Terrorists with Keyboards in Hand

Terrorists with Keyboards in Hand

Terrorists with Keyboards Mujahedin Khalq AlbaniaHabilian Association, August 15 2021:… The “Heshmat Alavi” persona had a strong presence on Twitter and harassed Iranian journalists, academics, and activists who are critical of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq organisation, a one-time armed guerilla group now holed up in Albania. There is no known link between the Iran Disinfo programme and the fake persona. At least one was cited by the Trump administration as proof against the effectiveness of the Obama-era nuclear deal. Some of the MEK articles were also picked up by US government funded Voice of America’s Persian-language service. Terrorists with Keyboards in Hand

Terrorists with Keyboards in Hand

Terrorists with Keyboards in Hand

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/mujahedin-e-khalq-mek-troll-accounts-facebook/

Facebook Removes Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK Troll Accounts (FB Detailed Report)

Associated Press, April 07 2021:… The accounts posted content critical of Iran’s government and supportive of Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, a dissident group known as MEK. In many cases, the Facebook and Instagram accounts used fake profile names and photos. In some cases, the fake accounts used photos of Iranian celebrities or deceased dissidents. A small number of the more recent Instagram accounts appear to have used profile pictures that were computer generated. Facebook Removes Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK Troll Accounts 

Lucrative MEK Fake Accounts Interfering In American PoliticsLucrative MEK Fake Accounts Interfering In American Politics

Facebook Removes Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK Troll Accounts

Facebook removes accounts tied to Iranian exile group

Link to the detailed report by Facebook (PDF)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook said Tuesday it has removed hundreds of fake accounts linked to an Iranian exile group and a troll farm in Albania.

The accounts posted content critical of Iran’s government and supportive of Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, a dissident group known as MEK. In many cases, the Facebook and Instagram accounts used fake profile names and photos.

Facebook determined the accounts were being run from a single location in Albania by a group of individuals working on behalf of MEK. Facebook found other telltale clues suggesting a so-called troll farm, in which workers are often paid to post content, including misinformation, to social media. Facebook says it removes such accounts based on how they behave, not on the material they post.

Terrorists with Keyboards Mujahedin Khalq Albania

For one, researchers found that the activity seemed to follow the central European workday, with posts picking up after 9 a.m., slowing down at the end of the day, and with a noticeable pause at lunch time. Facebook, however, said it did not find evidence of people being paid.

“Even trolls need to eat,” said Ben Nimmo, who works on Facebook’s global threat intelligence investigations, on a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

The National Council for Resistance in Iran, an umbrella group that includes MEK, said in a statement that that no accounts affiliated with it or MEK have been removed. The group also denied the existence of an Albanian troll farm affiliated with MEK.

MEK is a leading group opposing the Iranian government. It killed Americans before the 1979 Islamic Revolution and was labeled as a terrorist organization by the State Department until 2012. Nevertheless, U.S. politicians from both parties including Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich have given paid speeches to MEK in the past.

The network of fake accounts was most active in 2017 and again in late 2020, Facebook said. In all, more than 300 accounts, pages and groups on Facebook and Instagram were removed as part of the company’s action. Around 112,000 people followed one or more of the Instagram accounts.

In some cases, the fake accounts used photos of Iranian celebrities or deceased dissidents. A small number of the more recent Instagram accounts appear to have used profile pictures that were computer generated.

Link to the source

Facebook Removes Mujahedin-e-Khalq MEK Troll Accounts

Terrorists with Keyboards in Hand

Link to the detailed report by Facebook (PDF)

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/trump-campaign-uses-mujahedin-e-khalq-troll-farm-in-albania/

Trump Campaign Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq ( MEK ) Troll Farm In Albania

Trump Campaign Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq Troll Farm In Albania

Massoud Khodabandeh, Iran Interlink, October 28 2020:… leading up to the U.S. Presidential election, Iranian-American journalists and other commentators and campaigners are suffering an onslaught of online attacks. Some of these relentless Tweets include death threats. Targeting critics of Trump and his legacy like Jamal Abdi (Head of National Iranian American Council), Negar Mortazavi (prominent Journalist for The Independent and other outlets) and Dr Asal Rad (Historian). The attacks emanate from the MEK’s troll farm in Albania. The MEK’s Heshmat Alavi account is still being used in spite of it being exposed as a fake account last year by Murteza Hussain in The Intercept. Trump Campaign Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq ( MEK ) Troll Farm In Albania .

