Become a SOFREP Member

Subscribe now to get news and insider perspective from the former special operations and intelligence professionals that mainstream news media can’t access.

April 27, 2012

Area 18: Secret Training Site for American Sponsored Terrorist Group, MEK


LAS VEGAS — The contractors who run the Nevada National Security Site, formerly the Nevada Test Site, have been scrambling to find new missions to keep the facility alive. And with its wide open spaces and secure borders, it’s the perfect place for covert training.

But how would taxpayers feel about using public dollars to train foreign insurgents, including some who are officially considered to be terrorists?

It’s never really clear how these things can turn out, and sometimes such operations can backfire. For example, in the mid-80s, America trained and armed Afghan rebels to fight against the Russian army. Those same Afghans later joined the Taliban and have used the training we gave them to kill American soldiers.

Nationally known journalist Seymour Hersh reported this month that the U.S. government paid to train Iranian provocateurs, presumably to cause trouble for the current government of Iran. But it turns out the government considers these guys to be terrorists.

The test site has emerged in recent years as a top training facility for all sorts of classified programs, including special ops teams and anti-terror units, and it appears foreign operatives are part of the mix.

“The first units of the MEK to show up in Nevada in late 04, early 05, and it was months and months of training,” investigative reporter Seymour Hersh said.

The Pulitzer Prize winning reporter broke the story in early April, alleging that a rabidly anti-Iranian faction known as the Mujahedeen e-Khalq, or MEK, was at Area 12 on the test site for months of special forces training. Area 12 has been used many times as a base for sensitive operations, including training for the agents who guard American nuclear bombs. It has barracks and facilities to house scores of troops, or in this case, insurgents.

According to Hersh, the training focused on high-tech communications tactics, the kind that involves spy drones, as well as explosives training and enhanced interrogation techniques, which might explain why Nevada saw so many flights of so-called rendition planes during the same period.

Read the rest from the I-Team at KLAS-TV.

About the Author

is an eight year Army Special Operations veteran who served as a Sniper and Team Leader in 3rd Ranger Battalion and as a Senior Weapons Sergeant on a Military Free Fall team in 5th Special Forces Group. Having left the military in 2010, he graduated from Columbia with a BA in political science. Murphy is the author of Reflexive Fire, Target Deck, Direct Action, and numerous non-fiction articles about Weapons, Tactics, Special Operations, Terrorism, and Counter-Terrorism. He has appeared in documentaries, national television, and syndicated radio.

To comment on this article please join/login. Here's a sample of the comments on this post.

  • WyldDarkHeart

    @LauraWalkerKC THanks!

  • katgirl231

    I will be able to get some good frame grabs from the news video and will post them when I have some time.

  • katgirl231

     @KineticFury I would like to read it - thank you for the recommendation.  He had to not only have courage, but a tremendous love for his people and what his country could have been like to leave a place and potential job in CA and go back to a post revolutionary Iran, survive the threat and stress for years and be able to come back.  Amazing. 

  • KineticFury

     @katgirl231 you should read "A Time to Betray" by "Reza Kahlili" (alias). He's Iranian who was raised in Iran, went to school in Cali, and went back during the revolution, and a friend landed him a computer job with the revolutionary guard - after a while he couldn't take what he saw going on there so he made a visit to the states to contact the CIA - he did, and kept sending information to them for years til he moved back to the West.

  • katgirl231

     @ArcticWarrior  @ACS You read my mind with what I was thinking about.  The Shah was a dictator but I do think he was trying to bring Iran into the 20th century with a lot of resistance.