Jundallah leader Abdul Malik Rigi, after his capture by Iranian intelligence.
Just three days after Iran captured Abdul Malik Rigi, the government is claiming that the US supports Jundallah, Rigi’s terror group, which conducts suicide and other attacks in southeastern Iran. Here is what Rigi said during an interrogation, according to the Iranian-government owned and operated PressTV:
“After Obama was elected, the Americans contacted us and they met me in Pakistan.They met us after clashes with my group around March 17 in (the southeastern city of) Zahedan, and he (the US operative) said that Americans had requested a meeting.”
“I said we didn’t have any time for a meeting and if we do help them they should promise to give us aid. They said they would cooperate with us and will give me military equipment, arms and machine guns. They also promised to give us a base along the border with Afghanistan next to Iran.”
“They asked to meet me and we said where should we meet you and he said in Dubai. We sent someone to Dubai and we told a person to ask a place for myself in Afghanistan from the area near the operations and they complied that they would sort out the problem for us and they will find Mr. Rigi a base and guarantee his own security in Afghanistan or in any of the countries adjacent to Iran so that he can carry on his operations.”
There is more at the link. To summarize the account, Rigi was traveling to the US base in Manas in Kyrgyzstan to seal the deal; the US is supporting Jundallah and other groups because it cannot defeat Iran militarily; Iran is the prime target in the Middle East, and not al Qaeda or the Taliban; etc.
But there is a major problem with Abdul Malik’s story. His brother, Abdul Hamid Rigi, was captured last year by Iran. And according to statements made by Abdul Hamid Rigi at the time , the US has been meeting with Jundallah since 2005, and the latter accepted support then.
Abdul Hamid Rigi said that in 2005 he himself had met with the Americans once in Islamabad, where they had asked about the activities Jundallah was carrying out in Iran, their numbers, their positions and their requests.
After the meeting, he added, Malik had called the Americans to only contact him not any other ring members.
Abdul Hamid said that from 2005 onwards Malik had held several “confidential” meeting with FBI and CIA agents in Karachi and Islamabad.
He added that during one of the meetings in the Pakistani capital, two female US agents had offered weapons, safe bases in Afghanistan, and professional trainers, while inquiring about how many people the group could gather for military training.
“We said we could bring two to three thousand, but we can’t fund them,” said Abdul Hamid Rigi, adding that they had finally accepted the US proposal.
So which is it? Did the US begin supporting Jundallah in 2005, as Abdul Hamid “said”? Or only after President Obama took office, as has brother Abdul Malik has now “said”? Perhaps the Iranian intelligence official should have checked with what Abdul Hamid supposedly said just last year before formulating his brother’s statements, so the two could be consistent. And here I thought the Iranians are always playing chess while the US plays checkers.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.