Trump clearly has no intention of defeating terrorism.Trump clearly has no intention of defeating terrorism.

Trump Campaign Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq ( MEK ) Troll Farm In Albania

Trump Campaign Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq Troll Farm In Albania

Trump Campaign Uses Mujahedin-e-Khalq Troll Farm In Albania

In the final days leading up to the U.S. Presidential election, Iranian-American journalists and other commentators and campaigners are suffering an onslaught of online attacks. Some of these relentless Tweets include death threats. Targeting critics of Trump and his legacy like Jamal Abdi (Head of National Iranian American Council), Negar Mortazavi (prominent Journalist for The Independent and other outlets) and Dr Asal Rad (Historian).

On one occasion even Richard Grenell, who has recently been politely expelled from Germany (they really couldn’t stand his regular racist comments and unacceptable interference in European affairs), now the guy who runs the Trump2020 campaign, has retweeted one of these tweets.

The attacks emanate from the MEK’s troll farm in Albania. The MEK’s Heshmat Alavi account is still being used in spite of it being exposed as a fake account last year by Murteza Hussain in The Intercept.

Revealingly, the Trump campaign has joined in with these attacks, amplifying the threats, harassment and lies through Re-Tweets and Shares on social media.

It is common knowledge that Saudi Arabia’s Sheikh Mohammad Bin Salman (MBS) is seriously worried about the departure of Trump, opening the prospect of investigations into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, ordered by him and carried out in the Saudi Embassy in Turkey. The Mojahedin-e-Khalq for their part are both worried about the future of their new benefactor (Saudi’s Mokhaberat after the fall of Saddam), and worried about their own future as pressure on Albania to give them free rein there may be lifted and the members would be subjected to the plan of deradicalization and integration as was planned by the Obama administration. This will place Maryam Rajavi in a particularly difficult position since she was deported from France and has been confined in Albania without the possibility of being granted a visa from any western countries.

(End)

Terrorists with Keyboards in Hand

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American Hostages and MEK(Iraq shelters terrorist groups including the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), which has used terrorist violence against Iran and in the 1970s was responsible for killing several U.S. military personnel and U.S. civilians)

MEK Assassinated AmericansThe MEK’s dirty past includes the anti-Imperialist inspired murder of six Americans in pre-revolution Iran which it later celebrated in songs and publications

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/heshmat-alavi-gate-trump-and-mek/

” Heshmat Alavi Gate ” , Trump and MEK

 Heshmat Alavi Gate , Trump and MEKNegar Mortazavi and Borzou Daragahi , Independent, June 11 2019:…The “Heshmat Alavi” persona had a strong presence on Twitter and harassed Iranian journalists, academics, and activists who are critical of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq organisation, a one-time armed guerilla group now holed up in Albania. There is no known link between the Iran Disinfo programme and the fake persona. At least one was cited by the Trump administration as proof against the effectiveness of the Obama-era nuclear deal. Some of the MEK articles were also picked up by US government funded Voice of America’s Persian-language service. Heshmat Alavi Gate 

White House MEK Trolls and the Iran Case " Heshmat Alavi Gate " , Trump and MEKMEK Cult Operatives Undermining American Democracy

” Heshmat Alavi Gate ” , Trump and MEK

Outrage on Capitol Hill over ‘completely unacceptable’ US-funded scheme to shape Iran debate

‘This is something that happens in authoritarian regimes, not democracies’

Heshmat Alavi Gate , Trump and MEK

United States officials say they are outraged by a government-funded troll campaign that has targeted American citizens critical of the administration’s hardline Iran policy and accused critics of being loyal to the Tehran regime.

State Department officials admitted to Congressional staff in a closed-door meeting on Monday that a project they had funded to counter Iranian propaganda had gone off the rails. Critics in Washington have gone further, saying that the programme resembled the type of troll farms used by autocratic regimes abroad.

