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Iran gets its most wanted terrorist, Abdulmalik Rigi


This frame grab released February 23, 2010 from Iranian state TV shows Rigi under armed guard following his arrest. – Reuters

Iran gets its man
By Syed Saleem Shahzad

ISLAMABAD – Iran on Tuesday triumphed in the arrest of Abdulmalik Rigi, the 31-year-old leader of Jundallah (Soldiers of God), a Sunni insurgent group accused by Tehran of undertaking a string of terror attacks in the country that have claimed scores of lives over the past few years.

Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi described the capture of its most wanted fugitive as a “great defeat” for the United States, Britain and Israel, which it has accused of supporting the group. “We have clear documents proving that Rigi was in cooperation with American, Israeli and British intelligence services,” Moslehi was reported as saying.

However, while the capture of Rigi is a significant event, Jundallah, which has strong roots among ethnic Balochis in Pakistan, could emerge even stronger from this apparent setback as radical anti-Shi’ite members of Jundallah now linked to al-Qaeda are positioned to carry on without him.

Jundallah carries out its operations against the Iranian Shi’ite regime mostly in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Balochistan, where the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan meet, but its main base is in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. Jundallah has claimed it does not seek to break away from Iran to form a separate Balochistan autonomous region; rather, it says it is fighting on behalf of the Baloch population against discrimination and neglect.

Jundallah was expected to launch a new series of attacks against Iran this year. Security officials in Pakistan say that Pakistani intelligence played a substantial role in the arrest of Rigi, described as “a Baloch rebel turned al-Qaeda ally”. It is possible that Pakistan feared Jundallah might attack energy installations in Iran. This would have affected a much-delayed but important Pakistan-Iran pipeline project.

Abdolmalek-Rigi-001.jpg

The circumstances surrounding Rigi’s arrest are unclear. Iranian officials claim he was flying in a small plane from Pakistan to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates when Iranian authorities forced the plane to land in Iran. Baloch tribes in the Taftan area of Balochistan in Pakistan say Rigi was arrested inside Pakistan and then handed over to the Iranians. All that Iranian state television showed was a handcuffed Rigi being escorted by four masked commandos off a small aircraft.

Whatever the true story, the fact is that Pakistan appears to have abandoned one of its strategic assets against Iran. This follows closely on the arrest in Pakistan of several such assets among the Afghan Taliban.

Militants change course
When Islamabad signed onto the US’s “war on terror” after September 11, 2001, the fortunes of one of the most active and successful intelligence agencies in the region – Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) – were dramatically changed.

Before 9/11, the ISI orchestrated the insurgency in Indian-administered Kashmir that was bleeding India, in addition to backing the powerful D-Company organized crime syndicate of Dawood Ibrahim in Mumbai. The royalist regime of Nepal turned a blind eye to the ISI’s activities in that country, while the ISI and Bangladeshi intelligence cooperated to support southern Indian insurgencies and the network of the Harkatul Jihad-e-Islami (HUJI), a radical Muslim group. And by supporting the Taliban regime in Kabul, Afghanistan was virtually Pakistan’s fifth province, in effect run by an ISI brigadier.

With this network, the ISI was able to control proxy operations throughout Central Asian and against Iran. One of these networks was Rigi’s Baloch Liberation Organization.

The US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 that ousted the Taliban and subsequent US pressure on Pakistan forced the military and the ISI to significantly scale back their proxy operations. There was, though, a backlash.

The shunned ISI-sponsored militant outfits became more radical and they shifted their allegiance from the Pakistani establishment to al-Qaeda. The HUJI, for instance, began attacking Pakistani security forces. It remained active in India, although the aim was not to bleed India but to spark a war between India and Pakistan to neutralize Pakistan’s support for the US’s war in Afghanistan.

Rigi faced a similar situation. He was disconnected from Pakistan’s military establishment and his funding dried up. His response was to form Jundallah with the support of Pakistani anti-Shi’ite organizations, such as the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which provided recruits and money.

These links in turn led Rigi to al-Qaeda, which also provided him money and resources, allowing him to stage significant attacks in Iran last year. These included a bombing in Pisheen, southeast Iran, which killed 42 people, including five Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps commanders.

In return, al-Qaeda received Rigi’s help in moving its men back and forth from Pakistan through Iran to the Middle Easter and Turkey.

With the infusion from other militant groups and al-Qaeda, Jundallah’s membership is believed to have grown to about 2,000 activists, most of whom are based in Balochistan in Pakistan. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi members of Baloch origin mostly come from Karachi’s Lyari slum.

Jundallah’s top echelons are already dominated by the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, whose network spreads across Pakistan. With Rigi’s arrest, the group’s influence is likely to get even stronger, especially among members with ties to al-Qaeda.

