Training terrorists in America, from MEK to Khashoggi killers

CIA personnel wait as President George W. Bush visits CIA Headquarters, March 20, 2001, Langley, VA. Photo by Brooks Kraft - Corbis for Time dcfeed

Four Saudis who participated in the 2018 killing of the Arab journalist Jamal Khashoggi received paramilitary training in the United States the previous year under a contract approved by the State Department, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, June 23, 2021. The news is a reminder of a very similar story about the agents of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ Cult of Rajavi) that was revealed by Seymour M. Hersh of the New Yorker, in April, 2012.
Hersh reported that the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) of the US military conducted training, beginning in 2005, for members of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a dissident Iranian opposition group known in the West as the M.E.K. in the terrain of the Department of Energy’s Nevada National Security Site, with its arid high plains and remote mountain peaks, has the look of northwest Iran. The site, some sixty-five miles northwest of Las Vegas.

According to the investigated report of the New Yorker, the training of MEK operatives ended sometime before President Obama took office, the former official said. A retired four-star general, who has advised the Bush and Obama Administrations on national-security issues, told Hersh that “he had been privately briefed in 2005 about the training of Iranians associated with the M.E.K. in Nevada by an American involved in the program”. They got “the standard training,” he said, “in commo, crypto [cryptography], small-unit tactics, and weaponry—that went on for six months,” the retired general said. “They were kept in little pods.”

According to Hersh, directly or indirectly, the MEK ended up with resources like arms and intelligence. “Some American-supported covert operations continue in Iran today, according to past and present intelligence officials and military consultants,” he added.

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