So if a terrorist group is hit by an attack are the attackers themselves necessarily terrorists?
CAMP ‘LIBERTY’, IRAQ – In all my years as an intelligence analyst focusing on Iran (two decades in all) there was one group I had no time for. No matter what you think of the ‘regime of the ayatollahs’ – and I did not think highly of it – you did not have to see any and all opposition to it as a good thing. There were many brave Iranians who rose up at some risk to their own well-being to protest the acts of that ‘theocratic’ government and I tip my hat to them.
Then there was the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MeK) , also known as the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI) or the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organisation (MKO).
This bunch has been around since the waning days of the former Shah, one of many organisations of greater or lesser size which fought for something different. The MeK is best described as a Marxist-like cult as it has revolved around the personages of the Rajavis, husband Massoud and wife Miryam, for decades.
The MeK engaged in practices that can only be called fetishes. They separated men and women in their training camps and had partisans engage in ‘confessions’ of their misdeeds. This person worship led to bizarre self immolations one year in several Western capitals upon receipt of news that the Rajavis had been killed.
On this day in 2016, anti-Iranian terrorist group Mujahedin-e-Khalq was attacked by possible pro-Iranian militias at its camp in Iraq; 40 were wounded.
This terrorist group – it was listed as such in Canada but ‘delisted’ by the Harper government in 2012 – was behind some catastrophic acts in Iran, especially in the early 1980s. That it was terrorist is not in question: it was a group with an ideology crafted in part around hero worship – in the form of the Rajavis – and did use violence to try to oust the governments of the ayatollahs. That, at least in my books, is terrorism.
So what if a terrorist group suffers a violent attack?
If it is at the hands of, oh I dunno a US drone, we call it counter terrorism. If the Taliban and Islamic State in Khorasan get into a dust-up in eastern Afghanistan we call it a good day (terrorists killing other terrorists).
On this day in 2016 at least 40 MeK members were wounded in a rocket attack on on of their ‘camps’, named ‘Camp Liberty’, near Baghdad’s airport (Saddam Hussain had long given haven to them). The bombardment caused major destruction in the camp, including fires and deep craters.
The group suspects that “Iraqi groups affiliated with the Iranian” government were responsible for the shelling.
So terrorists get whacked, perhaps, by terrorists affiliated with the very government the first terrorists are trying to kill. Is this then terrorism? Or comeuppance?