The Albanian Prime Minister who hosts the Mujahedin Khalq Organization, visited Israel last week. The three-day visit took place, after the leader of the MEK, Maryam Rajavi, visited the Israeli ambassador to Tirana in her headquarters in Albania.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s visit to Israel was focused on cybersecurity. He visited the head of Israel’s National Cyber Directorate, Gaby Portnoy, according to the Times of Israel. In September, Israel offered cyber-defense assistance to Albania, days after the Balkan state severed its diplomatic ties with Iran based on allegations that the Islamic Republic had carried out cyberattacks against the country in July.
Following the collapse of its communist government in the early 1990s, Albania has transformed into a steadfast ally of the United States and the West, officially joining NATO in 2009. As a NATO member which enjoys the US’s sponsorship, Albania has accepted the US’s request to host the MEK’s formerly designated terrorists in its territory since 2013.
Iran and Albania turned into bitter foes, since the Balkan state received the MEK on its soil. Iran rejected the accusation it was behind the cyberattack as “baseless” and called Albania’s decision to sever diplomatic ties “an ill-considered and shortsighted action.”
As one of the target countries of cyberattacks on its critical infrastructure, Iran condemns the MEK and its allies, US and Israel for several cyber attacks on its infrastructures. For several years, Iran and the other three have been involved in a largely clandestine cyberwar that occasionally comes to the surface.
The Iranian government systems have been targeted by cyberattacks, most notably in 2010 when the Stuxnet virus —engineered by Israel and the US — infected its nuclear program. In June, this year, Iranian state media said that the internal computer system of the municipality of Tehran was targeted in a “deliberate” shutdown in a cyber-attack. In October, a cyber-attack brought all fuel distribution stations in the country to a halt, resulting in long lines at petrol stations. An Iranian official said Israel and the United States were likely to have been behind the fuel service cyber-attack.
However, the MEK-Israel alliance has not been restricted to cyber warfare. The group is believed to be the operative arm of the Israeli intelligence, Mossad. In November 2012, NBC News reported that deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists were being carried out by the MEK. The report cited two American officials that the group was financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service.
The Mossad’s actions in using MEK to kill the Iranian nuclear scientists qualify as terrorism. Referring to the MEK_US_ Israel alliance, in February 2012, before the MEK was delisted from the DOS’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, Glenn Greenwald, the US prominent journalist stated that the MEK which is “basically little more than a nomadic cult” and “widely loathed in Iran” can pay top American politicians to advocate for them even as they engage in violent Terrorist acts, all while being trained, funded and aided by America’s top client states. Daniel Larison of the American Conservative also put at the time that the murders of Iranian nuclear scientists with bombs have been committed by the MEK and so the US and Israel are by definition, state sponsors of Terrorism.
Today, the formerly terrorist designated People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/ MEK) are used as cyber terrorists sponsored by US, Israel and their subsidized partner Albania. The new alliance is focused on cyber warfare, what the MEK’s troll farm has expertise and experience in. The group’s financial support and data source of intelligence seems to be generously provided by the enemies of their enemy.