Reporters on the Job

MEDIA SAVVY: Prewar journeys to Saddam Hussein's Iraq made Scott Peterson aware of the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MKO) bases there, and of their close ties to Baghdad. Iraq was host to other "terrorist" groups, the Palestinian Abu Nidal among them (page 10).

But few were as active as the MKO. "Their representative in Iraq used to come to the press center and hang out, trying to entice journalists to come visit their camps," Scott says.

He never made the visit. But those who did got the full treatment: women's units marching (wearing head scarves, as in Iran), and row after row of military hardware aimed at toppling Iran's ruling mullahs.

"Even today, the MKO asserts that it operated independently of Saddam," Scott says. "But armed opposition groups in Iraq - even if they did target Iraq's arch-enemy, Tehran - never emerged out of thin air."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

Iranian quake relief

How to Help: Many aid agencies, including the ones listed, are accepting cash donations to assist the relief effort in Bam, Iran (see story).

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.www.ifrc.org In the US, 1-800-HELPNOW.

World Vision www.worldvision.org In the US: 1-888-56-CHILD.

Mercy Corps International www.mercycorps.org In the US: 1-503-796-6827

UNICEF www.supportunicef.org. In the US: 1800-367-5437.

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) www.doctorswithoutborders.org In the US: 1-888-392-0392

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