MKO terrorists relocated from Iraq to Albania
Balkanspost: MKO terrorists relocated from Iraq to Albania
The remaining members of MKO terrorist group based in Iraq for decades left on Friday for resettlement in Albania following several attacks on their camps in recent years.
More than 280 members of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq Organization of Iran (MKO) living at Camp Liberty, next to Baghdad International Airport, departed from Iraq, the group said in a statement.
Under a deal brokered by the United States and the United Nations refugee agency, almost 2,000 terrorists have been resettled in nearly a dozen European countries since the start of 2016.
Until a few years ago, MKO was listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union.
The group sided with Saddam Hussein during Iraq’s war with Iran in the 1980s but fell out of favor with Baghdad after he was toppled by a U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
A rocket attack claimed by a Shia Muslim militia in October killed 23 MKO members.
The remaining MKO terrorists in Iraq, who seek the overthrow of Iran’s leadership established by the 1979 Islamic revolution, were disarmed after Saddam’s fall and later moved to Camp Liberty.
A small country in the Balkans, Albania was in no position to refuse the United States. Beginning 2013 MEK militants began the long journey to Albania where they still remain. There are now an estimated 3,000 MEK militants in Albania.
In 2013, the Obama Administration struck a deal with the government of Albania to offer asylum to about 250 members of Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK / MKO). Since 2013, the Obama Administration and the Albanian government have extended the agreement, consequently increasing the number of asylum seekers to somewhere in the range of 500-2,000 MEK members. During the summer of 2016, Tirana received the largest contingent of about 1,900 people- an operation managed by the UNHCR.
Although most local media portray the operation and Albania’s willingness to offer assistance to the dissident group as a humanitarian mission, little discussion has been made regarding the potential implications that MEK’s presence may have for Albania in the long run, and for religious balances that have already been thrown off by Wahabbi and Salafi presence among moderate Muslim communities in recent years.