This could see its headquarters move to Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal area, with Jundallah evolving from an ISI proxy into an ideologically motivated organization with a long reach.

Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online’s Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at saleem_shahzad2002@yahoo.com

Source: Asia Times

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  • Iran’s Intelligence Minister: Jundullah Leader is at U.S military base in Afghanistan before arrest
    23.02.2010 15:08

    Leader of the Sunni terrorist group Jundullah (Soldiers of Allah ) Abdolmalek Rigi was at U.S military base in Afghanistan a day before the arrest, Iran’s Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi said today quoted as saying by the Fars news agency.

    “We have a photo indicating staying of Rigi at the U.S. base for 24 hours before his arrest,” he said.

    He also added that the Americans gave Rigi an Afghan passport and identity card to be able to travel freely to Pakistan.

    “We also have information that Rigi met with the commander of NATO in Afghanistan in April 2008, ” Moslehi said.

    He noted that all details relating to the detention of Rigi, will be published later.

    Moslehi said that Iran has authentic documentation to prove the cooperation of Rigi with the USA, Great Britain and other Western countries.

    “These documents helped us to arrest Rigi,” he added.

    Iranian authorities have blamed Jundullah in mass killings, armed robberies, kidnappings, bombings and sabotage.

    Jundullah, led by Rigi, operates in the south-east of Iran, and belongs to the Sunni group of Islam. The movement organized bombings that killed soldiers and policemen.

    The last major terrorist attack was an explosion in south-east of Iran in October 2009. About 50 people were killed that time. Jundullah took the responsibility for this attack.

    http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/1643954.html

  • Pakistan helped Iran nab Jundallah chief
    Wednesday, 24 Feb, 2010

    TEHRAN: Pakistan played a role in helping Iran arrest its most wanted Jundallah chief Abdolmalek Rigi who was seized onboard a flight from Dubai, Islamabad’s ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Abbasi said on Wednesday.

    “I must tell you that such action cannot be carried out without the cooperation of Pakistan. I am happy that he has been arrested,” Abbasi told a media conference at Islamabad’s mission in Tehran.

    Without elaborating, Abbasi said details of Pakistan’s help to Iran in arresting Rigi would be revealed in “two or three days time.”

    Rigi, the head of shadowy rebel group Jundallah (Soldiers of God), was captured on a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday.

    An airport official from Bishkek told AFP on condition of anonymity on Tuesday that the passenger plane Rigi was travelling in was forced to land on Iranian territory by two Iranian jet bombers.

    Iran’s official Press TV, quoting an unidentified source speaking on condition of anonymity, added on its English-language website that Rigi was seized along with one of his deputies.

    It said they “were captured after their plane was brought down by security forces in an airport in the Iranian Persian Gulf city of Bandar Abbas.”

    Declaring Rigi’s arrest on Tuesday, Iran’s Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi told reporters that the militant had been at a US military base in Afghanistan just 24 hours before he was nabbed.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/03-pakistan-helped-iran-nab-jundallah-chief-ss-07

  • Rigi’s arrest a godsend for Pakistan
    By Baqir Sajjad Syed
    Wednesday, 24 Feb, 2010

    ISLAMABAD: Arrest of Jundallah leader Abdolmalek Rigi and his deputy Hamza during a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan marks a lucky break for Pakistan, which has been long accused by Iran of hosting the terror group’s ringleader, and offers an opportunity to ease the tense relations between Tehran and Islamabad.

    Iran, despite repeated denials by Islamabad, always alleged that the group operated from Pakistan’s soil and that its leader Rigi was based there and carried Pakistan’s national identity card by the name of Saeed Ahmed, son of Ghulam Haider.

    The militant leader had been educated at Karachi’s Binnori Town seminary, which was school to many of the Taliban leaders.

    Rigi is believed to have camouflaged his nationalist movement in a sectarian colour to curry favour with Pakistani sectarian groups.

    Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, who visited Pakistan in October following an attack on elite Revolutionary Guards in south-western Sistan-Balochistan province along Pakistan’s border, is said to have handed over proofs of Rigi’s travel to Pakistan.

    “We have documents that show (Abdolmalek) Rigi travels readily to Pakistan … we are here to ask Pakistan to hand over Rigi to Iran,” Mr Najjar had said in a statement.

    Although, the attack on Revolutionary Guard incensed the Iranians and evoked the strongest reaction, bilateral relations between the two countries had been on the slide ever since the group was formed in 2002 stepped up cross-border raids out of their havens along Pakistan-Iran border targeting Iranian security personnel and civilians.

    The Zahedan attack in 2007 on Revolutionary Guards was followed by emboldened attacks by the outlawed organisation, but unfortunately some of the operations that ensued involved the use of Pakistan’s soil, including the abduction of 21 Iranian drivers in 2007 from Chabahar, who were later freed by Pakistani forces.

    It is also believed that the group brought 16 Iranian policemen kidnapped from southeastern Iran to Pakistan and killed them.

    In view of enhanced Iranian concerns, Pakistan had offered Tehran with increased intelligence sharing and intensified border patrolling.

    Pakistan had been insisting that Rigi was not in Pakistan and Jundallah operated in ‘triangle region’ between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran making it harder to act against the group.

    The 1,000 km stretch between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan is a rough terrain making patrolling extremely difficult.
    Extradition of Abdolmalek Rigi’s brother Abdolhamid Rigi by Pakistani authorities to Iran in June 2008 was the highlight of cooperation between the two countries on the contentious issue of Jundallah.

    National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza, during her recent trip to Tehran, had disclosed at a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki that a number of Jundallah militants were arrested in Pakistan and extradited to Iran.

    US COOPERATION
    Iran had always alleged that Jundallah was financed by the US government to destabilise their country.

    Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed in another report in July 2008 that US Congressional leaders had secretly agreed to former president Bush’s $400 million funding request, which gave the US a free hand in arming and funding Iranian terrorist groups such as Jundallah militants.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/12-rigis-arrest-a-godsend-for-pakistan-420–bi-01

  • Iranian clams that Abdolmalek Rigi was at a US military base prior to being apprehended are absolutely false. These allegations fit the customary Iranian propaganda practice of making claims that are quite frankly, delusional reckless allegations of Western intrigue, such as involevment with organization like Jundallah. To treat such statements with credence is an insult to your readers. Claims about US supporting Jundullah group are just false accusations. Those making these claims should be pressed to provide evidence.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8529625.stm
    http://pakistanledger.com/2010/02/24/pakistan-helped-iran-capture-jundullah-chief-rigi/

    GySgt Nathaniel Garcia
    US Central Command – Digital Engagement Team
    http://www.centcom.mil

  • FODP gave Pakistan 2.6 billion dollars which a pretty big amount for the upcoming fiscal year. The real challenge is that this amount is utilized to uplift the economy of Pakistan these coming years. To provide transparency to this would be a task and also very important for the privatization projects. Many would keep an eye open as corruption is effecting the grant procedure for future.

  • Victory to the brave soldiers who are fighting this cancer of terrorism not only in Pakistan but all around the world. So I am really happy to see this news. The militants must be deafeated and we must speak against terrorism because if we don’t then they will try to dominate our lives with fear. We must speak with one voice against Taliban also so that a clear message is sent worldwide to the militants that we have no space for extremism.

  • Circumstantial evidence suggests fundamental adjustments in Pakistan’s view and approach towards the Taliban in Afghanistan. The arrest of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the second-in-command of Mullah Omar, and two shadow governors, Mullah Abdul Salam and Mullah Mir Muhammad, representing the Quetta Shura from Pakistan, are illustrative of this fact. As is the drone strike last week that killed one of ailing Jalaluddin Haqqani’s 13 sons, Muhammad Haqqani.

    There are other things happening. The controversies about US diplomats moving around in cars with fake number plates have disappeared, as has the hype about Blackwater. (To the best of my understanding neither proper number-plates have been issued nor the US diplomats have stopped driving cars.) With the US releasing a significant chunk of the money from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), and its training programme for the military-led Frontier Corps (FC) getting into faster gear, Pakistan’s relations with the US seem to have leapt to a new level altogether. But the merit of these changes, or their pitfalls, are not part of any debate at any forum in Pakistan. The government is mum, the opposition is distracted, and the media fixated on the judiciary’s many marvels. This has left the field of critical policy making to the generals and the bureaucrats, not known for sharing secrets with the nation, and not accountable to anyone.

    VIEW: Governing the governors of Pakistan —Syed Talat Hussain
    http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20102\25\story_25-2-2010_pg3_2

  • @CentcomDET GySgt Garcia, Thanks for your comments. Here are some other news items which are related to Rigi’s role in Iran and the possible CIA connections:

    By Craig Considine
    In 2007, President George W. Bush requested and received funding of $400 million to (illegally) work with Jundullah after he made a secret appeal to Congressional leaders. Seymour Hersh, reporting in the New Yorker, claimed that the appeal for funds ‘was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change’.Rigi had been involved in cross border skirmishes from Pakistan into Iran that had destroyed Shia mosques and killed members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Jundullah operates out of Baluchistan in Southeastern Pakistan.Of course, Washington denies that it supports Jundullah’s terrorism, calling the Iranian intelligence minister’s accusation of CIA links to Jundullah as ‘totally bogus’.Americans have seen through the smokescreen. John Pike, the head of the influential Global Security think tank in Washington, has said: ‘The activities of the ethnic groups have heated up over the last two years and it would be a scandal if that was not at least in part the result of CIA activity’.The intelligence minister, Moslehi, also said that Rigi had been at a US military base 24 hours before being captured and had carried an Afghan passport supplied by the CIA.Speaking to Al Jazeera, Mahjoob Zweiri from Qatar University, said: “He [Rigi] was accused of being responsible of operations which basically annoyed the government in Iran… The Iranians look at him as a tool in different hands, sometimes in American hands, sometimes in Pakistani hands, sometimes in Israeli hands.”Pakistani officials reportedly handed Rigi over to Iranian authorities. If true, this is probably terrifying the US intelligence services, as their ‘war on terror’, or as many like to call it ‘the war OF terror’, has taken a serious blow after its supposed ally Pakistan handed over the CIA’s favorite terrorist, who can now be interrogated for secrets by the enemy in Iran.And the war OF terror rages on…

    http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/5288666-iran-captures-abdolamalek-rigi-leader-of-usbacked-terrorist-group-jundullah

    An ABC News report in 2007 reported that the Jundullah terrorist group ‘has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials’ to destabilize the government in Iran.

    In another report in July, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed that US Congressional leaders secretly agreed to George W. Bush’s $400-million funding request last year for a major escalation of covert operations against Iran.

    Observers say that it is through such covert funding that the US arms and finances anti-Iran terrorist groups such as the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) and Jundullah.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=119318&sectionid=351020101

    Before and again soon after his arrest, Iranian authorities accused Rigi of having ties with the West. During the troubles in Northern Ireland, the IRA highlighted the ties between loyalist paramilitary forces and the British army and intelligence services with the slogan “Collusion is no illusion.” The same statement could well be applied to Jundollah’s relations with U.S. and Pakistani intelligence agencies.

    One indication is the relative freedom with which Jundollah has operated in the West. Organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah are unable to run radio stations and collect funds in Europe. The same restrictions have not been imposed on Jundollah, despite its reported links with Al Qaeda and its record of attacks inside Iran, some of which have targeted civilians.

    The quality of the organization’s intelligence and the deadly effectiveness of its attacks also suggest that it has received help from foreign intelligence agencies. American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh alleged during the Bush era that the CIA was supporting the organization, and there has been no sign that those ties were severed after Obama’s election.

    A stark indication was the twin suicide attack staged by the group on October 18, 2009. Jundollah operatives managed to assassinate Brigadier General Nourali Shoushtari, deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s ground forces, as well as four other senior commanders. It is very difficult to believe that an organization thought to have at most 3,000 supporters in Iran, centered in one of the country’s poorest regions, would be able to access the funds and intelligence gathering resources required for such an operation on its own. The group has pulled off several other spectacular assaults, including an attack on Ahmadinejad’s bodyguards.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2010/02/was-rigis-arrest-by-iran-staged.html

    State Department’s Iran democracy fund shrouded in secrecy
    By Jason Leopold
    Online Journal Contributing Writer

    Jul 11, 2008, 00:23

    Since 2006, Congress has poured tens of millions of dollars into a State Department program aimed at promoting regime change in Iran.

    The “Democracy Program” initiative has been shrouded in secrecy since its inception and many critics of the initiative (who are also outspoken critics of the Iranian government) believe that it is directly linked to a spate of arrests of dozens of Iranian dissidents suspected of working secretly with the Bush administration to topple the Iranian government.

    Up until last November, the program was operated by the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and overseen by David Denehy, the bureau’s senior adviser. The program was reportedly moved last November to the State Department’s Bureau of Iranian Affairs. Denehy did not return calls for comment.

    One of the influential figures who helped launch the democracy program was Elizabeth Cheney, the daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, who as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, headed the Iran-Syria Policy and Operations Group and, with the financial help of a prominent Republican foundation, the International Republican Institute, financed efforts of dozens of Iranian and Syrian exiles to promote a campaign to overthrow their government leaders. Elizabeth Cheney left the State Department last year to work on Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign.

    An aggressive effort by the State Department to fund regime change in Iran is ongoing, but the State Department has refused to provide lawmakers with specific details of the program other than to say that the core mission of the initiative is to assist “those inside Iran who desire basic civil liberties such as freedom of expression, greater rights for women, more open political process, and broader freedom of the press.”

    Congress has appropriated more than $120 million to fund the project. The State Department has spent most of the money on the U.S.-backed Radio Farda, Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe, and to broadcast Persian programs into Iran via VOA satellite television.

    Some funds, according to State Department sources familiar with how the program is run, have also been secretly funneled to exile Iranian organizations, and politically connected individuals in order to help the U.S. establish contacts with Iranian opposition groups.

    In June of 2007, the State Department said it would spend $16 million on democracy promotion projects that extends beyond broadcasting. However, to date the State Department has not released details on how it intends to obligate or expend those funds.

    A State Department spokesman declined to comment for this story.

