In a tweet that the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made on July 12, 2018 against Iran, he asked the partners and allies of the United States to join the economic pressure campaign against Iran’s regime. Pompeo went on to say that: “We must cut off all funding the regime uses to fund terrorism & proxy wars. There’s no telling when Iran may try to foment terrorism, violence & instability in one of our countries next.”
To illustrate Iran’s involvement in terrorism, Pompeo placed a link from the US Bureau of Counterterrorism which showed that on March 22, 2018 the Albanian authorities had arrested two Iranian operatives on charges of terrorism in Albania. The news that Albania had arrested two Iranian terrorists first appeared in the pages of the Mojahedin-e Khalq(MEK, National Council of Resistance of Iran) terrorist organization website. This news was later replicated in a number of Mojahedin paid news websites, but was quoted even by Wall Street Journal and Fox News.
However, the Albanian journalists who followed the detention of two Iranian journalists in Albania on March 22, 2018 have shown a different story from what Secretary Pompeo, the US media and the Mojahedin have shown. Gjergji Thanasi, an Albanian investigative journalist who followed the case of the detention of the Iranians showed that the two journalists that MEK and Secretary of State Pompeo claim to be Iranian terrorists were in fact two Iranian journalists who were invited by the Bektashi Community of Albania to celebrate the Shiia festival of Novruz in Tirana, Albania and participate in a Muslim conference about Imam Ali. Their visas were issued by the Albanian consulate in Istanbul and their profile was vetted by the Albanian anti-terrorism police who found them to be genuine journalists. However, on the day of Novroz these two Iranian journalists were detained by the Albanian anti-terrorism police on a fake tip by the Mojahedin. When the news about the detention of two Iranian “terrorists” broke in Tirana, the Albanian ambassador in Prishtina rejected these claims issued by a foreign diplomat.
Gazeta Impakt, which followed the detention of the Iranian journalists on the day of Novruz and visited police station No. 1 in Tirana, showed how their detention created a diplomatic scandal between the Bektashi Community and the Albanian government. Baba Mondi, the Grand Dervish of the World Headquarters of the Bektashis who had personally invited the journalists to Albania, had to personally phone the interior minister and president Ilir Meta and ask for the release of his honorary guests. Gazeta Impakt discovered that their detention was made on fake claims issued by the Mojahedin military command in Albania which targets any Iranian delegation or diplomat that visits the country. The Albanian anti-terrorism police who briefly detained and questioned the journalists at Tirana’s police station 1, found them to be innocent and according to the law were forced to let them free and apologize for their detention.
Even though the detention of the Iranian journalists has now been clarified and there are no Iranian terrorists held or charged in Albania, American government officials and their Mojahedin allies still claim that on March 22, 2018 the Albanian authorities have arrested two Iranian operatives on charges of terrorism.
The repeated fake news on the detention of the “Iranian terrorists” has been followed by other fake news that the Mojahedin are creating in their news outlets. Another claim that MEK has made against Iran is that Albanian Minister for the Diaspora, Pandeli Majko has been threatened by Iranian agents and that Iran is sending agents to attack the MEK terrorist organization which now portrays itself as the Iranian democratic opposition.
The fake news that the Mojahedin, in coordination with the US government are fabricating against Iran, comes at a time when the Mojahedin organization is involved in a number of scandals in Albania. Out of 3,000 Mojahedin that the United States brought to Albania in 2016, around 400 of them have deserted the paramilitary organization, have abandoned jihad and many of them have been trafficked to Germany, Italy, Greece and other European countries. MEK which is panicking because of these mass defections of its jihadis has moved its members in camp Ashraf 3 in the Albanian village of Manza and does not let them out. Some ex-Mojahedin who are still in Albania and have managed to escape, are now coming out in the media and talking about the horrible torture, enslavement and brainwashing that MEK is doing to its own members.
In the past few weeks, the Albanian public has been horrified to learn about the story of the Canadian Mohammadi family. The MEK, which abducted their daughter Somayeh when she was 17 years old and was attending Etobicoke Collegiate Institute in Toronto, is refusing to let Somayeh out of the paramilitary camp of Manza to meet her family. Her desperate parents are appealing to the Albanian authorities to help them deradicalize and free their daughter from the violent jihadist organization and allow them to take her back to Canada. However, MEK refuses by claiming that her family will send Somayeh as a slave to the mullahs in Tehran.
The Mojahedin, have gone crazy because of the presence of the Canadian family in Albania who are suing them in court for abduction of their daughter, assaulted Mostafa Mohammadi in the streets of Tirana on 27 July 2018. Mostafa was subsequently hospitalized and later harassed by a group of 50 Mojahedin who surrounded police station nr. 4 in Tirana under the leadership of military commanders Behzad Saffari, Jila Deyhim and Ahmad Taba. In their news websites the Mojahedin labelled Mostafa an Iranian agent and wrote declarations in the name of his daughter to say she does not want to meet her father since she has heard that he is an Iranian agent. The Mojahedin even assaulted a British journalist crew from Channel 4 who went to visit their camp Ashraf 3 on August 10, 2018. This violent incident which was reported to the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama by Albanian anti-terrorism police is not being yet punished by the Albanian authorities who fear the wrath of the Trump administration if they move against MEK.
The Albanian authorities who are afraid of the U.S. administration are hesitant to implement the law against the Mojahedin, who are nowadays attacking and insulting journalists, Albanian, British, Dutch and Canadian citizens in Albania. Even though the Albanian Criminal Code Articles 231 and 265 condemns the participation, incitement, recruitment in terrorism and calls for the overthrow of regimes in other countries, the Mojahedin make continuous calls for jihad against Iran from Albania. They are behaving like a military gang in the country. On 27 July 2018, when the Mojahedin attacked Mostafa Mohammadi and the Albanian police arrested the attackers, the Mojahedin surrounded police station number 4 in Tirana and blackmailed the police who were forced to release the assailants. Commander Behzad Saffari who is no lawyer and has no right to intervene inside law enforcement agencies, forced himself inside the police station to attend the confession of the Mojahedin before the police, contrary to the Albanian law.
The Mojahedin are attacking anyone who opposes them in Albania. Their latest attack against a group of journalists from the British Channel 4 is arousing huge condemnation by the media in Albania who are questioning the aggression of MEK against the media. However leading American politicians and advisers to Trump, like Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton portray them as the Iranian opposition which will bring democracy to Iran.
Many Albanian security officials and analysts who are following the extremist behavior of MEK, fear that in the future the Mojahedin will use Albania as a launchpad to create a major incident between the West and Iran. Thus far they have shown themselves capable of eliminating their dissident members, abducting and holding hostages, beating families who want to liberate their abducted children, threatening the media and civil society, blackmailing the local police and distributing fake news on daily basis. The fear is that if the Trump Administration wants, MEK will carry out a major false flag terrorist incident in Albania or in Europe and this attack will serve the Trump – Pompeo administration as a justification for a major confrontation with Iran and the European Union.