iranianë në vendin tonë dhe kryesisht në Tiranë dhe në Durrës”, shkruhet në dokumentin sekret të policisë së shtetit.
Ylli Zyla, ish shef i Shërbimit Informativ nga viti 2008-2012 ka folur gjithashtu për këtë organizatë. “Eshtë me rregulla strikte dhe nëse ndokush del nga korniza e tyre kriminale ata ekzekutohen nga vetë anëtarët e tyre brenda vetes” thotë Ylli Zyla.
Channel4 kontaktoi MEK por u akuzuan si spiunë të Iranit dhe se donte të thyente opozitën iraniane. Ndërkohë gazetarja tregon mbështetjen e shumë politikanëve nga SHBA.
“Ndoshta, konstaton gazetarja Lindsey Hilsum, MEK kërcënohet më shumë nga vetja sesa nga Irani. Në kamp, përderisa nuk lejohet që të ketë fëmijë, nuk do të ketë asnjë gjeneratë të re.
Jashtë Tiranës, ne gjetëm edhe varrezat e tyre, për ata që kanë vdekur nga ndonjë sëmundje, apo edhe mosha. Të gjithë kanë vdekur pa parë familjet e tyre, dhe shumë larg nga shtëpitë.
Albania: MEK rebrands by assassinating unwanted members
Massoud and Anne Khodabandeh, Balkans Post, June 22 2018:… The mysterious disappearance of a member of the Mojahedin Khalq (MEK) terrorist group in Albania has once again drawn attention to this controversial group. Malek Sharaee, 47, originally from Khuzestan Province in Iran, was reportedly drowned in the Rrotull village irrigation water reservoir. After three days, divers have not found his body even though the …
Albania: MEK rebrands by assassinating unwanted members
Massoud Keshmiri: Killed Iran’s PM and President – last seen in Germany after escaping MEK
The mysterious disappearance of a member of the Mojahedin Khalq (MEK) terrorist group in Albania has once again drawn attention to this controversial group. Malek Sharaee, 47, originally from Khuzestan Province in Iran, was reportedly drowned in the Rrotull village irrigation water reservoir. After three days, divers have not found his body even though the water channel is only 3.5 meters deep. However, a MEK representative and three MEK witnesses say his clothes were found at the water’s edge. Police are now investigating this as a possible criminal offense. Even so, unless they gain access to Camp Ashraf Three, the MEK’s purpose-built training camp in Manez, they are unlikely to unearth the truth – MEK impunity is far greater than this small country can deal with or penetrate.
MEK (aka Saddam’s Private Army) was unknown in Albania until they arrived after 2013. Their bizarre behavior and controversial activitiessoon became the focus of media attention.
But the MEK’s dark history began long before this. Along with well-publicised military-style terrorist attacks on Iran since the 1980s, the MEK was also trained by Saddam Hussein’s Mukhaberat (Secret Services) and later by Israel’s MOSSAD, in intelligence gathering and secret operations. As a result, MEK has also conducted many covert terror acts and assassinations over the years. Several of these were deliberately staged to make it look like Iran was involved. Such as the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. In spite of extensive investigation, the primary evidence linking Iran came from four high ranking intelligence officers from MEK. In 2011, a man connected to Mexican drug dealers was arrested for the attempted murder of the Saudi Ambassadorto America. The US quickly accused Iran, but after two weeks the perpetrator was linked to MEK. In 2013, Israel arrested a Swedish Iranian man, Ali Mansouri, who ‘confessed’ to be spying for Iran in Tel Aviv. He turned out to be a MEK member.
The underlying pattern behind these events is of deception and callous, cynical murder. These examples are not unique. MEK has a long history of highly sophisticated and brutal undercover activity. However, the reported death of Malek Sharaee in Albania this week also points to a new phase in MEK covert activity. This time individual MEK members who were previously involved in known acts of violence are now themselves becoming victims of their own organization.
