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MEK Stirs Pot in Iran Despite Improved Negotiation Outlook After Rohani’s Election

In a remarkably welcome surprise, moderate cleric Hassan Rohani won last month’s presidential election in Iran and did so with a large enough margin to avoid a runoff. In the immediate aftermath of the election, there was hope that the heated rhetoric on both sides of the dispute over Iran’s nuclear technology would calm a bit:

Though thousands of jubilant Iranians poured onto the streets in celebration of the victory, the outcome will not soon transform Iran’s tense relations with the West, resolve the row over its nuclear program or lessen its support of Syria’s president in the civil war there – matters of national security that remain the domain of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

But the president runs the economy and wields broad influence in decision-making in other spheres. Rohani’s resounding mandate could provide latitude for a diplomatic thaw with the West and more social freedoms at home after eight years of belligerence and repression under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was legally barred from seeking a third consecutive term.

“This victory is a victory of wisdom, a victory of moderation, a victory of growth and awareness and a victory of commitment over extremism and ill-temper,” Rohani told state television, promising to work for all Iranians, including the hardline so-called “Principlists” whom he defeated at the poll.

Alas, those who favor violence over negotiation don’t intend to sit idly while moderation has a chance of breaking out. Today, we have a new “revelation” brought to us in a Reuters article:

An exiled opposition group said on Thursday it had obtained information about a secret underground nuclear site under construction in Iran, without specifying what kind of atomic activity it believed would be carried out there.

/snip/

The NCRI said the site was inside a complex of tunnels beneath mountains 10 km (6 miles) east of the town of Damavand, itself about 50 km northeast of Tehran. Construction of the first phase began in 2006 and was recently completed, it said.

The group released satellite photographs of what it said was the site. But the images did not appear to constitute hard evidence to support the assertion that it was a planned nuclear facility.

The Reuters article identifies NCRI as the National Council of Resistance of Iran and in addition to identifying them as “exiled dissedents” also mentions affiliation with the “People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI)” without noting that the more commonly used acronym for the latter group is MEK. That would be the same MEK that was only de-listed by the US Department of State as a terrorist organization last year. Promptly after de-listing, the group moved to register as lobbyists:

An Iranian group that was listed as a terrorist organization until last year has formally registered to lobby the Obama administration.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran told the Justice Department that it plans to “educate” the public and the U.S. government about the need to pursue an Iran policy “based on respect for human rights, non-proliferation, and promotion of democracy.” The council is an umbrella group of five Iranian opposition groups, the largest of which is the delisted terror group Mujahedin-e-Khalq, or MEK.

/snip/

The State Department closed the council’s Washington office in 2002, calling it a front group for the MEK. Since then, the group has earned the good graces of U.S. conservatives by drawing international attention to Iran’s clandestine uranium enrichment facility in Natanz.

That bit about NCRI exposing the Natanz facility? Even though it also is cited in today’s Reuters article, there is good reason to believe that MEK came into the information through a leak to them rather than their own intelligence-gathering: Read more

Instead of Arab-Specific SARS, Iran Should Be on Alert for Anthrax

On Tuesday, I wrote about the suggestion published by Iran’s PressTV that Israeli and British scientists are seeking to develop a version of the SARS virus that would attack only people of Arab descent. Such an approach is not genetically feasible. If Iran wants to be on alert against a potential biological attack, there is a much more likely source and a more likely biological agent they should be monitoring.

In today’s articles on the Mehr News website, there is a piece going into how hypocritical it was for the US to delist the MEK as a terrorist organization. One small detail in the article that I had missed in previous MEK discussions stood out to me:

So why has this obviously irrational delisting of the MKO taken place? Just as the Afghan mujahedin were used in a covert U.S. war to overthrow the Soviet-aligned government in Afghanistan, the MKO is being used in conjunction with Mossad to fight a covert war against the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. And the U.S. trained members of the MKO at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nevada Security Site under the auspices of the Joint Special Operations Command between 2005 and 2008. According to an unnamed source, as a result of the Nevada JSOC training, “MKO now has a capacity for efficient operations that it never had before.”