“It’s completely unacceptable that American taxpayer dollars supported a project that attacked Americans and others who are critical of the Trump administration’s policy of escalation and conflict with Iran,” a senior Congressional aide told The Independent, on condition of anonymity.

“This is something that happens in authoritarian regimes, not democracies.”

One woman behind the harassment campaign, a longtime Iranian-American activist, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the State Department over the years to promote “freedom of expression and free access to information.”

The campaign relentlessly attacked critics of the Iran policy on social media, including Twitter and Telegram messaging app, accusing them without evidence of being paid operatives of the regime in Tehran.

A spokeswoman for the State Department told reporters on Monday that funding for the “Iran Disinformation Project” had been suspended and is under review after it was reported that it went beyond the scope of its mandate by veering from countering propaganda from Iran to smearing domestic critics of White House policy.

State Department officials disclosed to lawmakers they had granted $1.5 for Iran Disinfo, which repeatedly targeted, harassed and smeared critics of Trump’s tough stance against Iran on social media.

Among those targeted were American activists, scholars, and journalists who challenged the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran.

The revelation that US taxpayer money was being used to attack administration critics has now sparked a flurry of queries.

“There are still so many unanswered questions here,” Congresswoman Ilhan Omar wrote on Twitter. “What rules are in place to prevent state-funded organisation from smearing American citizens? If there wasn’t public outcry, would the Administration have suspended funding for Iran Disinfo?”

Cold War-era US rules barring the use of government-funded propaganda against American citizens have been flouted for decades.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee accused the State Department of giving taxpayer money to operatives “accused of intimidating and harassing U.S. human rights activists, journalists, and academics who’ve criticized their hawkish policies on Iran.”

She added: “This is unacceptable and we will not stand for it.”

State Department officials speaking at the closed-door meeting admitted the project was out of bounds, according to Congressional staffers speaking to The Independent on condition of anonymity.

Both Democratic and Republican Congressional staffers were highly critical of the project and questioned whether US officials should continue to work with the contractor, E-Collaborative for Civic Education. The State Department spokeswoman declined to outline steps to prevent such an operation in the future.

Some have said the harassment campaign resembles those launched by the Iranian regime against its critics, as well as clandestine troll farms run by Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other autocracies in attempts to shape online debate and intimidate critics.

In a twist, Iran Disinfo has even attacked journalists deemed insufficiently supportive of the Trump administration’s policies at US-funded news outlets including Voice of America, Radio Farda, and RFE/RL.

The harassment campaign is one aspect of an Iran policy that critics have warned was overly politicised, incoherent and risky.

Defying American allies, the United Nations Security Council, and the advice of his own intelligence mandarins, Mr Trump voided the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year and launched an unprecedented campaign of sanctions and threats against Tehran, vowing to pressure the country into cutting a “better deal” than the one it forged with his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Seeking evidence that its policies were working and popular, the administration has relied an unconventional information sources, often citing obscure right-wing news outlets and think tanks.

E-Collaborative for Civic Education, co-founded by Iranian American activist Mariam Memarsadeghi, is a long-time State Department contractor.

It purports to promote democratic political life and empower civil society inside Iran, but it appears to have no presence inside the country and instead confines itself to engaging with Iranians in the Diaspora.

Congressional officials also confirmed to The Independent that one individual working for the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, an influential Washington organisation with hawkish views on Iran, is part of the E-Collaborative for Civic Education’s Iran Disinformation Project.

One Congressional staffer said he expected the State Department would examine “the extent of coordination” between Iran Disinfo project and “pro-war think tanks like the Foundation for Defence of Democracies.”

Over the weekend, The Intercept revealed that a purported Iranian activist, who had published dozens of articles on Iran in prominent outlets such as Forbes and The Hill, does not exist and is a fake persona run by a team of operatives connected to a bizarre Iranian political cult.

The “Heshmat Alavi” persona had a strong presence on Twitter and harassed Iranian journalists, academics, and activists who are critical of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq organisation, a one-time armed guerilla group now holed up in Albania. There is no known link between the Iran Disinfo programme and the fake persona.

