The recent suicide attacks outside a Mosque in the Iranian coastal city of Chahbahar left at least 33 worshippers dead and over 95 injured. The group “Jundullah” (“Soldiers of God”), has claimed responsibility. The implications of this bombing and this group are interesting and at the same time, very disturbing.
“Jundullah”, for all intents and purposes, is a violent terrorist organization in the same vein as Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Arising abruptly in 2003, this group has been responsible for a spate of bombings across south-eastern Iran, including attacks in the cities of Zaheden, Saravan and Pishin that have left dozens of people dead.
To put it lightly, “Jundullah” is an extremely suspicious group with shady origins. Iran has longed accused the United States, Israel, and other foreign elements of backing this terrorist organization, and not without good reason. Renowned journalist Seymour Hersh, ABC News, and the Daily Telegraph, have all revealed the support that the US government has given Jundullah and various other terror groups in Iran. It is no secret that the policy of the American and Israeli governments has long been to destabilize and to sow chaos in Iran by all means.
Just taking a glance at the facts on the ground reveals the true nature of this group. Its former leader and founder, a man by the name of Abdolmalek Rigi, has in true Al-Qaeda fashion: launched suicide attacks on innocents, carried out brutal assassinations, abducted and slaughtered dozens of policemen, and is personally responsible for the beheading of an Iranian soldier on camera.
However, the deeper you dig, the more interesting this story gets. It turns out Rigi was educated in the same Sunni Madrasah in Pakistan that many of the Taliban’s leaders have gone to.
And, interestingly enough, in April of 2007 he was even interviewed on the Persian service of Voice of America (the official broadcasting service of the United States’ government), and VOA audaciously identified him as “the leader of a popular resistance movement” and used the title of “Doctor” with his name. This is curious to say the least, given that Rigi is essentially Iran’s Bin-laden.
This story unravels in an even more bizarre fashion. In February of this year, Rigi was arrested in a plane going from Dubai to Kyrgystan. The plane he was on, Kyrgyzstan Airways flight QH454, was intercepted by Iranian jets and forced to land in Iranian territory. Iran’s intelligence minister Heydar Moslehi asserted that Rigi had been at a US base in Afghanistan 24 hours before his arrest and that he was going to the American Manas Air Base in Kyrgystan.
Moslehi also alleged that Rigi had met the then NATO secretary-general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, in Afghanistan in 2008, and had visited several European countries. He said agents had tracked Rigi’s movements for five months, calling his arrest “a great defeat for the US and UK.”
Rigi, was held for a few months before his execution in late June of this year. The Iranian government no doubt got valuable information from him, and for what it’s worth, confessions which were broadcast on Iranian state TV:
“The Americans said Iran was going its own way and they said our problem at the present is Iran… not al-Qaeda and not the Taliban, but the main problem is Iran. We don’t have a military plan against Iran. Attacking Iran is very difficult for us (the US). They [Americans] promised to help us and they said that they would co-operate with us, free our prisoners and would give us [Jundullah] military equipment, bombs, machine guns, and they would give us a base.”
It seems as if the facts here point to the US supporting and sponsoring an essential branch of Al-Qaeda in Iran. The irony here is lost to me.