Internal assassinations are not new – Commander Ali Zarkesh was deliberately killedduring a military operation in 1988 because he had become critical of the leadership. There have been hundreds of reports of suspicious deaths and actual murders over the last three decades committed against critics and rivals.
In 2013, former MEK member Massoud Dalili was identified as the 53rd victim of a massacre at Camp Ashraf in Iraq. MEK only acknowledged his death when the Iraqi authorities formally identified him via his DNA. Dalili’s body had been deliberately disfigured (his face and hands burned) to hide his identity. Massoud Dalili had been one of the personal security personnel for leader Massoud Rajavi. He had undergone training with Saddam’s Republican Guards and the MEK’s own specialist training. Before coming to Iraq, Dalili had headed a small MEK team in Gilan Province where he was responsible for scores of deaths, including civilians.
Another victim killed during the same attack was Zohreh Ghaemi, She had commanded the assassination of General Sayad Shirazi in 1999. Of the other victims that day, at least ten are known to have participated in known acts of violence for MEK. No one claimed responsibility for the attack on Camp Ashraf.
In 2015, in the Netherlands, Mohamad Reza Kolahi was killed by a criminal gang on the order of MEK. Investigators confirmed that Kolahi was responsible for the 1981 bombing of the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party in Tehran in which 72 high-ranking politicians and party members were killed.
Mohammad Reza Kolahi: Bombed Party headquarters in Iran – shot by gang members in the Netherlands while in hiding from MEK
Another MEK member, Massoud Keshmiri, responsible for the bombing which killed PM Bahonar and President Rajai in 1981, was last seen with MEK in Germany some years ago. He has since vanished and could be dead. Although these deaths cannot be said to be directly linked, there is a common thread whose purpose becomes clear when we remember 2016 when Prince Turki al-Faisal, former Saudi Intelligence chief, announced the death of MEK leader Massoud Rajavi. It is clear from this that MEK is being purged from top to bottom of all the individuals who have had involvement or are associated with its violent past – rebranding by assassination to make the group legally acceptable.
MEK has become the pattern for how other defeated terrorist groupings can be reinvigorated, rebranded and reused. The controversy following the Bulgarian PM’s announcement that “Albania will become a coordination center for fighters returning from ISIS to the Balkans” may die down soon – Prime Minister Rama later dismissed this as fantasy, but he is not convincing.Instead, the history of the MEK in Albania indicates that the same scenario will be repeated. As ISIS fighters arrive and settle, the process will start just as it did with MEK. Expect more mysterious murders, suicides, disappearances, bizarre interventions to prevent investigations. And, of course, the involvement of Albanian citizens, politicians, and personalities for and against. Plus, not only abandoning any hope of joining the EU, but suffering more restrictions on the borders with the EU and Balkan countries.
Hossein Abrishamchi: Responsible for torture and destroying bodies, known as ‘the Engineering Project’ in MEK – died in suspicious circumstances during a mortar attack on Camp Liberty, Iraq
Javad Ghadiri: Wanted for terrorism, including a failed assassination attempt against Ayatollah Khamenei – whereabouts unknown, possibly in Camp Ashraf Three, Albania
Anne Khodabandeh with recently escaped MEK slaves in Tirana
Modern Slavery is usually a hidden phenomenon, it goes on behind closed doors and can be hard to detect. Victims are often isolated individuals – domestic servants or cannabis ‘farmers’ – locked away behind closed doors. Nobody knows of their existence because they have been illegally trafficked. Even those more openly kept in brothels for sexual exploitation are unable to escape for fear of reprisals against themselves and their families back home.
But there is another form of slavery hidden in plain sight: political slavery. This is not difficult to detect because the kinds of groups which practice it actively seek publicity and influence over worldwide politics. The exiled Iranian Mojahedin Khalq organisation (MEK aka MKO, NCRI, Rajavi cult) is one such group. It describes itself as a democratic political organisation, the main opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran. But the life of the members speaks of a very different story.