At least one was cited by the Trump administration as proof against the effectiveness of the Obama-era nuclear deal. Some of the MEK articles were also picked up by US government funded Voice of America’s Persian-language service.

Both the Alavi account and the US-funded account frequently accused Iranian Americans sceptical about the Trump administration of being dupes of the Tehran regime.

“It’s an outrage that the Trump Administration was funnelling taxpayer dollars to a smear campaign accusing US citizens of dual loyalty to a foreign regime,” Dylan Williams, vice president of the left-leaning Jewish-American organisation J Street, told The Independent.

“Decent people wouldn’t tolerate such state-sponsored defamation if the target was Jewish Americans and we shouldn’t when the target is Iranian-Americans.”

(End)

” Heshmat Alavi Gate ” , Trump and MEK 

Link to the source

Terrorists with Keyboards in Hand

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White House MEK Trolls and the Iran Case " Heshmat Alavi Gate " , Trump and MEKWhite House MEK Trolls and the Iran Case

Ali Safavi NCRIRemember: MEK was an American excuse to invade Iraq

American servicemen killed by Mojahedin Khalq MEK MKO Rajavi Cult in IranThe MEK’s dirty past includes the anti-Imperialist inspired murder of six Americans in pre-revolution Iran which it later celebrated in songs and publications

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https://iran-interlink.org/wordpress/mek-impunity-undermining-democracy-in-america/

MEK Impunity Undermining Democracy

MEK Impunity Undermining Democracy Massoud Khodabandeh, Lobe Log, June 18 2019:… This is the tip of the iceberg. MEK interference in the internal affairs of America goes well beyond online attacks on Iran. In 2016, the Organization of Iranian American Communities in the US—a front for the MEK—announced a “General Elections Mobilization Effort,” publicly urging its members to “fulfill their civic duty through active engagement in the 2016 general elections to help inform candidates of our communities’ policy priorities.” MEK Impunity Undermining America’s Democracy .

MEK Impunity Undermining DemocracyBolton’s Plans For A False Flag Op Involving MEK Are Already Underway

MEK Impunity Undermining Democracy in America

by Massoud Khodabandeh

Even before its inception, the Trump administration was accused of foreign interference and repeated counter allegations that such charges are fake news. Now, even as House Democrats are squeezing whatever advantage they can from the Mueller investigation into Russian influence, a fresh allegation of foreign interference has emerged.

MEK Impunity Undermining Democracy

An investigation by The Intercept revealed that the White House used an article written by “Heshmat Alavi” to justify President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. After probing the propaganda element in Alavi’s other articles, former members of the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) have confirmed that the group is linked to the article. According to one such former member, Hassan Heyrani, “Heshmat Alavi is a persona run by a team of people from the political wing of the MEK. This is not and has never been a real person.”

Heyrani said the fake persona has been managed by a team of MEK operatives in Albania, where the group has one of its bases, and is used to spread its message online. Heyrani’s account is echoed by Sara Zahiri, a Farsi-language researcher who focuses on the MEK. Zahiri, who has sources among Iranian government cybersecurity officials, said that Alavi is known inside Iran to be a “group account” run by a team of MEK members and that Alavi himself does not exist.

This new scandal—Heshmatgate—involves a wide political and media class that has become so besotted with an unrealistic anti-Iran agenda that it has left the door open to an unchecked, unverified flow of MEK propaganda throughout American politics and the media. Thanks to these regime-change advocates, a foreign group funded by a foreign government has easily manufactured a false narrative aimed at sending American soldiers to die in a war with Iran that is against U.S. national interests.

The MEK’s target audience is not Iran or Iranians. It barely services its Farsi language outlets. The MEK is almost universally hated by Iranians everywhere and has no credibility among them.

After 2003, the MEK’s military strategy in Iraq under benefactor Saddam Hussein gave way to an intelligence-based strategy under the patronage of Prince Turki Al Faisal, the former intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia. The MEK is now based in Albania where, under more favourable conditions facilitated by the Trump administration, it has been allowed to build and equip a troll farm using the infamous slave labour of its hapless members. Its aim is to influence people in the English-speaking world through online activity.

