Mujahedin-e Khalq

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"Islamic terrorism"
Group.png Mujahedin-e Khalq  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
MEK Emblem.png
AbbreviationMEK, MKO, PMOI
Formation1965
Founder• Mohammad Hanifnejad
• Saeed Mohsen
• Mohammad Asgarizadeh
• Rasoul Meshkinfam
• Ali-Asghar Badizadegan and Ahmad Rezaei
HeadquartersAlbania
LeaderMaryam Rajavi (aka Maryam Qajar-Azodanlu)
A terroristic cult seeking to overthrow the government of Iran. First allied to the USSR, then to Saddam Hussein and then finally to Israel.

Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), also known as the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran or by the alias National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), is a cult[citation needed] of Iranian "terrorists" who oppose the government of Iran.

Origins

The group founded in 1965 by Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saeed Mohsen, Mohammad Asgarizadeh, Rasoul Meshkinfam, Ali-Asghar Badizadegan and Ahmad Rezaei. In its early days, six members who splintered from the Freedom Movement, a moderate party based on the politics of ousted Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. The MEK founders were followers of leftist thinker Ali Shariati. The group split from the Freedom Movement due to that party’s moderate approach in challenging the government of the Shah.[1] The MEK started as a liberal communist organization, which is still reflected in the group's flag and the word "People's" in their name, as part of the greater anti-Shah movement.

Activities

In the 1970's the MEK killed several government and U.S. targets. The MEK failed an attempted to kill the United States Ambassador to Iran, Douglas MacArthur, on 30 November 1970.[2] MEK gunmen ambushed MacArthur's car while he and his wife were en route to their house. Shots were fired at the vehicle and a hatchet was hurled through the rear window. In May 1972, the MEK failed an attempted to kill U.S. Air Force General Harold L. Price, go was seriously wounded in attempted assassination. Several hours later, the MEK blew up a bomb at a mausoleum where President Richard Nixon was scheduled to attend a ceremony. The plan failed as the bomb blew up 45 minutes before President Nixon attended the ceremony.[3] The same year, the MEK completed their first major successful terrorist attack, killing Saeed Taheri, the Chief of Police of Tehran, on 13 August 1972.[4] During the same period, the MEK also conducted terrorist bombings also committed bombings of the gates of British Embassy, facilities of Pan-American Oil, Shell Oil and Pan-Am Airline.[5] On 3 July 1975 the MEK killed an Iranian employee at Embassy of the United States in Tehran.[6] In the following month the MEK killed U.S. Air Force Colonel Paul R. Shaffer and Lieutenant colonel Jack H. Turner.[7]

On 5 May 1975 the MEK killed one of their own leaders Majid Sharif-Vaghefi, one of three members of the MEK's central committee, for not embracing communism. His death was ordered by the other two members of the central committee, Taghi Shahram and Bahram Aram, who gave him an ultimatum to adopt the ideology or leave Iran.[8] After pretending to embrace communism, he fled the group and went into hiding. His location was given to Shahram by his wife, who was a fellow MEK member who did embrace communism. He was subsequently killed, his body burned and dumped outside the city.[9] The MEK today refer to him as a "martyr" and "hero", despite the fact that they themselves killed him.

On 28 August 1976, four MEK gunmen the killed civilian contractors Robert Krongrad, Donald Smith and William Cottrell, on their way to Doshan Tappeh Air Base to work on Project IBEX, an aerial reconnaissance program run by the CIA and Imperial Iranian Air Force from bases inside Iran against the Soviet Union.[10] On 23 December 1978, the MEK killed Iranian Oilfield Services Company (IOSC) employees Paul Grimm and Malek Boroujerdi.[11] These would be the last major terror attacks by the MEK prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran.

New Leader and Rift

Senior MEK member Massoud Rajavi was imprisoned by the Shah of Iran for his anti-monarch anti-American political activities and militancy.[12] He was originally sentenced to death, but his sentence was changed to life in prison due to his brother Kazem Rajavi's connections with Swiss politicians.[13] He was released from prison as a result of the 1979 Revolution.[14] Upon his release, he assumed leadership of the Mujahedin-e Khalq.[15]

As head of the MEK, Rajavi sought to acquire power in Iran by running in the 1980 Iranian presidential elections, the first elections of the newly established state. He was endorsed by several communist parties, including the People's Fedai, the National Democratic Front, the Democratic Party of Kurdistan, Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan and the League of Iranian Socialists.[16] Rajavi instructed his party not to support in the December 1979 Iranian constitutional referendum.[17] Khomeini "disliked the MEK's philosophy, which combined Marxist theories of social evolution and class struggle with a view of Shia Islam that suggested Shia clerics had misinterpreted Islam and had been collaborators with the ruling class".[18] As a result of Rajavi's dissent of the constitution, the government of Ruhollah Khomeini disqualified Rajavi and the Mujahedin-e Khalq from being presidential candidates.[19]