A year ago, the last of nearly three thousand MEK members were finally expelled from Iraq where they had been operating under the patronage of Saddam Hussein. America paid millions of dollars to the UN and the Albanian government to have the group to settle there. Part of the deal was to establish a de-radicalization programme to return the members to normal life. This did not happen.
Instead, the group closed ranks and over the past year, several high-profile US politicians and former officials opportunistically visited Albania to heap praise on the MEK for its anti-Iran stance. John Bolton, Senator John McCain, among others have unabashedly promoted the group by meeting its leader Maryam Rajavi there.
Of greater concern was that during this same period the families of these MEK members in Albania complained to the UNHCR and the Albanian government about the treatment of their loved ones. They said that many, perhaps the majority of MEK members want to leave the group but have nothing – no money, no place to go, no officially recognised status and no language skills – to help them do so. They are effectively being held in a state of modern slavery.
A report by an Albanian lawyer (acting for MEK members who managed to separate from the group) after meeting with the UNHCR in Tirana reveals that under a secret agreement struck between the Americans, the government of Albania and the MEK leader, the UNHCR supervised the transfer of approximately 3,000 MEK from Iraq to Albania not as refugees but on a ‘humanitarian basis’. In other words, they have no official status in the country.
According to this agreement, all the expenses for the MEK members are to be doled out by the MEK itself. This means that members are totally dependent on the MEK leadership for their subsistence. Those who have expressed their desire to separate from the group, for whatever reason, must continue to obey MEK rules and restrictions, they must accept MEK imposed conditions so that they are given accommodation and food.
As such, they are forced to pay lip service to a belief system they no longer believe in. They are forced to give allegiance to a pseudo-political terrorist entity. Under these conditions, they are modern political slaves, trapped in plain sight in a circle of fear, coercion and isolation.
When counter-terrorism expert Anne Khodabandeh visited Tirana on 5-7 November to investigate the plight of former members, several media interviews she gave were pulled from broadcast due to MEK and Albanian Mafia intimidation when she revealed that the MEK are actively recruiting Albanian youth to their cause.
But a more sinister turn of events is taking place right now. The MEK is moving over 2,500 members to a remote camp in the north of Albania far away from any local communities. This desperate act serves several purposes. One is to recreate the isolation the cult enjoyed in Iraq where coercion and brainwashing were a daily occurrence – the new camp is called ‘Ashraf Three’. Another reason is to prevent families from reaching their loved ones and prevent members from escaping. The other 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’.
While America turns a blind eye to political slavery, the European Union takes a very different view. Not only have Albania’s efforts to accede to the EU been completely stymied by the MEK’s activities there, the group’s alignment with the Albanian Mafia and the threat of a new wave of political slaves means Albania is now regarded as a security threat on the border of Europe rather than a potential partner country.
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)
Problemi i skllavërisë moderne në Shqipëri poshtëron Evropën
nga Massoud Khodabandeh.
Një raport i Britanisë së Madhe mbi skllavërinë moderne identifikon raste nga m të ndryshmit si shfrytëzimi seksual, shfrytëzimi në punë dhe robërimi në vend, duke dalë në përfundimin se rritja e ndërgjegjësimit rezulton në rritjen e zbulimeve dhe raportimeve të rasteve. Por trafikimi njerëzor si pjesë e skllavërisë moderne është një fenomen mbarëbotëror, i cili nuk mund të kufizohet në perëndim apo në ndonjë vend tjetër.
Skllavëria Moderne është zakonisht një fenomen i fshehur i cili ndodh prapa dyerve dhe është i vështirë për t’u zbuluar. Viktimat shpesh janë individë të izoluar, shërbyes shtëpish ose fermerë kanabisi të cilët qëndrojnë të mbyllur padrejtësisht mbrapa dyerve të kycura. Askush nuk di për ekzistencën e tyre, sepse ata janë të trafikuar ilegalisht. Edhe ata që mbahen më hapur nëpër shtëpi publike për shfrytëzim seksual, nuk janë në gjendje të shpëtojnë nga frika që kanë prej hakmarrjes dhe dëmtimit që mund tu shkaktohet familjeve të tyre.