The Intercept revealed just one case of MEK’s deceptive anti-Iran work. But this is the tip of the iceberg. MEK interference in the internal affairs of America goes well beyond online attacks on Iran. In 2016, the Organization of Iranian American Communities in the USa front for the MEK—announced a “General Elections Mobilization Effort,” publicly urging its members to “fulfill their civic duty through active engagement in the 2016 general elections to help inform candidates of our communities’ policy priorities.”

In America, warmongers and regime change pundits, John Bolton and Rudi Giuliani in particular, openly support the MEK. The MEK exploits this impunity to the full. Critics of the MEK are subjected to character assassination and defamation campaigns. Journalist Jason Rezaian writes, “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.”

This revelation comes at the tail end of another scandal, the Iran Disinformation Project.This project, funded by the State Department, was ostensibly launched to expose and counter Iranian government propaganda. It paid for social media accounts to smear and discredit Iranian-American human rights activists, academics and journalists who criticize the Trump administration’s hard-line policies on Iran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo must answer for the actions of the State Department, but who is behind the MEK and the mysterious Heshmat Alavi? How much influence does the MEK wield in Washington? And on whose behalf?

The formula for MEK activity is “the MEK and somebody’s money.” This explains how, back in 2014 just before the European Parliament elections, “somebody’s” money was used to fund the campaign of an Islamophobic far-right party called Vox. Investigations into electoral misconduct revealed that “at least 971,890 euros” was gifted through thousands of contributions ranging from 200 to 5,000 euros from individual MEK members and supporters. The money did not originate with the MEK, but the money laundering was facilitated through the organization by Vox co-founder Alejo Vidal-Quadras, a long-term MEK advocate while he was vice-president of the European Parliament.

In Albania, enjoying the freedom granted by such money and impunity, the MEK is playing out in microcosm what it does in North America and Western Europe. After the MEK arrived in Albania, local journalists were disturbed by its bizarre behavior and filed reports on this activity. In response, the MEK used bribery and corruption to buy publishers and a broadcaster there. They use intimidation tactics to silence journalists. One journalist confessed to me he felt afraid in his own country when the MEK, accompanied by hired armed Albanian security personnel, followed him. In a public space, they photographed him and made verbal threats, demanding that he hand over his phone on which he had earlier filmed activity outside the MEK camp gate.

MEK corruption and deception is insidious and highly dangerous. In America, neoconservatives use the MEK as tool to destroy the Democratic Party. MEK members inside the Albanian troll farms have admitted to me that, in addition to the usual “regime change” and “nuclear” tags they use, more recent additions include the names of various U.S. political candidates and “Virginia” with a view to swaying electoral opinion in the primaries. Since the MEK is not a benign group, it is under heavy surveillance. It would be naïve to believe that the intelligence services do not know the identity of the three individuals behind the Heshmat Alavi persona as well as the others who work in the troll farm.

Saudi money and U.S. political advocacy help the MEK exploit America’s democratic systems to expand its influence. According to The Independent, “MEK articles were picked up by US government funded Voice of America’s Persian-language service.” In 2003, I gave testimony to the UK parliament that the MEK’s cult nature was an even greater threat than its terrorist or violent behavior. The MEK regards its needs superior to any considerations of law, morality, or mortality.

Back in 2001, commentator Elizabeth Rubin warned that the MEK “is not only irrelevant to the cause of Iran’s democratic activists, but a totalitarian cult that will come back to haunt us.”

Massoud Khodabandeh is the director of Middle East Strategy Consultants and has worked long-term with the authorities in Iraq to bring about a peaceful solution to the impasse at Camp Liberty and help rescue other victims of the Mojahedin-e Khalq cult. Among other publications, he co-authored the book “The Life of Camp Ashraf: Victims of Many Masters” with his wife Anne Singleton. They also published an academic paper on the MEK’s use of the Internet.

MEK Impunity Undermining  Democracy in America 

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We lie We cheat We use MEK terrorists” Heshmat Alavi Gate ” , Trump and MEK

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