    Carah Ong, an Iran Policy Analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, said in an interview that because the State Department operates the program under a veil of secrecy “we don’t know where the money is going.”

    “There is no reporting requirement to Congress,” Ong said. “There’s absolutely no accountability at all with this money.”

    http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_3481.shtml

  • @ Abdul Nishapuri

    The articles which you have provided make several allegations, none of
    which provide real evidence but more propaganda and conspiracy theories.

    • The first article by Craig Considine that you have provided
    lays out a number of allegations using Seymour Hersh’s reporting as a
    platform, which contains mostly hearsay. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/07/080707fa_fact_hersh
    • We find the only reference to funding Jundallah: “According to
    [retired CIA agent Robert] Baer and to press reports, the Jundallah is
    among the groups in Iran that are benefitting from U.S. support.” That’s
    it.
    So, when Considine says “In 2007, President George W. Bush requested and received funding of $400 million to (illegally) work with Jundullah after he made a secret appeal to Congressional leaders,” that’s simply misrepresenting a story that had no authoritative sourcing to begin with. This is not evidence — it is just another example of conspiracy theorists making allegations with no evidence to back them up, and expecting the other side to prove the negative. Considine closes the article with a quote:

    • “Pakistani officials reportedly handed Rigi over to Iranian
    authorities. [If true], this is probably terrifying the US intelligence
    services, as their ‘war on terror’, or as many like to call it ‘the war
    OF terror’, has taken a serious blow after its supposed ally Pakistan
    handed over the CIA’s favorite terrorist, who can now be interrogated
    for secrets by the enemy in Iran.”

    The “if true” statement indicates the tenuous nature of these allegations by the authors own admittance. The US has condemned Jundallah actions before (as reported in the Boston Globe) and does not support the actions of any violent extremist organizations.
    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2009/05/30/anti_iran_militia_faces_terrorist_designation/

    Regarding your second link, about the ABC story, it was denied in the strongest terms by the US and the Pakistani government, and the ABC report itself amounted to nothing more than allegations made by anonymous sources, with no evidence provided:
    http://www.warandpiece.com/blogdirs/006608.html

    Press TV is a state-owned media outlet and journalists must ultimately answer to Iran and adhere to the state agenda. Therefore, rhetoric which is anti-United States is common and usuallyunsubstantiated. I would refer anyone who would rely on Iranian State media as a credible journalistic organization to this rather embarrassing episode: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/10/in-an-iranian-image-a-missile-too-many/

    Regarding your third link, Hamas and Hezbollah can’t operate in the West because they have been designated as international terrorist organizations. Jundallah has not been designated as such, but to equate this with active support is simply a logic fallacy.

    With regard to your fourth link, the article discusses programs designed to promote democracy, something the US has never denied or shied away from, and the author makes the claim that it actually promotes “regime change” in Iran by supporting “dissidents.” First, supporting dissidents –“Iranian-American scholars, journalists, union leaders, student activists,” in the words of the author – would be a far cry from supporting an organization that uses violence — another logic fallacy. More importantly, this again is a mere allegation, as even the author says, “just the possibility that some Iranians may be linked to American led efforts to overthrow the Iranian government, or have accepted money from the Bush administration, led to numerous arrests last year.”

    As stated in my first post, the US had no involvement in Rigi’s arrest nor do we support violent extremists operations. The rest is up to you to decide.

    GySgt Nathaniel Garcia
    US Central Command – Digital Engagement Team
    http://www.centcom.mil

  • Jundullah and Abdulmalik Rigi was the Creation of US CIA and during Musharraf’s Tenure, read the rest as to how both were being used to destabilize Iran to create Iran-Pak Tension to create hurdle in Iran-Pak-India Gas Pipeline….details….

    The Iran Plans by Seymour M. Hersh The Iran Plans
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/06/iran-plans-by-seymour-m-hersh.html

    The Coming Wars by Seymour M. Hersh – What the Pentagon can now do in secret.
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/06/coming-wars-by-seymour-m-hersh.html

  • @CentcomDET
    GySgt Garcia: I sincerely appreciate your detailed feedback providing your perspective on this matter.

    The truth, however, remains that:

    1. Hamas and Hezbollah can’t operate in the West because they have been designated as international terrorist organizations. Jundallah has not been designated as a terrorist organization in the West despite its violent and terrorist operations.

    2. Since 2006, Congress has poured tens of millions of dollars into a State Department program aimed at promoting regime change in Iran. There is no reporting requirement to Congress. There’s absolutely no accountability at all with this money.

    Perhaps in order to improve trust with Iran, the USA may think about either abandoning the ‘export ‘western style’ democracy to Iran’ project, or at least be more transparent about where and how that money is being spent. The USA and other Western countries may also think about classifying Jundallah as a terrorist outfit.

