One of the decisive prompters of the current terror alert was Saddam?s enlistment of a lesser known but extremely violent
The nightmare brigade
One of the decisive prompters of the current terror alert was Saddam?s enlistment of a lesser known but extremely violent surrogate force, this one new to the international terror scene: the highly-trained 15,000-strong special units of the armed Iranian opposition, the Mujahideen al-Khalq, or MKO. This name is unfamiliar in the West, which makes it hard for US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to lay the threat on the line for public consumption.
In a word, the Mujahideen al-Khalq, largely recruited from expatriate Iranian communities in the West, has been fighting Iran?s Khomeinist regime since the early 1980s, often staging spectacularly bloody attacks against government and military targets. In the last 15 years, it has fought from bases in Iraq, taken over, funded and trained by Iraqi military intelligence for bold commando actions behind Iranian lines and kamikaze operations. Structured as a military force, with organized camps, military units and commanders, its chief is a woman, Maryam Rajavi, the wife of MKO founder Massoud Rajavi. In the 1990s, she was banned from Britain and Germany and evicted from France because of the "large terrorist faction" in their movement.
Faced with an American invasion, Saddam has called the Mujahideen al-Khalq into his service - both in Iraq and as a depth charge for the international terror stage.