A senior Iraqi lawmaker disclosed that the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as MEK, NCRI or PMOI) have collaborated in a plot to attack the guards of Liberty Camp near Baghdad and project the blame on the Iraqi government.
“There has been an agreement between the MKO and other terrorist groups, specially the ISIL, which are present near the capital, specially in Abu Ghraib, to attack the Liberty Camp and then accuse the Iraqi government of bearing the responsibility,” Mohammad al-Agili said on Sunday after the Iraqi government strongly rejected involvement in the attack.
He underlined that Iraq is opposed to the presence of the MKO terrorists on its soil, and said, “Protecting them is a heavy burden on the shoulders of the Iraqi security forces.”
A rocket attack earlier this week killed three members of the MKO and injured a number of others at Camp Liberty in Baghdad.
Baghdad denies involvement in the attack.
The last group of MKO terrorists at Camp Ashraf, now called Camp New Iraq, in Diyala province was evicted by the Iraqi government on September 11 to join other members of the terrorist group in the former US-held Camp Liberty, now called Camp Hurriya, near Baghdad International Airport where they are awaiting relocation to other countries.
The MKO, 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.
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 the 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 eventually took the MKO off the US terror list.
The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in early September 2012, one week after the then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, sent the US Congress a classified communication about the move. The decision made by Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under the US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with the American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.