I had missed the suggestion that MKO members were trained by JSOC in the Nevada desert (but of course Marcy hadn’t missed it). At least one source for Mehr News in making this statement appears to be this article by Sy Hersh:

From the air, the terrain of the Department of Energy’s Nevada National Security Site, with its arid high plains and remote mountain peaks, has the look of northwest Iran. The site, some sixty-five miles northwest of Las Vegas, was once used for nuclear testing, and now includes a counterintelligence training facility and a private airport capable of handling Boeing 737 aircraft. It’s a restricted area, and inhospitable—in certain sections, the curious are warned that the site’s security personnel are authorized to use deadly force, if necessary, against intruders.

It was here that the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) conducted training, beginning in 2005, for members of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a dissident Iranian opposition group known in the West as the M.E.K.

As mentioned by Hersh, the Nevada National Security Site once was used for nuclear testing. In fact, its previous name is the Nevada Test Site. But Hersh’s list of the facilities at that site is missing one key facility. We learned from Judy Miller on September 4, 2001 that the Defense Threat Reduction Agency built a fully functional fermentation facility that was capable of producing anthrax. That facility was built at the Nevada Test Site. As I have mentioned previously, this site stands out as a very likely source for the anthrax that was used in the 2001 attacks.

Because we already have strong suspicions that the MEK played some sort of role in the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, it doesn’t seem to be too large a leap to think that they could have a supply of weaponized anthrax produced in Nevada that they intend to release inside Iran. Instead of worrying about  the biologically impossible Arab-specific SARS, Iranain biodefense personnel should be preparing for a rapid response to a release of anthrax.

And What Will MEK Be Doing in Baghdad While Waiting for Resettlement?

CNN has a funny story reporting that Hillary Clinton will inform Congress she’s delisting the MEK from State’s foreign terrorist organization list.

It botches the key paragraph explaining that MEK has done what Hillary said they’d have to do to be delisted: move out of Camp Ashraf (this is as of 11:00–I assume they’ll edit it).

The group is in its final stages [sic] from a refugee camp in Iraq where they’ve lived for more than 25 years [sic] is nearing completion under the auspices of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq. They are moving to another location in Iraq before being eventually re-settled in third countries. The US has been working with the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees to re-settle the group.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is under a court order to decide by October 1 whether to remove MEK from the terror list. The secretary has said several times that her decision would be guided, in part, by whether the group moves peacefully from Camp Ashraf.

“We don’t love these people but the Secretary’s decision is merited based on the record of facts that we have,” one US official said. “This was not done casually and it’s the right decision.”

The AP has a much more coherent account of MEK’s move from Ashraf to “Camp Liberty.”

Lugging whatever personal items they were allowed to carry, the last in a convoy of 680 exiles entered their new home at Camp Liberty on Baghdad’s outskirts Sunday morning. The move took several days to complete, and the MEK leadership accused Iraqi forces of harassment and putting the exiles though unnecessary security screening before they were allowed to leave Ashraf.

[snip]

Camp Liberty was designed as a compromise way-station for the U.N. to speed the exiles out of Iraq peacefully.

“This is an important step as we near the end of the relocation process,” Martin Kobler, top U.N. envoy in Iraq, said in a statement Sunday. “I urge the international community to speed up its efforts to accept residents in third countries.”

Several diplomats from at least 15 nations who toured Camp Liberty last week said their governments still are weighing whether to accept the exiles. In all, more than 4,000 exiles need to be resettled. So far, 512 are going through the process of being moved to other counties, and five have already been accepted and left, according to U.N. data dated Sept. 13, the latest figures available Sunday.

In other words, the short version is nothing so suspicious as are the large number of people who’ve been paid to lobby for MEK’s delisting. Hillary wanted to defuse the Camp Ashraf problem, she did, and now she is doing what she said she would: delisting the MEK.

All that said, it’s a rather curious time for a spooked up dissident group to be waiting in the vicinity of Baghdad until the UN resettles them in fives and sixes. We’ve had to pull back many of our spies from Iraq. And Iran is supplying Syria through Iraq.

 

MEK to Be Delisted as Terrorists in Reward for Engaging in Terrorism

The Foreign Terrorism Organization list really doesn’t mean much if the way to get off it is by killing Iranian scientists at the behest of the US and Israel.

The Obama administration is moving to remove an Iranian opposition group from the State Department’s terrorism list, say officials briefed on the talks, in an action that could further poison Washington’s relations with Tehran at a time of renewed diplomatic efforts to curtail Iran’s nuclear program.

