Through secret flights into the US, the terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq (also known as The People’s Muhjahedin of Iran) was trained at a US Department of Energy site in Nevada. The M.E.K. has been on the US terrorist watch list for over a decade now, and was implicated in the recent sabotage and bombing of Iranian nuclear facilities as well as the assassination of an Iranian physicist.
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.” (A spokesman for J.S.O.C. said that “U.S. Special Operations Forces were neither aware of nor involved in the training of M.E.K. members.”)
So it comes to training terrorists to fight the war on terror. Ironic.
Democracy Now! has a great interview with Hersh: