Albania says it’s discovered an Iranian paramilitary network

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TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police said on Wednesday they have discovered an Iranian paramilitary network that allegedly planned attacks in Albania against exiled members of an Iranian group seeking to overthrow the government in Tehran.

Police chief Ardi Veliu said the foreign wing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard operated an “active terrorist cell” targeting Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, group members in Albania.

He did not say what the alleged plot involved, or whether any arrests were made.

A police statement alleged that two Iranian top security officials led the cell from Tehran. It also said the network was allegedly linked with organized crime groups in Turkey and used a former MEK member to collect information in Albania.

Veliu said another planned attack on the group in Albania by Iranian government agents was foiled in March during the Sultan Nevruz day festivities.

Last year Albania expelled Iran’s ambassador and another Iranian diplomat over alleged illegal activities threatening Albania’s security.

Outlawed in Iran, Mujahedin-e-Khalq was listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department until 2012. Some 2,500 of its members moved to Albania from Iraq in 2014.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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