The exile organization, the Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MeK, was originally named as a terrorist entity 15 years ago for its alleged role in assassinating U.S. citizens in the years before the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran and for allying with Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein against Tehran.

The MeK has engaged in an aggressive legal and lobbying campaign in Washington over the past two years to win its removal from the State Department’s list. The terrorism designation, which has been in place since 1997, freezes the MeK’s assets inside the U.S. and prevents the exile group from fundraising.

Oddly, the entire article makes no mention of allegations that MEK trained at a US Special Forces camp in the NV desert and/or killed a bunch of Iranian civilians with magnet bombs.

Though its last paragraph amounts to as much.

“If there’s a coalition against the mullahs, then we should fund that coalition, and the MeK should be a part of it,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R., Calif.). He cautioned that for now, he wasn’t advocating directly funding MeK. “The MeK has the resources to resist and fight the mullah dictatorship. They don’t need our money, they just need us to get out of the way and take the shackles off.”

Jim? I believe this is your department.

Though maybe it’s not all the dead scientists that made the difference here. Maybe it’s the art project that significantly resembles the INC’s finger painting projects leading up to the Iraq War. America. Big fans of primitive art.

We demand our terrorists to be able to both kill civilian scientists and draw crude pictures, you know.

Update: In potentially related news,

Iran has hanged a man it said was an agent for Israeli intelligence agency Mossad whom it convicted of killing one of its nuclear scientists in 2010, Iranian state media reported on Tuesday.

 

Last Vial of Anthrax'>Colin Powell’s Last Vial of Anthrax

Dammit, I gave away half the game, the “who” said these words.

I have seen some information that would suggest that they have been actively working on delivery systems.

[snip]

I’m not talking about uranium or fissile material or the warhead; I’m talking about what one does with a warhead.

[snip]

There is no doubt in my mind — and it’s fairly straightforward from what we’ve been saying for years — that they have been interested in a nuclear weapon that has utility, meaning that it is something they would be able to deliver, not just something that sits there

But when? And about which country?

Contrary to what you might think, these words come not from Colin Powell’s famous UN speech, but from the speech where he rolled out the Laptop of Death in 2004, in the days just after Bush’s re-election when Dick Cheney was shoving Powell out the door.

The Laptop of Death, you’ll recall, amounted to war in a box, all the evidence you’d need to justify a war against Iran based on claims it was developing not just nukes, but nukes “they would be able to deliver, not just something that sits there.” It included the adaptation plans to Iran’s Shahab-3 missiles, the plans for a tunnel that bore no signs it’d be used for testing nukes but got included anyway, and evidence that a defunct firm had once produced a material–green salt–used in uranium processing. It was logically impossible all those things would be on one laptop, available for the taking, but that didn’t stop the usual suspects from selling the Laptop of Death as credible intelligence.

As the years went on, evidence grew the laptop had come from MEK–the same terrorists we’ve outsourced our Iranian scientist assassination to, perhaps by way of Mossad. And once the Iranians were given a copy of some of the documents, they were able to show they were forgeries.

It seems like a good time to remind everyone that even after Colin Powell ruined his reputation with the UN presentation, he still agreed to lend his diminished credibility to yet more transparent propaganda to start what might have been (and may yet still be) the next war. As Tiny Revolution and Digby note, Powell’s latest book attempts to refute bloggers who call him a liar for the UN presentation. Well, if he didn’t know, then why did he step up willingly to sell Cheney’s propaganda a second time, at a time when he owed the Bush Administration nothing?

Here’s an even better reason to remind people how long the Iran warmongers have been trying to sow war with transparent propaganda. As I joked and Moon of Alabama mocked at more length, they appear to have given the guy who drew the crappy illustration of the Mobile Bioweapons Labs based on admitted exile warmonger Curveball’s lies his job back, this time to draw the detonation tank Jim White already threw water on.

For whatever reason, even at the moment Colin Powell tries to pretend that the last time this hack illustrator sowed his wares everything was done in good faith, they’re rolling out similarly laughable illustrations again.

DOE Washing Terrorists in the Nevada Desert

I’ve long suggested that our attempts to suggest Mossad was running the MEK (and Jundallah) led covert operations in Iran were attempts to hide US cooperation with those groups against Iran.

