Terror group vows to kill ex-member
Former Iranian terrorist says he was attacked and family threatened after Ottawa meeting


Aaron Sands
The Ottawa Citizen
Sunday, March 24, 2002
 

An Ottawa father says he fears for the lives of his wife and their two young children after members of the Mujahedeen Khalq, an Iraq-based Iranian terrorist organization controlled by Saddam Hussein, attacked him at an Iranian community meeting, then vowed to kill him and his family.

In an interview with the Citizen yesterday, Amir Kordrostami, a 46-year-old former Mujahedeen Khalq commander who moved to Ottawa and defected from the terrorist group six years ago, said the attack at a Heron Road community centre has left him too scared to leave home, let alone report the incident to police.

They told me: "Think about your two little boys before you call the police ... We will kill you some day soon. You will see. We will kill you."

"I used to be one of them," Mr. Kordrostami said last night. "And I know they are not joking. They will threaten you once or twice. And then they will kill you. These are very dangerous people. It's not a game. I don't think the police here fully understand that."

The Mujahedeen Khalq is a guerrilla organization dedicated to overthrowing the Iranian government. Its worldwide terror network includes two downtown Ottawa businesses and an Ottawa taxi driver, according to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

Mr. Kordrostami said he and a friend attended an Iranian leader's speech at the south-end community centre on March 8. When the speech was done, around 10 p.m., close to a dozen reputed supporters of the Mujahedeen Khalq surrounded Mr. Kordrostami and his friend, he said, and accused him of being a spy for the Iranian regime.

One man, an engineer known as a Mujahedeen Khalq leader in Ottawa, threw punches before witnesses stepped in, Mr. Kordrostami said.

In November last year, a Citizen report revealed how the Mujahedeen Khalq is harboring Saddam Hussein's arsenal of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons at their bases throughout Iraq, while successfully lobbying for support of North American politicians. That report was met with a barrage of threats from the group and its supporters. Last month, the faction's revered leader, Massoud Rajavi, cited the Citizen report in issuing a decree to silence the group's critics worldwide.

"The Mujahedeen Khalq has nobody on their side anymore," Mr. Kordrostami said, "and they are desperate. They always carry out their threats, eventually."

During his 17 years with the Mujahedeen Khalq, Mr. Kordrostami said, he witnessed the operation of death squads, teams of trained assassins, male and female, deployed to carry out political killings in Iran and throughout the world.

In Canada and the U.S., the group's activities have been widespread and "well organized" for many years, according to the U.S. State Department. Two days before Christmas 1999, Mujahedeen Khalq commander Mahnaz Samadi was arrested in an apartment near the U.S. Embassy on Sussex Drive. She was later deported.