  • @CentcomDET Furthermore, as far as the credibility of Press TV is concerned, I hope you will be fair enough to apply same standards on all media outlets including those in the West.

    For example, what do you think about this story:

    http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/iranprop.php?q=WRHARTICLES/iranprop.phpare

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2009/06/what_really_happened.html

    Numerous similar stories are available about the apparently credible media in the West. Let us be fair in our assessment (or cherry picking) of news reports from various media outlets.

  • @Aamir Mughal
    Again, the articles that you point to are more of the same unsubstantiated reports. They are filled with unnamed sources that have never been verified. Most of the supposed interviews in the article are hearsay. This is not evidence or fact. Not to mention the links provided do not point to US involvement in supposedly creating Iran-Pak tension. It is clear in the article who was responsible for the violent acts. It should also be made clear that we do not support terrorism in Iran.
    While we may have deep disagreements with Iranian policies — and those concerns are shared by the international community, this does not mean it would be wise to support any violent extremist organizations, especially when those organizations may be associated with groups we are actively fighting against this includes the TTP in Pakistan.

    GySgt Nathaniel Garcia
    US Central Command – Digital Engagement Team
    http://www.centcom.mil

  • @Abdul Nishapuri
    I believe your use of the word “truth” is inaccurate. I believe this is more like your theory. Hamas and Hezbollah can’t operate in the west because they have been designated as international organizations is just a fallacy. It is naive to think that a designation by the US alone keeps these groups from operating in any location. We work hard to keep these groups from operating in the west. As for Jundallah, the US has considered putting them in the same classification, however to make our list the organization must threaten the security of US citizens or interests of the US. The link provided demonstrated the possibility of making that designation happen.
    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2009/05/30/anti_iran_militia_faces_terrorist_designation/

    While we may have deep disagreements with Iranian policies — and those concerns are shared by the international community, this does not mean it would be wise to support any violent extremist organizations, especially when those organizations may be associated with groups we are actively fighting against this includes the TTP in Pakistan. There is no doubt that the capture of a violent extremist is a positive event but that’s obvious. The more pressing issue is clearing up the false allegations against the US.

    GySgt Nathaniel Garcia
    US Central Command – Digital Engagement Team
    http://www.centcom.mil

  • CentcomDET :
    @Aamir Mughal
    Again, the articles that you point to are more of the same unsubstantiated reports. They are filled with unnamed sources that have never been verified. Most of the supposed interviews in the article are hearsay. This is not evidence or fact. Not to mention the links provided do not point to US involvement in supposedly creating Iran-Pak tension. It is clear in the article who was responsible for the violent acts. It should also be made clear that we do not support terrorism in Iran.
    While we may have deep disagreements with Iranian policies — and those concerns are shared by the international community, this does not mean it would be wise to support any violent extremist organizations, especially when those organizations may be associated with groups we are actively fighting against this includes the TTP in Pakistan.
    GySgt Nathaniel Garcia
    US Central Command – Digital Engagement Team
    http://www.centcom.mil

    I have quoted your own “Seymour Hersh” whose reports are always quoted when Pakistan is to be hounded for Nukes:) By the way Is Abu Gharib also a Hearsay??? Or if we go more deeper in the past then what about An Atrocity Is Uncovered: November 1969 The My Lai Massacre by Seymour Hersh

  • CentcomDET :
    @Aamir Mughal
    Again, the articles that you point to are more of the same unsubstantiated reports. They are filled with unnamed sources that have never been verified. Most of the supposed interviews in the article are hearsay. This is not evidence or fact. Not to mention the links provided do not point to US involvement in supposedly creating Iran-Pak tension. It is clear in the article who was responsible for the violent acts. It should also be made clear that we do not support terrorism in Iran.
    While we may have deep disagreements with Iranian policies — and those concerns are shared by the international community, this does not mean it would be wise to support any violent extremist organizations, especially when those organizations may be associated with groups we are actively fighting against this includes the TTP in Pakistan.
    GySgt Nathaniel Garcia
    US Central Command – Digital Engagement Team
    http://www.centcom.mil

    Should I quote US Declassified Documents to support my views that USA is behind every mess all over the place. [Let me make it more clear we on this Forum are not Islamists, Mullahs or whatever coming out of woodwork. Most of us on this Forum want working system in Pakistan in the shape of Democracy and USA didn’t allow that too happen, recent example is naked and brazen support to General Zia 1977 – 1988 and General Musharraf 1999 – 2008 [still USA support him] here is an eye opener on US Tinkering in Iran:

    Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright and CIA Operation Ajax in Iran
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/05/hillary-clinton-madeleine-albright-and.html

    Latest: Target Iran: Scott Ritter, Seymour M. Hersh & Amy Goodman
    http://chagataikhan.blogspot.com/2009/06/target-iran-scott-ritter-seymour-m.html

