Pakistani Media: US Training MKO Members in Afghanistan

The Pakistani media disclosed that the US is training around 2,000 members of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, NCR and PMOI) in special military camps in Afghanistan.

The Karachi-based Urdu daily ‘Ummat’ reported that US authorities have setup a training camp for people of MKO in city of Heart in Afghanistan.

According to the report, under the plan about 2,000 foreigners, mostly from Iranian origin are being training at ‘Shindand’ airbase in Heart bordering Iran.

The daily said, the plan to train the MKO people for destruction and violence inside Iran was suggested by Israel and the trained activists may launch their terrorist activities in Iran by next year.

The daily reported that under the deal with the MKO, US has removed sanctions against the key figures of the group including restrictions on their bank accounts and travel abroad.

The daily said, some of the members of the family of former king of Iran also have contact with MKO and they also wanted to station at an Iran’s neighboring country but could not achieve the goal.

The daily added, the former royal family members had secretly visited Afghanistan with the assistance of Sardar Abdul Wali, the son in law of Former King Zaher Shah in 2007 but soon after under the Iranian pressure, they escaped from Afghanistan.

The MKO is behind a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, a number of European Union (EU) parliamentarians said in a recent letter in which they slammed a British court decision to remove the MKO from the British terror list. The EU officials also added that the group has no public support within Iran because of their role in helping Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).

Many of the MKO members abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the camp are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.

A May 2005 Human Rights Watch report accused the MKO of running prison camps in Iraq and committing human rights violations.

According to the Human Rights Watch report, the outlawed group puts defectors under torture and jail terms.

The group, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.

Leaders of the group have been fighting to shed its terrorist tag after a series of bloody anti-Western attacks in the 1970s, and nearly 33 years of violent struggle against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran’s new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by MKO members in 1981.

The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.

The terrorist group joined Saddam’s army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.

Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who argued for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.

In recent years, MKO ringleaders have been lobbying governments around the world in the hope of acknowledgement as a legitimate opposition group.

The MKO spent huge sums of money over years lobbying for removal from the US terror list, holding rallies in European capitals and elsewhere that featured luminaries like former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge from the administration of George W. Bush. Former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was among those recently welcomed by the MKO to Paris.

The UK initiative, however, prompted the European Union to establish relations with the exiled organization now based in Paris. The European Court of First Instance threw its weight behind the MKO in December and annulled its previous decision to freeze its funds.

Late in September 2012, the US State Department removed the MKO from its list of foreign terrorist organizations. The decision made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with American entities.

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