Jundallah, a Sunni terrorist group, claimed it carried out a suicide attack today that targeted Shia worshipers at Imam Hussein Mosque in Chabahar in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province.
Forty-one people, including women and children, were reported killed in the suicide attack, and more than 100 were wounded. The suicide bomber detonated inside the mosque as worshipers were commemorating the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.
Iranian officials said that two suicide bombers attempted to carry out the attack but that one was captured before he could detonate his vest.
Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi accused the US and other intelligence services of directing the attack.
“The equipment and backup of the terrorists behind the attack indicate that these individuals were supported by advanced regional and US intelligence services,” Abdollahi told the Iranian press.
Jundallah, or the Soldiers of God, claimed it carried out the attack to avenge the execution of the group’s leader, Abdul Malik Rigi, who was also known as Emir Abdul Malik Baluch. Rigi was detained on Feb. 23, 2010, reportedly while on a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan, and was executed on June 20.
“This operation was in revenge for the execution of the leader of the movement Abdulmalik and other martyrs of Jundullah who were savagely hanged,” Jundallah stated. The terror group claimed it targeted members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Jundallah has carried out a series of high-profile attacks against Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps. The largest attack took place on Oct. 18, 2009, when a suicide bomber 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. In a press release on its website, Jundallah claimed that the commanders of Iranshahr Corps, Sarbaz Corps, and the Amir al Mo’menin Brigade were also killed in the attack.
Also, last summer, a pair of Jundallah suicide bombers killed 20 people and wounded more than 100 in a suicide attack that targeted Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps at a mosque in the southeastern city of Zahedan.
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. Jundallah operates in Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
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.