Por ekziston edhe një formë skllavërie e fshehur nga syri normal: skllavëria politike. Kjo nuk është e vështirë për t’u zbuluar, sepse grupet që e praktikojnë atë në mënyrë aktive kërkojnë publicitet dhe ndikim mbi politikat mbarëbotërore. Organizata iraniane në mërgim, Mojahedin Khalq (MEK aka MKO, NCRI, kulti Raxhavi) është një grup i tillë. Ai e përshkruan veten si një organizatë politike demokratike, opozita kryesore e Republikës Islamike të Iranit. Por jeta reale e anëtarëve tregon një histori shumë më ndryshme.
Një vit më parë, pjesa e mbetur e rreth tre mijë anëtarëve të MEK u dëbuan nga Iraku ku ata kishin vepruar nën patronazhin e Sadam Huseinit. Amerika pagoi miliona dollarë për OKB-në dhe qeverinë shqiptare për ta vendosur grupin në Shqipëri. Një pjesë e marrëveshjes mbi dërgimin në Shqiperi ishte krijimi i një programi de-radikalizues për ti kthyer anëtarët në jetën normale. Kjo nuk ndodhi.
Në vend të kësaj, grupi i mbylli radhët dhe u izolua edhe më tej. Gjatë vitit të kaluar, shumë politikanë të nivelit të lartë amerikan vizituan Shqipërinë për të falenderuar dhe përgëzuar MEK-un për qëndrimin e tij kundër Iranit. John Bolton dhe Senatori John McCain e kanë promovuar pa masë grupin duke u takuar edhe me udhëheqësen e tij Merjem Raxhavin.
Një shqetësim më i madh gjatë kësaj periudhe ishte se familjarët e anëtarëve të MEK-ut u ankuan në UNHCR dhe tek qeveria shqiptare për trajtimin e të afërmve të tyre. Ata thanë se shumë prej tyre, ndoshta edhe shumica e anëtarëve të MEK duan të largohen nga grupi, por nuk munden sepse nuk kanë asgjë, as para, as vend ku të shkojnë, as status të njohur zyrtarisht dhe nuk kanë edhe aftësi gjuhësore për t’i ndihmuar që të largohen. Ata në këtë mënyrë po mbahen në një gjendje të skllavërisë moderne.
Një raport i një avokati shqiptar (që vepron për anëtarët e ndarë të MEK) pas takimit me UNHCR-në në Tiranë zbuloi se në marrëveshjen sekrete të arritur mes amerikanëve, qeverisë shqiptare dhe udhëheqësit të MEK, UNHCR do mbikëqyrte transferimin e rreth 3,000 anëtarëve të MEK nga Iraku për në Shqipëri, por jo si refugjatët e zakonshëm por si persona të klasifikuar në ‘baza humanitare’. Me fjalë të tjera, ata nuk kanë asnjë status zyrtar në këtë vend.
Sipas kësaj marrëveshjeje, të gjitha shpenzimet për anëtarët e MEK-ut duhet të përcaktohen nga vetë MEK-u. Kjo do të thotë se anëtarët janë krejtësisht të varur nga udhëheqja e MEK-ut për jetesën e tyre. Ata që kanë shprehur dëshirën e tyre për t’u ndarë nga grupi, për çfarëdo arsye, duhet të vazhdojnë t’i binden rregullave dhe kufizimeve të MEK-ut. Ata duhet të pranojnë kushtet e vendosura nga MEK në mënyrë që t’u jepet strehimi dhe ushqimi.
Prandaj, ata janë të detyruar ti ofrojnë shërbimin e tyre një sistem besimi të cilin ata nuk e besojnë më. Ata janë të detyruar ti japin besnikëri një entiteti terrorist pseudo-politik. Në këto kushte, ata janë bërë skllevërit modernë politikë, të bllokuar nga syri i lirë, të rrethuar nga frika, forca dhe izolimi.
