Radio BBC, Persian service, evening program, September 30
…Sending a letter to European countries, US and Canada, a group of former members of the MKO warned that the group is going to harass them in western countries by its trained members. The letter said that a number of MKO members trained in security, intelligence and urban warfare courses had been deployed to Europe illegally.
I had an interview with Massoud Khodabandeh, former member of National Council of Resistance, who’s among letters’ signatories. I asked him about the reasons behind signing such letter?
Massoud Khodabandeh: before the fall of Saddam, MKO deployed 200-300 of its members along with Maryam Rajavi to Europe. Most of these people were trained in Saddam’s security systems and can be compared to Saddam’s Fedayeen.
It seems that this intelligence system has matured during past 2 years and is now active. For the time being, this system is centered in Germany, with direct contact to MKO’s headquarters in Auvers-sur-Oise in France. It’s divisions are also active in the capitals of other democratic countries. They have now more than one hundred associations, companies and websites to cover their activities and they have come to a point, unfortunately, that their works include kidnapping in Germany, beatings in Netherlands, harassing families and even schoolchildren whose parents are critics of the organization.
We sent this letter, signed by 80-90 people, to interior ministries of European countries, the US and Canada to be investigated seriously. But we should be careful about the process; the way it’s going now would turn previous self-immolations to future murders and killings and we don’t want this to happen.
- Mr. Khodabandeh, according to you, these attacks have been intensified. What are the goals of such activities? Are they organized movements? In all countries?
Khodabandeh: yes, it’s organized by a trained system. Some of them have 20 to 25 years of records on this. They were officially trained in Iraq. It means that we can’t ignore it. And about the goals of such activities: they believe that their problems with being on terror list, or being prosecuted in French Judiciary, are rooted in revelations by critics and former members. They’ve concluded that they wouldn’t be relieved while these people continue to disclose the organization’s realities. So, they spend a significant amount of their energy to put down, or erase, those who criticize them.
- What measures can the western countries take? What have they done?
Khodabandeh: for instance, a court in Germany is now hearing the complaints of a former Abu Ghraib prisoner who’s MKO’s critic. They (MKO) wanted to kidnap him in the street. The court is doing its work, and that’s a positive step. There have been cases of beatings in Netherlands but they were not able to investigate the case because the MKO agents could fled the scene; that’s because, as I told you, they’re trained in this field. But it seems that there are some ways to stop such activities if western governments take this serious. Anyway, such organized movements are not legal in these countries. Even the lawyers here say that surveillance is not legal. Making databases of opponents is not legal. Harassing people and their children is not legal. Apparently, such activities can be prevented. The only thing is that they should be paid attention to.
Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli called for tougher measures against the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCRI) terrorist group by the European Union...