Sy Hersh confirms precisely that speculation with respect to the MEK.

The former senior intelligence official I spoke with seconded the NBC report that the Israelis were working with the M.E.K., adding that the operations benefitted from American intelligence. He said that the targets were not “Einsteins”; “The goal is to affect Iranian psychology and morale,” he said, and to “demoralize the whole system—nuclear delivery vehicles, nuclear enrichment facilities, power plants.” Attacks have also been carried out on pipelines. He added that the operations are “primarily being done by M.E.K. through liaison with the Israelis, but the United States is now providing the intelligence.” An adviser to the special-operations community told me that the links between the United States and M.E.K. activities inside Iran had been long-standing. “Everything being done inside Iran now is being done with surrogates,” he said. [my emphasis]

More interesting, he describes JSOC training MEK in the Nevada desert.

Despite the growing ties, and a much-intensified lobbying effort organized by its advocates, M.E.K. has remained on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations—which meant that secrecy was essential in the Nevada training. “We did train them here, and washed them through the Energy Department because the D.O.E. owns all this land in southern Nevada,” a former senior American intelligence official told me. “We were deploying them over long distances in the desert and mountains, and building their capacity in communications—coördinating commo is a big deal.”

Hersh goes on to describe that we not only taught MEK how to stay in communication in the field, but how to intercept Iranian communications as well (remember the importance of intercepts in our understanding of Iranian nukes?). Moreover, the stuff the JSOC trainers were teaching MEK was so “sexy” that people started to get worried.

We’ve been training terrorists in our own deserts and sending them out against Iran–all while fear-mongering about Iran engaging in terrorism.

In other words, even the war on terror hasn’t taught us how such schemes can backfire.

The Wiretap Jury on the Iran War

At a moment when the Obama Administration is still aggresively pursuing James Risen’s testimony on sources for an Iran story he wrote 7 years ago, on Saturday he published a new story summarizing the uncertainty surround intelligence on Iran right now.

In the story, Risen reveals that both the 2007 and the 2010 NIEs on Iran’s nuke program got held up and rethought because of intercepts collected during the writing process.

The draft version [of the 2007 NIE] had concluded that the Iranians were still trying to build a bomb, the same finding of a 2005 assessment. But as they scrutinized the new intelligence from several sources, including intercepted communications in which Iranian officials were heard complaining to one another about stopping the program, the American intelligence officials decided they had to change course, officials said. While enrichment activities continued, the evidence that Iran had halted its weapons program in 2003 at the direction of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was too strong to ignore, they said.

[snip]

Intercepted communications of Iranian officials discussing their nuclear program raised concerns that the country’s leaders had decided to revive efforts to develop a weapon, intelligence officials said.

That, along with a stream of other information, set off an intensive review and delayed publication of the 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, a classified report reflecting the consensus of analysts from 16 agencies. But in the end, they deemed the intercepts and other evidence unpersuasive, and they stuck to their longstanding conclusion.

Risen goes on to lay out all the other intelligence we’ve got on Iran, as well as the significant failures that have set intelligence efforts back: we’ve got radar and satellite imagery of suspected nuke sites, clandestine electromagnetic and radiation sensors, and information from IAEA inspectors. We don’t have much HUMINT, in part because of an email error in 2004 that exposed our assets, in part because of aborted defection of Shahram Amiri in 2009, and in part because we don’t have an embassy to house people working under official cover. We’re trying hard, Risen said, to avoid relying on information from MEK via the Israelis, having learned our lesson from Ahmed Chalabi in the Iraq war.

But our key tool, it seems, is the wiretapping. In particular, the eavesdropping on just 12 or so top officials who know the program.

American intelligence officials said that the conversations of only a dozen or so top Iranian officials and scientists would be worth monitoring in order to determine whether the weapons program had been restarted, because decision-making on nuclear matters is so highly compartmentalized in Iran.

I wonder how the assassination of at least 4 Iranian nuclear scientists has circumscribed the intelligence we can gather from wiretaps?

In any case, that seems to be what the decision to go to war or not comes down to: these 12 Iranians speaking into our wiretaps.

Ed Rendell Defends Material Support of the “Right” Terrorists

When I first read that Treasury is investigating Ed Rendell for his paid speeches supporting the MEK, I was gratified that the government might finally be showing some balance in its pursuit of terrorists.