Following Rajavi's denial of power by Khomeini, the MEK started a campaign of dissent terror against the newly established government. On 27 June 1981, the MEK failed an assassination attempt on future Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei. While giving a speech at a mosque, a bomb hidden within a tape recorder placed in front of him exploded, permanently disabling and his hand, and seriously injuring his vocal cords and lungs.[20][21] MEK operative Javad Qadiri is thought to have placed the tape recorder along with some papers and pressed play to activate the time bomb.[22][23]

On 28 June 1981, a large bomb targeted a meeting of the party's leaders went off at the headquarters of the Iran Islamic Republic Party (IRP).[24][24][25] The bombing killed the second-highest figure in the revolution after Khomeini, Chief Justice Mohammad Beheshti, as well as four cabinet ministers, twenty-seven members of the Parliament and several other government officials. The bomb was planted by a 19-year-old MEK operative named Mohammad-Reza Kolahi who entered he meeting room earlier disguised as a sound engineer.[26][27] Kolahi went into hiding for some time at an MEK safe house and then fled the country through Iran's western border with Iraq, finally making his way to Europe.[28]

On 30 August 1981, Kurdish MEK member Masoud Keshmiri killed President Mohammad-Ali Rajai, Prime Minister Mohammad-Javad Bahonar and six military and security officials were officials.[29][30] Keshmiri had infiltrated Islamic Republican Party (IRP), reaching the position of secretary of the Supreme National Security Council. In his position as secretary, he brought a bomb contained in a briefcase to the meeting between high-ranking government officials, which exploded when opened.[31] Mohammad-Ali Rajai andMohammad-Javad Bahonar won the election with 91 percent of the popular vote and took office on 4 August 1981. The MEK bombed Bahonar's office less than four weeks later.[32] On 20 July 1981, the MEK failed an assassination attempt on Habibollah Asgaroladi, an opposing presidential candidate, killing his bodyguard instead.[33]

This became a turning point for the MEK. Following these attacks, MEK membership saw a mass exodus as as members and the Iranian people abhorred the groups' acts of terrorism and violence. Membership shrunk from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands. The group allied itself with Saddam Hussein, decreasing membership even further as Saddam was waging war against Iran and they were viewed as traitors. Supporters of Khomeini began storming meeting places, bookstores, newsstands, and other places of the Mujahedin-e Khalq, as well as other leftists[34]

The MEK harbored impeached president Abolhassan Banisadr.[35] Banisadr had declared war on the new government of Iran and carried out a number of bombings and assassinations targeting the clerical leadership.[36] When Massoud Rajavi was rejected from running in the 1980 elections, he and the MEK endorsed with Abolhassan Banisadr for president.[37] Both Massoud Rajavi and Abolhassan Banisadr fled the country, being flown by Colonel Behzad Moezzi, and landed in France.[38][39]

Conversion into Culthood

When the mass exodus of members occurred due to the MEK's acts of violence, Massoud Rajavi believed the remaining MEK members still willing to carry out acts of terrorism to be less prone to thinking for themselves and especially impressible. Massoud Rajavi was known to read psychology book he could get his hands on, and was interested in reading about cult leaders and false prophets.[40] While in Paris, he began his MEK loyalists with a ever-evolving militant ideologies, including a new version of Shia Islam in which he personally was the "Bridge to God".[41]

In June 1986, the MEK was forced to leave France as part of a deal with Iran the release of French hostages held prisoners by the Hezbollah in Lebanon.[42] The MEK went to Iraq invited by Saddam Hussein where they could directly fight Iran. They were dispatched to the frontline of the Iran-Iraq war, sent to the frontline at the town of Mehran, where they used chemical weapons including sarin nerve gas.[43][44]

References

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  3. https://terrorspring.com/amp/2018/07/news/terrorist-files/american-herald-tribune-worse-than-isil-the-dark-past-of-mujahedin-e-khalq-terrorist-group/
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  6. Goulka, Jeremiah; Hansell, Lydia; Wilke, Elizabeth; Larson, Judith (2009). The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq: a policy conundrum (PDF). RAND Corporation. ISBN 978-0-8330-4701-4.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "CSS").
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  14. Ervand Abrahamian (1989), Radical Islam: the Iranian Mojahedin, Society and culture in the modern Middle East, 3, I.B.Tauris, ISBN 9781850430773Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "CSS").
  15. Ervand Abrahamian (1989), Radical Islam: the Iranian Mojahedin, Society and culture in the modern Middle East, 3, I.B.Tauris, ISBN 9781850430773 Text "at" ignored (help); Text "Pg. 146" ignored (help)Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "CSS").
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  17. Ervand Abrahamian (1989), Radical Islam: the Iranian Mojahedin, Society and culture in the modern Middle East, 3, I.B.Tauris, ISBN 9781850430773 Text "at" ignored (help); Text "Pg. 198" ignored (help)Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "CSS").
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  19. Ervand Abrahamian (1989), Radical Islam: the Iranian Mojahedin, Society and culture in the modern Middle East, 3, I.B.Tauris, ISBN 9781850430773 Text "at" ignored (help); Text "Pg. 198" ignored (help)Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "CSS").
  20. O'Hern, Steven K. Iran's Revolutionary Guard: The Threat that Grows While America Sleeps. Potomac Books. ISBN 978-1597977012.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "CSS").
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