Tregimet e atyre që janë arratisur janë tronditëse. (Shih videot më poshtë.) Në MEK, çdo fjalë kundërshtuese dënohet. Si? Me poshtërim publik, rrahje, izolim dhe vdekje. Më shumë prekës në këtë histori është se kontaktimi me familjen konsiderohet një mëkat i dënueshëm që i bëhet liderit. Përkushtimi duhet të përqëndrohet vetëm tek Merjem Raxhavi duke përjashtuar cdo njeri tjetër. Kjo është dicka shqetësuese për mënyrat dhe arsyet se si këta individë janë skllavëruar. Kjo njihet si abuzimi i kultit për shkak të përfshirjes në një sistem besimi. Njerzit e MEK janë pengje politikë, mendjet e të cilëve janë rrëmbyer për një kauzë që shumica e tyre tani nuk po e besojnë më. Urgjentisht nevojitet ndihmë për t’i shpëtuar këta njerëz. Por aktualisht nuk ka shumë shpresë për këtë gjë. Madje zëvendës koordinatorja e antitrafikimit në Shqipëri, Dr Elona Gjebrea, e cila është gjithashtu zëvendës ministre e brendëshme, i është gjunjëzuar Merjem Raxhavit.
Ekspertja e anti terrorizmit, Anne Khodabandeh vizitoi Tiranën në datat 5 dhe 7 nëntor për të hetuar gjendjen e vështirë të ish-anëtarëve. Disa intervista që ajo dha për mediat shqiptare u tërhoqën nga transmetimi për shkak të kërcënimit nga MEK dhe nga mafia shqiptare pasi ajo zbuloi se MEK ishte duke rekrutuar në mënyrë aktive të rinjtë shqiptarë.
Por kthesa më e keqe e ngjarjeve po ndodh tani. MEK po transferon 2,500 anëtarë të saj në një kamp të largët në veri të Shqipërisë, larg nga çdo komunitet vendas. Ky akt i dëshpëruar shërben për disa qëllime. Njëra është rikrijimi i izolimit që kulti ka pasur dhe gëzuar në Irak ku imponimi dhe lavazhi i trurit ishin dukuri e përditshme. Kampi i ri quhet ‘Ashraf tre’. Një arsye tjetër është parandalimi i familjeve nga vizitat e të afërmve të tyre dhe parandalimi i arratisjes së anëtarëve. Arsyeja tjetër është që të boshatisin ndërtesat e vjetra universitare në Tiranë për ti hapur rrugën një raundi të ri të skllevërve politikë për tu siguruar atyre akomodim të ri. Këtë herë thuhet se familjet e luftëtarëve të ISIS-it që janë larguar nga Iraku dhe Siria janë gati që të lëvizin në Shqipëri për ‘arsye humanitare’.
Ndërkohë që Amerika bën një sy qorr ndaj skllavërisë politike, Bashkimi Evropian po mban një qëndrim krejt ndryshe. Jo vetëm që përpjekjet e Shqipërisë për të hyrë në BE janë pezulluar tërësisht si pasoje e aktiviteteve të MEK-ut, por përafrimi i grupit Mek me mafian shqiptare dhe kërcënimi nga vala e re e skllevërve politikë nënkupton se Shqipëria tani po konsiderohet më shumë si një kërcënim për sigurinë e kufijve të Evropës sesa një vend partner potencial.