Mr. Rendell, who asserts that he has done nothing illegal, said the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a Feb. 29 subpoena seeking “transactional records about what payments we received for speaking fees.”

The subpoena was sent to the office of Thomas McGuire, an attorney for the Los Angeles-based talent agency William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, which handles all of Mr. Rendell’s speaking engagements, including those in which he has advocated on behalf of the MEK.

But this is the Moonie Times and Rendell alerted the press himself. So in truth, this is just an opportunity for him and Tom Ridge (who, as another paid MEK supporter, presumably would also be under investigation) to support MEK by saying that even though it is a designated terrorist organization, it doesn’t matter if people flout the law and provide it support.

“I’ve been in politics 34 years, and I can tell you right now that I would not jeopardize my reputation for any amount of money,” said Mr. Rendell. “I did my research extensively on this issue before I ever agreed to speak on it, and I am 100 percent convinced that the MEK shouldn’t be on the foreign terrorist organization list.”

As to the extent to which accepting payments for such advocacy may or may not be legal, Mr. Ridge said it is a “moot question.”
“Assuming there may be a question, and we don’t think there is, the bigger question is: Does the MEK belong on the list?” he said. “It’s kind of curious that those who don’t like our advocacy are suggesting that we might be doing something wrong.”

Ed Rendell is a lawyer. Yet when he did his research, he did not check whether doing paid speeches for MEK would be lawful. No, he says, he did research and is convinced that MEK shouldn’t be on the list. Tom Ridge, also a lawyer–not to mention a former top counterterrorism official who can’t claim to be ignorant of the law–says it’d be “moot” if it were illegal to give paid speeches in support of MEK, because the group shouldn’t be on the terrorist list.

But it is.

What’s funniest about this article–and the reason why this article would probably only appear in the Moonie Times–is that it makes no peep of recent allegations (confirmed by two US officials in the article) that MEK has been partnering with Israel to assassinate Iranian scientists.

Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.

The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

Mind you, this may well be where this argument is going. The US pretends it has had nothing to do with the serial assassinations of these scientists–in spite of hints to the contrary or an apparent CIA exception allowing assassination in non-terrorism contexts. While that puts the legal pressure on the US to delist the MEK in different light, it also means that the US will probably once again apply its own terrorist laws selectively, allowing our larger support for this particular terrorist to–as Ridge predicts–moot the law prohibiting material support–even if it involves just speech–for terrorism.

Update: Glenn Greenwald catalogs Fran Fragos Townsend’s hypocrisy on this issue in all its glory:

How reprehensible is the conduct of Fran Townsend here? Just two years ago, she went on CNN to celebrate a Supreme Court decision that rejected First Amendment claims of free speech and free association in order to rule that anyone — most often Muslims — can be prosecuted under the “material support” statute simply for advocacy for a Terrorist group that is coordinated with the group. And yet, the minute Fran Townsend gets caught doing exactly that — not just out of conviction but also because she’s being paid by that Terrorist group — she suddenly invokes the very same Constitutional rights whose ersosions she cheered when it came to the prosecution of others.

What WAS Our Sentinel Drone Surveilling in Iran?

Kevin Drum captures where the state of the reporting on the story that the MEK, backed by Israel, is responsible for the assassinations of Iranian scientists and the implication that that makes Israel a state that sponsors terrorism. Drum writes,

Are the attacks on Iran terrorism? Of course they are. If they’re not, we might as well give up on even trying to define the word. But is it acceptable just because the other side is using it? Of course it’s —

But wait a second. Is it? For all practical purposes, Iran and Israel are at war; they’ve been at war for a long time; and both sides have tacitly agreed that it will primarily be a war carried out nonconventionally. The alternative is what we did in Afghanistan and Iraq: a full-scale conventional attack.

Is that a superior alternative? To say the least, I’m a little hard pressed to say it is. But the alternative is not to fight back at all. Given the current state of the art in human nature, that’s really not in the cards.

Still: is it terrorism? Yes. Do both sides use it? Yes. Is this, in many cases, the future of warfare? Probably yes.

The only question I’d raise is a chicken and an egg thing. Who attacked whom first? And if Hezbollah is your proxy to say that Iran did, then what was the 2006 invasion of Lebanon about?

Speaking of chickens and eggs, though, there’s something left out of this formulation. The US.

