Probe: Israel funds terrorist MKO
An investigation by the US Treasury Department has indicated that the terrorist anti-Iran Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) is financially sponsored by the Israeli regime or Saudi Arabia.
Some US officials suspect that the terrorist group is funded by Israel in return for conducting intelligence-gathering operations inside Iran and assassinating high-profile Iranian targets, including nuclear scientists, British newspaper The Guardian reported on Tuesday.
In the latest case of attacks against Iranian nuclear scientists, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was killed after an unknown motorcyclist attached a magnet bomb to his car in Tehran in January 2012.
The Treasury’s probe has been prompted by the “openness” of the MKO lobbying campaigns in the US Congress and the “large amounts of money” it spends on its activities.
Since the MKO is designated as a terrorist organization under the US law, the probe is intended to find “potential breaches of laws” against financial transactions with proscribed terrorist groups. It also seeks to identify the source of the funds for the pro-MKO campaign in the US Congress.
The anti-Iranian group tries to have its name delisted as a terrorist organization by spending millions of dollars and seeking help from influential security officials in the US, according to a report by Financial Times.
The former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Hugh Shelton, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director, Louis Freeh, and the former Attorney General of the United States, Michael Mukasey are among the politicians, who have been singled out by the department for inquiry.
The former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell has also come under scrutiny as records suggest that he has received USD 160,000 for participating in conferences in support of the MKO in the US, France, Switzerland, and Belgium.
“If you indict me, I hope you know, you have to indict 67 other Americans, who did the same thing, including seven generals,” Rendell has said, protesting against the investigation.
The MKO fled to Iraq in 1986 where it enjoyed the support of the executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and set up its camp, known as Ashraf, near the Iranian border.
The group is also known to have cooperated with Saddam in suppressing the 1991 uprisings in southern Iraq and carrying out massacre of Iraqi Kurds.
The terrorist group has as well conducted numerous acts of violence against Iranian civilians and government officials.
Israel has been funding the MKO for the past two decades in return for the organization’s providing Tel Aviv with intelligence, security and, if required, operational services.