The government has been urged to launch a
fresh investigation into a proscribed Iranian dissident organisation
thought to have had close links with Saddam Hussein amid allegations
that its members continue to be active in the UK.
the Liberal Democrat MEP, said she was deeply concerned about reports
from Middle East sources exiled in the UK suggesting that activists of
the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organisation - known as the MEK or MKO - had been
attending rallies, raising funds, and distributing propaganda literature
in recent weeks.
The sources claim that the more commonly known MKO has set up an
account under the name of a printing company with a leading UK clearing
bank into which funds obtained from the sale of literature and other
activities are paid.
"My view is that this organisation is still operating in the UK and
that it has remained an integral part of Saddam's Iraq. That makes it
particularly dangerous in the current circumstances," said Lady
The allegations surprised some Whitehall insiders who believed that
the MKO had been largely inactive in Britain since steps were taken at
the end of the 1990s to close a charity that had been used allegedly as
a front for raising funds, and to disrupt a satellite TV station used
for propaganda purposes.
Despite claiming to seek the establishment of a democratic,
socialist, Islamic republic in Iran, the MKO was placed on a list of
banned organisations in December 2001 for its alleged links with
terrorism after reports that it had set up its main base in Iraq.
David Blunkett, home secretary, told MPs yesterday that the
government was aware of "only a very small number of people in the UK
who may be sympathetic to the Iraqi regime". People about whom the
government was concerned on security grounds were "being interviewed" by
police and MI5, the security service. "We will continue to keep under
close review any threats posed by them or others to our security," he
The Home Office said it remained a criminal offence "to belong to,
support or display support" for the MKO.