  • CentcomDET :
    @Aamir Mughal
    Again, the articles that you point to are more of the same unsubstantiated reports. They are filled with unnamed sources that have never been verified. Most of the supposed interviews in the article are hearsay. This is not evidence or fact. Not to mention the links provided do not point to US involvement in supposedly creating Iran-Pak tension. It is clear in the article who was responsible for the violent acts. It should also be made clear that we do not support terrorism in Iran.
    While we may have deep disagreements with Iranian policies — and those concerns are shared by the international community, this does not mean it would be wise to support any violent extremist organizations, especially when those organizations may be associated with groups we are actively fighting against this includes the TTP in Pakistan.
    GySgt Nathaniel Garcia
    US Central Command – Digital Engagement Team
    http://www.centcom.mil

    Do watch the video of Former UN Weapon Inspector Scott Ritter above with Seymour Hersh. I accept that Muslims are backward [or any other word you choose] but we still have eyes and ears.

  • @CentcomDET
    GySgt Garcia:

    “Hamas and Hezbollah can’t operate in the west because they have been designated as international organizations.”

    The above are not my words (or theory). These are your words which you used in comment#9 above. February 25th, 2010 at 17:53 #9

    Perhaps instead of being ethnocentric, we may be fair in our application of rules about violent and terrorist organisations irrespective of the fact that such organisations pose threat to the USA, Pakistan or Iran.

    Given that the USA is a country which is (or claims to be) an international champion of democracy and human rights, it must try very hard to uphold and implement principles of transparency and fair play. I hope this is not asking for too much. Or is it?

  • Nadra in trouble
    Dawn Editorial
    05 Mar, 2010

    Nadra, which figures quite often in the media, is once again making headlines. This time the charges against the data registration authority are serious.

    A Pakistani CNIC was recovered from the possession of the Jundullah chief, Abdolmalek Rigi, who was recently arrested by the Iranian authorities. Mr Rigi, a proclaimed terrorist, is not a Pakistani national. This gives the lie to Nadra’s claim of having a foolproof security and verification system in place. Initially the interior ministry claimed that the card was a forged one. But after the SMS verification system installed by Nadra and available to the public confirmed that the card was original, the government has been trying to shrug off the matter by giving explanations that are not really credible. It is to be expected that such incidents do little to enhance the people’s faith in the database authority.

    The CNIC is a basic requirement for every formal transaction undertaken by a Pakistani in the country, and doubts are sown about the efficiency of the authority issuing the card when lapses become evident. True, it is difficult to point fingers at a particular organisation in a country where forging currency and manufacturing fake documents are common. This is all the more reason for government bodies issuing documents to exercise extra caution.

    Nadra must ensure that its staff is trained to verify as far as possible the identity details of the person applying for a card. Carelessness or an unethical approach on the part of Nadra employees can lead to the serious misuse of documents by criminal elements. By now, the loopholes in data verification must be obvious to senior Nadra officials and attempts should be made to remove these and strengthen verification procedures by revising the checklist of the documents required. It would not be a bad idea to get the FIA to do some random checking of the documents submitted by applicants. Nadra’s task would be made infinitely easier if other government departments were to ensure that the documents and certificates being issued by them contain the correct details of the person applying for them.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/editorial/14-nadra-in-trouble-530-zj-08

  • Here is an admission that the USA is responsible for the current chaos in Pakistan through their ‘collaboration’ with an extremist military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq.

    US helped ISI create extremists: Petraeus

    Sunday, March 07, 2010
    WASHINGTON: Noting that Pakistan has made significant progress in its fight against extremism that threatens its existence, a top US military general has refused the certificate of “American satisfaction” to Islamabad in its war against terrorism.

    “I wouldn’t allow you to put words in my mouth,” General David Petraeus, Commander of the US Central Command told Charlie Rose of the PBS in an interview when he asked: “So the bottom line is you are satisfied with the Pakistani effort and the Pakistani cooperation and the Pakistani effort to wipe out the Taliban in Pakistan?”

    Rose posed such a question to Petraeus, when the American general was praising Pakistan for its recent success against the Taliban and arrest of its top leaders inside the country. “What I would say is that Pakistan has made significant progress in its fight against extremists threatening its existence. And there is a growing recognition that the other extremist elements, also in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, have a symbiotic relationship with the tribal areas threatening them, and over time they are dealing with them as well,” Petraeus said.

    “But, again, look, we have a chequered past with Pakistan, and we need to be up front about it and recognise it. We’ve walked away from that country three different times, including after Charlie Wilson’s war after we established the Mujahideen,” he said.

