MKO training al-Qaeda operatives in Iraq

Iraqi officials announced that a number of al-Qaeda operatives have been trained in the main training camp of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization in Iraq's Diyala province (Camp Ashraf) to carry out terrorist attacks against the Iraqi people.

"When the MKO elements were still in Camp Ashraf, the al-Qaeda forces were trained in there and the camp had turned into a center for terrorism and killing," Head of the Security Committee of Diyala province Meysam al-Tamimi said.

According to Ashrafnews, Tamimi also said that the Iraqi security forces have found a secret cache of heavy weaponries in the Camp, adding that the MKO had been training the al-Qaeda members how to use these weaponries.

He said that the al-Qaeda members were trained to conduct terrorist operations in the province specially to force the people residing around Camp Ashraf to leave the area.

The mass graves which have recently been unearthed near the main training camp of the terrorist MKO in Iraq's Diyala province also unveiled a strong bond between the MKO and the Al Qaeda terrorist group.

Speaking to FNA on Sunday, Udai al-Khadran, the governor of the city of Khalis in Diyala province, said Al Qadea and the MKO members cooperated to intensify unrests in Khalis.

He added that the MKO members are involved in Al Qaeda bombing plots and kidnappings in Diyala.

Khadran added that there exist documents substantiating that some Iraqi officials are collaborating with terrorists and have taken bribes to the very same end.

Earlier in January, an Iraqi official said several mass graves have been unearthed in Camp New Iraq, formerly known as Camp Ashraf, in Iraq's Diyala Province, which was the headquarters of the terrorist MKO.

Sadeq al-Husseini, the deputy chairman of Diyala's provincial council said that the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights was in charge of determining the identities of the bodies and whether they were Kurds, the residents of southern provinces or from the town of Khalis in Diyala Province.

He said that the bodies were being examined in medical laboratories in Arbil Province, adding that human rights violations in the camp did not seem improbable.

The MKO is behind a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, a number of EU parliamentarians said in a recent letter in which they slammed a British court decision to remove the MKO from the British terror list. The EU officials also added that the group has no public support within Iran because of their role in helping Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).

Many of the MKO members abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the grouplet are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.

A May 2005 Human Rights Watch report accused the MKO of running prison camps in Iraq and committing human rights violations.

According to the Human Rights Watch report, the outlawed group puts defectors under torture and jail terms.

The group, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.

The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran's new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by MKO members in 1981.

The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.

The terrorist group joined Saddam's army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.

Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who argued for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.

The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in early September, one week after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent the US Congress a classified communication about the move. The decision made by Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.