Jundallah kills senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders


abdulmalik-rigi.jpg

The Emir of Jundallah, Abdul Malik Baluch, who is also known as Abdul Malik Rigi.

A Sunni resistance movement took credit for killing two senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps commanders and 27 other officers in a suicide attack in southeastern Iran.

Jundallah, or the Soldiers of God, detonated a car bomb at a meeting of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commanders and Sunni and Shia tribal leaders in Pishin in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.

Brigadier General Nour Ali Shoushtari, the deputy commander for the IRGC's ground forces, and Brigadier Rajab Ali Mohammadzadeh, the IRGC's provincial commander for Sistan-Baluchistan, were killed in the attack, according to Press TV. In a press release on its website, Jundallah, also claimed the commanders of Iranshahr Corps, Sarbaz Corps, the Amir al Mo'menin Brigade were also killed in the attack.

Twenty-eight military officers and civilians were reported to have been wounded in the strike.

Another attack against an IRGC convoy was reported in Pishin; casualties were not disclosed, however.

Jundallah is a Baluchi insurgent group that operates in Pakistan's Baluchistan provinces as well as in Sistan-Baluchistan in Iran. The group was founded in 2003 by Emir Abdul Malik Baluch, who is also known as Abdul Malik Rigi. Rigi currently leads Jundallah, which he renamed the Peoples Resistant Movement of Iran.

Jundallah has conducted numerous attacks against the IRGC and the Iranian government, including the 2005 ambush on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's motorcade in Sistan-Baluchistan; the 2006 murder of 22 civilians in Tasooki; the 2007 ambush on an IRGC convoy that killed 18 officers in Zahedan; the 2008 kidnapping and execution of 16 Iranian policemen; the 2009 ambush that killed 12 policemen in Saravan; and the 2009 bombing at a mosque in Zahedan that killed 25 people.

The Iranian government accuses the United States, Britain, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan of covertly backing Jundallah as part of an effort to destabilize the regime.

There is another group called Jundallah, which is based in Pakistan. This group has links with al Qaeda. Dr. Arshad Waheed, an al Qaeda commander who was killed in a US airstrike in South Waziristan in March 2008, had close links to Ata-ur-Rehman, the former leader of Jundallah who was detained by Pakistani security forces. Iran deliberately conflates the two groups and accuses the US of backing the al Qaeda-allied group.



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READER COMMENTS: "Jundallah kills senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders"

Posted by kp at October 18, 2009 2:20 PM ET:

Another schadenfreude attack ... I can't decide if I should cheer for the removal of the IRG high level staff or just see it as another part of the Global Sunni Jihad.


Though I see there are two Jundallah groups (what didn't one get the trade mark?) and this not an AQAM.


There is some background on Wikipedia on it and it's leader.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jundallah


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdolmalek_Rigi


Perhaps tagging with Baloch might be useful too as this more about Baloch separatism than anything else.

Posted by Alex at October 18, 2009 2:54 PM ET:

I can't remember the source, but there is a proverb saying "When your enemies are fighting, stand aside."

Posted by Meremortal at October 18, 2009 5:23 PM ET:

Is there any truth to Iran's claim (next to last paragraph of article) re covert supporters of Jundallah, including the USA?

Posted by Neo at October 18, 2009 7:17 PM ET:

The United States don't have a dog in this fight. Supporting Sunni separatists is not a path to regime change in Iran.

Iran wants to play both sides of the fence. They support Sunni radicals outside their country where they find them useful, but at the same time know that like minded Sunni radicals would just as well kill Shiites.

Posted by jayc at October 18, 2009 7:30 PM ET:

Meremortal,
The Israelis are fond of saying, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." It's about time the Persians started getting a stick in their eye, they have received a pass for so long for a serious whipping. I believe the US has owed them big time since '79.

Posted by conycatcher at October 18, 2009 7:41 PM ET:

There was a report on ABC news (US) a few years ago that the US was supporting Jundallah, right?

Posted by KaneKaizer at October 18, 2009 9:52 PM ET:

Forgive me for not caring about the Revolutionary Guards killed, they probably orchestrated attacks on US forces in Iraq and possibly Afghanistan. Jundallah is still a terrorist organization however you look at it, but so are the Revolutionary Guards.

Posted by Scott at October 18, 2009 11:55 PM ET:

While I'm not shedding any tears over loss of any Revolutionary Guards, this event seems like it might be another example of the myth of the Pakistani state.

Posted by Todd at October 19, 2009 12:09 AM ET:

Here is the ABC News story from a couple years back.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/04/abc_news_exclus.html

Posted by X. at October 19, 2009 1:52 AM ET:

It wasn't only IRGC commanders who were killed. So were civilians, making this a terrorist attack.

Posted by ankhfnkhonsu at October 19, 2009 3:28 AM ET:

An attack with such significant impact at this point in time when the regime is under the most pressure since its inception can not be any accident. I would venture to guess that things are even worse in Iran than most analysts would have thought.

Viva la resistance.

Posted by Solomon2 at October 19, 2009 8:36 AM ET:

The Iranian gov't was too quick to assign blame not to raise suspicion. For if they knew who the culprit was almost immediately, why couldn't they have stopped the attack from happening in the first place? The Revolutionary Guard has been criticized since the foul election and resultant protests for taking over the country from the mullahs; maybe this was some sort of stroke on their part.

Posted by Neo at October 19, 2009 9:49 AM ET:

That ABC news exclusive is interesting, but it's very thin stuff. The closest thing to an acknowledgement is in this paragraph: "A senior U.S. government official said groups such as Jundullah have been helpful in tracking al Qaeda figures and that it was appropriate for the U.S. to deal with such groups in that context." There is also a direct denial of CIA action. (which in some quarters is as good of proof of guilt as is ever needed)

The article gives a hint at where funding does come from: "Tribal sources tell ABC News that money for Jundullah is funneled to its youthful leader, Abd el Malik Regi, through Iranian exiles who have connections with European and Gulf states." This hardly requires CIA involvement. I'm sure the CIA still has few contacts but much of the "Gulf state" funding pipeline is very hostile to American interests. I doubt that the Pakistani government would any significant funding and support to any Baluchistani movement. At best they might be convinced to look the other way as long as they didn't have problems from this group.

Unfortunately, the ABC article is also terrible journalism. The article mixed a little sourced information, with a pile of unsourced information, than it mix in the views of third party sources that don't have any real information.

As I first stated, this is very thin stuff to allege a "Secret War Against Iran". I have also read other articles that indicate the Bush administration was interested in contacting opposition organizations within Iran including armed resistance groups. There have also been indications that the idea never really got off the ground level, because of obvious problems associating with such groups. Until I see a little better information, that is where I will leave it.

Posted by David M at October 19, 2009 9:57 AM ET:

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 10/19/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Posted by Spooky at October 19, 2009 3:24 PM ET:

That Iran is blaming Pakistan for this is worrisome to say the least. If Ahmadinajad is insane enough to actually cross into Pakistan, as has been suggested by one of the Iranian MPs, the Pak military would be forced to move in units to defend the otherwise un-watched border. Considering the corps they have in Balochistan already is doing all it can to keep the Baloch insurgency there in check, I could see this getting ugly.

Posted by Sam Hill at October 19, 2009 5:44 PM ET:

This was a terrorist attack. Iran want to play both sides of the fence.