As I noted back in December, the reporting of David Sanger (whose beat seems to be precisely the intersection of US and Israeli covert ops) seems to suggest that our drones have been surveilling now-dead Iranian scientists.

So David Sanger, the (American and Israeli) intelligence community’s chief mouthpiece to boast about their latest victories against Iran, by-lined this story from Boston (rather than his home base of DC) to tell us the Sentinel drone was surveilling Iran’s suspected nuclear sites, using its isotope-sniffing powers.

In addition to video cameras, independent experts say the drone almost certainly carries communications intercept equipment and sensors that can detect tiny amounts of radioactive isotopes and other chemicals that can give away nuclear research.

But the real advantage of the Sentinel drone, Sanger and Shane tell us, is the ability to see who’s onsite when.

While an orbiting surveillance satellite can observe a location for only a few minutes at a time, a drone can loiter for hours, sending a video feed as people move about the site. Such a “pattern of life,” as it is called, can give crucial clues to the nature of the work being done, the equipment used and the size of the work force.

Actually, we knew that. Here’s the kind of information the Sentinel presumably gave us about Osama bin Laden’s compound.

Agents, determining that Kuwaiti was living there, used aerial surveillance to keep watch on the compound, which consisted of a three-story main house, a guesthouse, and a few outbuildings. They observed that residents of the compound burned their trash, instead of putting it out for collection, and concluded that the compound lacked a phone or an Internet connection. Kuwaiti and his brother came and went, but another man, living on the third floor, never left. When this third individual did venture outside, he stayed behind the compound’s walls. Some analysts speculated that the third man was bin Laden, and the agency dubbed him the Pacer.

In our assassination of Osama bin Laden, it seems, we used the Sentinel to learn the daily routine of everyone in the compound. Just the kind of information we’ve used to assassinate key Iranian scientists.

Read more

The NYPD Profiles Everyone’s Favorite Terrorist Group, MEK

As I noted yesterday, the latest installment of Goldman and Apuzzo’s exposure of the CIA-on-the-Hudson relies on a 2006 document laying out plans to profile Iranians and Shiites (and Palestinians) in anticipation of heightened US-Iranian conflict.

New York City has always been a prime target for terrorist groups and as the possibility of military action taken against Iran grows stronger, so does the danger of the City being attacked by agents of the Iranian government or its sympathizers.

Based on that premise, they lay out a bunch of groups to profile.

Among those, however, is the MEK, the Iranian opposition group designated as a foreign terrorist organization. Here’s what the document has to say about them:

Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MEK), designated by the US Department of State as a terrorist group, has presence in NYC. MEK is strongly opposed to the current Iranian administration and it is not believe [sic] not to pose a threat of retaliation should the US engage Iran military. The group’s actions here are typified by several incidents where suspected MEK members disrupted speeches and protested against Iranian officials visiting and/or present in US.

Now, at one level, the MEK actually is a designated terrorist organization, regardless of how sensible that designation remains. So it makes sense to see them profiled by the NYPD. Though it is telling by itself that 5 years into the CIA-on-the-Hudson program, they apparently hadn’t been, yet. That is, the NYPD doesn’t appear to have been pursuing terrorist organizations in general. (Indeed, it did not include Colombians–who might be of interest because of terrorist organizations FARC and AUC–among its ancestries of interest.)

But in spite of the fact that according to the NYPD, the MEK doesn’t pose a threat, it does appear to have included the MEK in their Iranian profiling. Among its recommended actions, it suggests,

  • Expand and focus intelligence collection at locations affiliated with the MEK.
  • Identify leads with subjects or locations having ties to Hamas, Hezbollah, PIJ, MEK, or the Alavi Foundation.

An excellent use of taxpayer dollars!

Granted, this document was written in 2006, so the NYPD’s profiling priorities may have been improved in the interim six years. But I wonder. When such prominent New Yorkers as Michael Mukasey and Rudy Giuliani joined the MEK speaking tour (technically committing material support for terrorism under Holder v. HLP) did the NYPD start collecting intelligence on them, too?

In any case, the NYPD’s belated decision to profile a designated terrorist organization at the time when they were deemed not to pose a threat sure embodies the kind if idiotic decisions that appear to lie behind the CIA-on-the-Hudson’s intelligence program.