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Mujahadein-e-Khalq, claiming to be liberators of Iran. People who have
QUESTION: There's an organization in Iraq with military camps, Mujahadein-e-Khalq, claiming to be liberators of Iran. People who have come into those camps claim that some of them conceal weapons of mass destruction for the Iraqi government. Do you have any knowledge of this? Do you have any reaction to those reports? MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't be able to talk about our knowledge of any particular facilities or camps that the Mujahadein-e- Khalq has. Obviously, anything we knew would come from intelligence, so I wouldn't be able to talk about it. But this group in particular, this is a terrorist group. It's a group that's conducted terrorist attacks spanning three decades. It's murdered American citizens. We designated this group as a terrorist group in 1997, among the first, the first year in which we used this authority to designate terrorist groups. They have several thousand fighters located on bases scattered throughout Iraq. They're armed with tanks, infantry, and fighting vehicles, artillery. They also have a support structure overseas. The primary support comes from the regime of Saddam Hussein, but its history is studded with anti-Western attacks as well as anti-Iranian targets. They have also been used by the Iraqi regime in the repression of the Iraqi Shi'a community over the past 13 years, so they've, have a long history that's been described in our literature. QUESTION: What happens in the event of a conflict in Iraq if they confront American Forces? MR. BOUCHER: I wouldn't advise anyone to confront American Forces. QUESTION: If I could add -- MR. BOUCHER: And I would advise everybody who's in the terrorism business to get out of it right away lest they face the consequences. QUESTION: Could I ask one further question? Does the Department have any decision on the fact that this organization recently as a few months ago, in ads in prominent American papers, claimed to have considerable amount of political support on Capitol Hill, 150 members of Congress? Is there an official response to that? MR. BOUCHER: Our view is that this has been, is, and continues to be a terrorist organization, and that information has been transmitted to the Congress and is readily available to all of them. QUESTION: This is on the same subject. You were asked what their fate would be if they confronted U.S. troops. Well, that's fairly clear. But what is their fate if they actually welcomed U.S. troops and cooperate with them and -- MR. BOUCHER: The goal is to, for groups who are involved in terrorism, to put themselves out of business or definitively abandon terrorism. I remind you of the statute that we have on groups that have to be listed for terrorism reasons, and only if a group were to suddenly no longer meet those criteria would it be unlisted, delisted. QUESTION: So what would U.S. troops do with their bases, close them down? MR. BOUCHER: I don't know. You can ask U.S. troops, and ask at the Pentagon. QUESTION: Well, I think it's a political matter, really. MR. BOUCHER: I don't think it is, Jonathan. I think if, the political matter is that these are terrorists supported by the Iraqi regime. What to do with them in a military sense, if the military encounters them, is a question for the Pentagon. QUESTION: When you are listing them, the terrorist group on your terrorist group list. How do you explain that they have, apparently, a representative in the U.S. and they are able to, at news conferences here in Washington, to explain their case, and -- MR. BOUCHER: I think that question has been dealt with many times before at the Department of Justice, in the courts, and I'd refer you to that.

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