The countdown to quitting Camp Ashraf started, the case is a matter of great magnitude to turn attention to. The significance lays in the fact that at least for nearly thirty years the organization’s main bastion in Iraq has been active headquarters of militarism and, after the fall of Saddam, multilateral espionage because of its geopolitical location and Mojahedin’s skill in the profession. Although now an accumulation camp of some disarmed members of a once liberation army, Ashraf preserves its importance for Rajavi because of its potentialities in implementing suicide threats and formation of human shields that may lead to some crises. Possibly, Rajavi’s insistence on the strategic significance of the camp is a ploy to deflect the attention of the Iraqi Government from what is much noteworthy than a piece of land.
Going back over the organization’s past four-decade history demonstrates an undeniable fact that it did not hesitate to be engaged in espionage activities and attempts to infiltrate into the most sensitive security-protective establishments of the governments and social organizations to gather information it justified to be utilized for organizational, ideological and revolutionary interests but abused for terrorist and cultic purposes. For sure, during its three decade-long settlement in Iraq the country has been vulnerable to such activities which have been substantially expanded after the fall of Saddam to walk out of the encountered stalemates in collaboration with other terrorist groups. At least this information could habitually work as effective precautionary measures to react just in good time.
The Iraqi Government should have monitored Mojahedin to ascertain the breakdown of such potentiality but, unfortunately because of Americans sham conflict with Mojahedin who benefited their support, the government failed to make any scrutiny into the camp to discover what was really going on therein, where Mojahedin claimed to be a residing place and nothing more. Only an access to the pile of the existing documents in Ashraf can reveal to what degree the organization has been engaged in spying and intelligence activities that are tied to Iraq’s present and future, documents that Iraq may have classified as top secret and would expose Mojahedin to charges of treason.
Almost all the countries that were in some variance with Mojahedin had to deal with such trouble. France is one example that is still grappling with the consequences of Mojahedin’s presence on its soil. The reports of the DST (French Counter-intelligence), some parts of which have been released publically, well indicate that the country has hardly been immune to intelligence activities of the organization. Noteworthy about Ashraf, no responsible authority and forces have done a thorough search of the camp and the organization’s quantity of hardware and software that may contain sensitive documents and information which can be easily carried out of the camp unnoticed and under the cover of the organization’s properties. It will not be wrong to say that Ashraf is an unearthed centre of accumulated secrets and untold not only about the mysteries of Saddam’s reign but post-Saddam events that played a role to deter restoration of security to war and terrorism worn Iraq. Some do not heed warnings as they may believe that a disarmed terrorist group is like a fangless viper but Mojahedin are professionals in intelligence activities, a threat identical with terrorist operations and even exceed the danger.
Being disarmed, Mojahedin’s alternative for military operation has been an energetic involvement in intelligence activities. Of course, any probe may fail to discover very sophisticated equipment and apparatuses needed for such activities, but the organization’s potentiality easily solves the question of equipment as it has in the past and in the course of its struggle. Testimonies by the ex-members are the best evidences to fathom the organization’s intelligence menace. Engaged in a struggle against the Pahlavi’s regime, the organization exploited a variety of methods to intrude and eavesdrop on the regime’s systems, security and confidential conversations. Here are assertions of intelligence intrusions dating back nearly to thirty years ago exposed by Saeed Shahsandi.
We would eavesdrop on all SAVAK’s controlled six zones in Tehran and would record all their reports sent to their headquarters. We had also succeeded to have access to radio frequencies of SAVAK’s operation and hunting teams to gain information and thus, little by little we had an accumulation of accurate information about personal information of SAVAK’s ranking officers.
Our hold was so influential that we had exact information about the operation teams and knew many ranking SAVAK officers by name and tone of their voice.
Moniri Javid (a member of Mojahedin) had developed an ordinary tape recorder into a device that could automatically trace the radio frequencies and record conversations.
We had built devices as small as a pocket radio. It could be easily turned into a wireless radio and so sophistically it had been designed that hardly any professional technician of the Counter-Saboteur Committee could distinguish it from an ordinary radio.
I am not exaggerating when I say how we gathered information. I remember recording conversations of Dr. Iqbal’s driver checking in room in Mashad Hotel Hite for his mistress. Or the conversations of Abdol-Majid Majidi, a Minister in Hoveyd’s cabinet, and many other authorities of the ousted regime.
Our gathered information included a list of hundreds and thousands agents infiltrated into offices and organizations, accurate reports of the wanted or arrested people and students and the reports of many labor and social protests by SAVAK sent to its headquarters. So precise and up to date were the information that sometimes we had to deliberately change some parts to reduce the sensitivity and suspicious before publishing them for the public.
Reza Rezaee would reiterate that the gathered information were of the highest strategic importance to the organization and worth of a few lives to safeguard them.
Our eavesdropping equipment referred to as “silent” as well as a security bulletin published under the guidance of Sharifvaqifi effectively safeguarded the organization against unexpected strikes. The bulletin’s paper was so thin that could be easily destroyed if subjected to a danger.
As stated, such activities belong to the organization’s early days of struggle and no doubt it has made significant progress in many fields. Another point, it never lets precious experiences and potentialities idle whenever it has opportunities to utilize them for its interests; it is the extent of these intelligence and security information that remains a matter of obscurity. The Iraqi Government needs to be more watchful before the secrets and data slink out of Ashraf.