    “Our money, Saudi money, others joined together, helped the ISI, indeed, form these elements which then went in and threw the Soviets out of Afghanistan with our weaponry. And then we left and they were holding the bag,” he said, acknowledging that it was the US which helped ISI to form these extremist elements. General Petraeus, however, acknowledged that the interests of Pakistan and the US differ in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan and the US has the same interest in Afghanistan in not allowing al-Qaeda to re-establish safe havens. “But it also has an interest that is somewhat different than ours, and that is their strategic depth and always has been for a country that’s very narrow and has its historic enemy to its east. So again, we just have to appreciate this.

    “This is not unique, of course, just to Afghanistan and Pakistan and throughout the world. We have interests, they have interests. What we want to do is find the conversion interest, understand where they are divergent and try to make progress together,” Petraeus said.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=27658

  • Pakistan proved right in Regi case

    Thursday, February 25, 2010
    By By Amir Mir

    LAHORE: The arrest of the Jundallah chief Abdolmalek Regi by Iranian authorities hardly 24 hours after he had left an American military base in Afghanistan has vindicated Islamabad’s October 2009 stance that the anti-Shia renegade leader was no more hiding in Pakistan and was now operating from Afghanistan.

    Regi, being Iran’s most wanted terrorist leader, had claimed responsibility for several major terrorist attacks carried out in Iran in the recent past, including the October 18 suicide bombing in Tehran. He was finally arrested along with his deputy after Iranian fighter planes intercepted a commercial flight over Persian Gulf which was travelling from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan and forced it to make an emergency landing at an unknown location. Informed circles in Islamabad say the most vital tip about the travel plans of Regi leading to his arrest actually came from Pakistan.

    The Iranians have already recovered from him his Afghan passport, which according to Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi, had been supplied to him by the United States. The recovery of Afghan passport has also refuted the October 2009 Iranian claim that Abdolmalek Regi carries a Pakistani national identity card by the name of Saeed Ahmed, son of Ghulam Haider. Regi comes from the Regi tribe of the Baloch in Iran.

    Jundallah, or “Army of God”, which is also known in Iran as the Regi group is a rebel anti-Shia Sunni militant group of Iranian Baloch, who claim to represent their minority’s rights in Iran’s southeast province of Sistan-Balochistan. The dedication of the Regi brothers to the cause of Jundallah can be gauged from the fact that one of them — Abdolgafoor Regi – opted to sacrifice him by executing a suicide car bombing on December 28, 2008, against the headquarters of Iran’s joint police and anti-narcotics unit in the Saravan city. Before the arrest of the 30-year-old Regi, his hideout was believed to be cross-border, in the Pakistani Balochistan. In the wake of the October 18, 2009 suicide bombing in Tehran, Islamabad came under tremendous pressure from Tehran for the arrest and extradition of Regi. Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on March 20, 2009, the ambassador of Iran to Pakistan Mashallah Shakeri accused Pakistan of allowing its soil to be used against Iran and demanding concrete steps to contain its activities. Pakistan consequently maintained that its security agencies were making frantic efforts to dismantle the Jundallah network from Balochistan, adding Regi has already moved to Afghanistan after the June 15, 2008 extradition of his younger brother, Abdolhamid Regi (from Pakistan to Iran), who is now being tried by an Iranian court on terrorism charges.

    Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi has described Regi’s capture as a great defeat for the United States, adding Washington had been backing him and he was in a US military base in Afghanistan just 24 hours before his capture. The Iranian minister said Regi had contacts with American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Israeli foreign intelligence service Mossad, and he had even met Nato military chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in Afghanistan in April 2008.

    According to well-informed diplomatic circles in Islamabad, Iran suspects the involvement of CIA in the October 18, 2009 suicide attack in Tehran and other such terrorist actions on its soil. They pointed out hardly two weeks after Regi’s April 2008 meeting with the Nato military chief in Afghanistan, the Jundallah had carried out a deadly suicide attack inside the Amirul Momenin Mosque in Zahedan, in Sistan-Balochistan province of Iran on May 28, 2009, killing 25 people.

    In a bid to establish his American link, diplomatic circles further reminded that on April 2, 2007, Abdolmalek Regi appeared on the Persian service of Voice of America, the official broadcasting service of the American government, which identified Regi as the leader of the “popular Iranian resistance movement”. Although the stated objectives of Jundallah have been to protect Baloch rights in Iran, its birth was extensively viewed by Tehran as Washington’s direct hands-on entry to Iranian politics. Abdulhamid Regi, the arrested brother of Jundallah chief, admitted during interrogation by an Iranian court in Zahedan in July 2009 that Jundallah was trained and financed by the US. Washington has rejected these allegations as absurd.

    At the same time, however, there are those in the Iranian security establishment who consider Jundallah as a Taliban-linked group which is getting financial and ideological support directly from Saudi Arabia in coalition with certain Pakistani hard-line anti-Shia groups like the Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=226111