TerroristMKO facing a dead end, say former MKO members

July 26, 2007 - 0:0

TEHRAN (IRNA) -- Two former members of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), Ebrahim Khodabandeh and Jamil Bassam, said that the organization has reached the dead end, and the countdown has started for its decline.

Khodabandeh and Bassam, both 54, became members of the MKO in 1983 and quit the terrorist organization four years ago. Talking to IRNA, they uncovered issues about the terrorist group which are ""interesting and surprising"". The interview with the two former MKO members started with the ... circumstances ""surrounding an accident"". The question was: ""Why the terrorist MKO has remained silent vis-a-vis the annual statement of the U.S. State Department, after more than two months."" Khodabandeh, who was active at the MKO international relations section for some 20 years, said that the main reason behind this silence was that the statement refers to the MKO as a ""Cult of Personality"". He believes that this title, as well as keeping the MKO in the list of ""Proscribed Terrorist Groups"" by the European Union which recently has been announced, would internationally weaken the position of the organization. Although the U.S. State Department has put the MKO in the list of the International Terrorist Groups since 1984, it has underlined the organization being a ""cult"" this year. Khodabandeh, who has made broad studies on cultic organizations and cult leaders, said that according to definitions presented by psychiatrists and sociologists around the world, cultic organizations are those whose members are under mental coercion and mind indoctrination. According to the law in European countries, unauthorized imposing of systematic manipulation on individuals is an offence which is subject to legal prosecution, he added. Based on definitions, those who are under thought reform processes in such cults would carry out tasks on the demand of the cult leader they would have never done in normal life and natural situations, he noted. Meanwhile Jamil Bassam, who was active in the MKO publications section in several European countries for years, outlined another important issue. According to him, after the MKO was put on the list of terrorist groups by the U.S. State Department as well as the EU, the organization made great efforts, through American and European Courts, to be dropped from the list. Regarding the issue, Bassam believes that the U.S. State Department has adopted a ""tougher"" position on MKO by classifying it a cult as well as putting it in the list of terrorist organizations. The U.S. State department has come to such conclusion by receiving information from the massive number of former members of the organization both in Iraq and in other countries, he added. The statement has reiterated that the MKO, in addition to its terrorist record, has displayed cultic characteristics, too. The State Department Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism on April 30 released the list of designated terrorist organizations. Once again Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) continues to occupy the status it has been designated since 1997