IMPAKT 97: Xhihadi 2.0? Cfarë po bëjnë xhihadistët iranianë (MKO, kulti Raxhavi) në Shqipëri? (Pjesa 1)
IMPAKT 97: Xhihadi 2.0? Cfarë po bëjnë xhihadistët iranianë (MKO, kulti Raxhavi) në Shqipëri? (Pjesa 2)
burimi:huffingtonpost/ Gazeta Impakt
Maryam Rajavi — MEK Propaganda Queen — Advertises Her Services For Iran’s Enemies
, 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? From whom is she hoping to garner support?Many constituencies outside Iran wish fervently for its destruction. It is enlightening that Maryam Rajavi’s …
Maryam Rajavi — MEK Propaganda Queen — Advertises Her Services For Iran’s Enemies
Co-authored by Anne Khodabandeh
The Middle East is in turmoil. Deaths and destruction are a daily occurrence throughout the region. Families flee their homes in fear, forced into an uncertain future. No end is in sight. Yet into this calamitous scenario a slick, sophisticated terrorist recruiter’s advert has popped up which ISIS itself could learn from.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) website carries a glamorous advertising campaign for a Grand Gathering. Surrounded by glitzy pictures of flag-waving youth, the central focus of this gathering is ‘Our pledge: regime change’.
Well, we all know what that means. Don’t we? Apparently not. Because this advertising doesn’t reflect the destruction wrought in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen. Here is no promise of jihad and the caliphate. It looks very much like a carnival. Which is exactly what it is – a show. So, what is meant by the promise of regime change?
The first port of call is to understand that the NCRI is just another name for the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) which was also known as the National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA).
Back in 1994, MEK leader Massoud Rajavi tasked his wife Maryam to leave Iraq for America in order to regain political recognition of the Mojahedin Khalq as ‘the’ Iranian opposition which had been lost when he refused to abandon Saddam Hussein during the First Gulf war.
Refused entry to the USA as the leader of a terrorist entity Maryam instead took up residence in France as a refugee. But instead of meeting politicians to talk about how the MEK could overthrow the Iranian regime, she discovered she could simply create the illusion of support by paying both audience and speakers. She discovered a talent for dressing up, holding fancy dinner parties and talking about her cult ideology.
To create the appearance of a willing audience for her views, she recruited a rag-tag following of Iranian economic refugees who would happily turn up when paid for their services. She paid for feminists from North America, Europe and Scandinavia to visit Auvers-sur-Oise and attend dinner parties. She posed in her hijab to speak about her version of feminism to these western women; carefully spelling it out for them that they would never really understand what feminism is until they understood her husband Massoud Rajavi.
When Massoud recalled her to Iraq in 1997 she had spent a third of the total MEK budget and had no political support to show for it. She had lost around half the loyal MEK members who had defected whilst in Europe. With morale at an all-time low, Maryam was forced to retreat to Iraq with what remained of her personnel and leave the western bases in the hands of largely uneducated paid ‘supporters’.
When allied forces next invaded Iraq in 2003 Maryam Rajavi again fled to France. This time, as luck would have it, western politics was focused on curtailing Iran’s nuclear programme which it insisted was aimed at creating a nuclear weapon. The MEK’s services as propaganda experts were just what was needed, ensuring the MEK’s ostensible survival as an opposition group.
But in reality the MEK was already in terminal decline. Its fighting forces, disarmed in 2003, are currently being transferred from Iraq to Albania by the UNHCR to begin a process of de-radicalisation and reintegration back into normal society. Nobody expects veterans with an average age of sixty to wage the terrorism of thirty years ago. Disarmament also allowed American experts to investigate years of complaints about human rights and cultic abuses inside the MEK. As long as the MEK was being used to muddy the waters of the nuclear negotiations, such details could be glossed over. But since last year when agreement was reached, the MEK’s murky past can no longer be dismissed.
The main reason, of course, is that the new theme for challenging Iran in the international community is based on the country’s dismal human rights record. But Maryam Rajavi has her own well documented human rights abuse dossier to answer for. The MEK, under whatever name it is used, is simply the wrong tool to use to demonise Iran.
Beyond this, the MEK is not the popular opposition its own advertising claims it to be. The group is almost universally despised among Iranians both inside the country and in the diaspora. Not only did the MEK fight alongside Saddam Hussein’s army during the devastating eight-year Iran-Iraq war, but the MEK’s anti-Iran role in the nuclear negotiations hit a nerve with most ordinary Iranians who regarded support for their country’s right to nuclear technology as an issue ofnationalism rather than politics.
