Wednesday, March 21, 2012


This week, The US Treasury published its annual Terrorist Asset Report*, which lists the value of the assets seized and blocked by the United States that are the property of designated terrorist organisations. The report contains a chart entitled Blocked Funds in the United States Relating to SDGT, SDT and FTO Programmes.  The leading entries appear as follows:

Al-Qaeda                   $ 12,991,696
Hamas                        $   2,445,535
Hizballah                    $   4,882,843
Mujahedin-E- Khalq  $      120, 488

What's wrong  with this Picture ? Why haven't America's law enforcement agencies and regulators seized,  and blocked, more than an extremely small amount of  funds belonging to the People's Mujahedin of Iran, also known as the MEK, PMOI and MKO ? The organisation has been around since before the revolution against the Shah. Given the prominent Americans, many of whom are former senior government and military officials who served at the ministerial or general officer level, is there a political reason why we have not aggressively gone after the MEKs funds in the United States during the past thirty-five years ?

The MEK remains a designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO), notwithstanding its campaign** to have those sanctions deleted by the Department of State.  It is known to have targeted wealthy Iranian expats living in the US in its fundraising; so why hasn't this money ben seized when it was deposited in American financial institutions ?

I have a feeling that there's more here than meets the eye. Frankly, I do not but this "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" business, because the MEK, which appears to have its own Cult of Personality amongst the leadership, has: (1) admittedly a poor human rights record, (2) little or no support within Iran, due its taking Iraq's side in the Iran-Iraq war, and (4) has assassinations of both Americans and Iranians in its past.

Perhaps someone in the US Government might want to weight in here; where's the MEK money raised in the US, and why have we not seized it ?
*Terrorist Assets Report 2011
**MEK asks Appeals Court to compel US to revoke Terrorist Designation, 1 March, 2012.

For Further reading on Kenneth Rijock's Financial Crime blog:
MEK to be Resettled outside of Iraq,  26 December, 2011.
Investigation of MEK Supporters Reported,  13 March, 2012.
MEK sends Open Letter requesting Delisting as Foreign Terrorist Organisation, 11 October, 2011.

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