Maryam Rajavi cannot get support from Iranians unless it is paid for. Nor can Maryam Rajavi deign to share a platform with any other Iranian opposition personality. So this year Maryam Rajavi will again do what she does best; pay audience and speakers alike to give the illusion of support.
So, back to the recent advertising campaign. Any publicity campaign will be successful if it is newsworthy. Maryam, however, simply churns out the same scenario ad infinitum. Starting with describing a terrible situation in Iran – based on news items that can be gleaned from any serious reporting outlet – she then proposes a ten-point plan for Iran, approved this year by Italian parliamentarians. And then she promises regime change.
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? From whom is she hoping to garner support?
Many constituencies outside Iran wish fervently for its destruction. It is enlightening that Maryam Rajavi’s websites are home to a bizarre mixture of anti-Shia, anti-Iran, anti-Syria, items which reflect very closely the views of neocons, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Maryam Rajavi is not promising regime change, she is advertising her services as a propaganda queen.
Massoud Khodabandeh, Balkans Post, July 23 2017:… Although the MEK are experts at intimidation and propaganda, in reality the expulsion of the MEK from Europe should be neither controversial nor unexpected. No government in Europe supports the presence of extremists in their midst and the MEK has a long history of extremist behaviour and messaging. The self-immolations in western capitals are an example of their actual behaviour …
Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Open minds, July 08 2017:… Anne Khodabandeh. After twenty years in the terrorist cult Mojahedin-e Khalq, Anne (with her husband Massoud Khodabandeh) established the English language www.iran-interlink.org website in 2001 to expose the group as a cult and support former members. Anne works with families of MEK campaigning to rescue their loved ones. Anne has written extensively …
Massoud Khodabandeh,, Huffpost, June 28 2017:… Like many statements and petitions over the years which mention the MEK this looks like fake news. Anyway, it would have been much easier to pass this off as genuine if Deprez had also published the names of the 265 signatories. As parliamentarians, it is doubtful they would feel endangered by publicly announcing their views in this way. Unless, of course, they had spotted the …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffpost, June 27 2017:… Perhaps the time is finally ripe for a new appraisal of what zero tolerance means for France. The MEK’s messages promoting violent regime change should no longer be tolerated. President Emmanuel Macron’s new centrist movement has won a large majority in the French parliament giving him a strong hand to play. He already revealed himself to be a shrewd and …
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 …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Huffpost, June 02 2017:… The meeting was organised by Ana Gomes, SND (Portugal) and seconded by Marietje Schaake, ALDE (Netherlands) and Michael Gahler, Christian Democrats (Germany). Two expert speakers were invited to address the meeting: Nicola Pedde, Director Institute for Global Studies, Italy and Massoud Khodabandeh, Director Middle East Strategy Consultants, UK. …
Massoud and Anne Khodabandeh, Huffpost, May 18 2017:… In Albania, Elona Gjebrea also has close ties to the United States on the issue of people trafficking and slavery. The US embassy in Tirana, Albania acknowledged the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report in June 2016 by saying, “The United States appreciates the close cooperation with the Government of Albania, civil society and especially National …
Massoud Khodabandeh, Top topic, May 08 2017:… Rajavi then publishes these alongside letters signed by American personalities in support of the MEK. The letters from the Americans are addressed to the Albanian Prime Minister and bear the familiar hallmark of MEK authorship. (One letter published by the MEK is signed in blue ink. We can only speculate how the MEK obtained the original letter which should have been sent directly from the Americans to the Albanian PM!) …
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
Massoud Khodabandeh, Toptopic, July 03 2016:… So, back to the recent advertising campaign. Any publicity campaign will be successful if it is newsworthy. Maryam, however, simply churns out the same scenario ad infinitum. Starting with describing a terrible situation in Iran – based on news items that can be gleaned from any serious report