View Full Version : Covert action in Iran

04-04-2007, 12:50 PM
ABC News is reporting that Pakistani and U.S. government officials are confirming USG backing for Jundallah (http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/04/abc_news_exclus.html), a Baluchi Sunni insurgent group striking at Iranian targets in southeastern Iran.

The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.

It has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials.

U.S. officials say the U.S. relationship with Jundullah is arranged so that the U.S. provides no funding to the group, which would require an official presidential order or "finding" as well as congressional oversight.

Jundullah has produced its own videos showing Iranian soldiers and border guards it says it has captured and brought back to Pakistan.

The leader, Regi, claims to have personally executed some of the Iranians.

"He used to fight with the Taliban. He's part drug smuggler, part Taliban, part Sunni activist," said Alexis Debat, a senior fellow on counterterrorism at the Nixon Center and an ABC News consultant who recently met with Pakistani officials and tribal members.

"Regi is essentially commanding a force of several hundred guerrilla fighters that stage attacks across the border into Iran on Iranian military officers, Iranian intelligence officers, kidnapping them, executing them on camera," Debat said.

Most recently, Jundullah took credit for an attack in February that killed at least 11 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard riding on a bus in the Iranian city of Zahedan.

Full video report at Nightline's (http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/)site. The vid includes video footage of captured Iranian soldiers and RG, including execution of a claimed RG officer, and has many more details, including Iran paying $1m+ ransoms for release of their border guards.

04-05-2007, 04:43 AM
I don't think this is a good idea....:confused: It reminds me somewhat of the Los Pepes situation.....

04-05-2007, 12:44 PM
Regi the islamic Che Gueverra? I can't buy into the notion of him being a Sunni activist, more a border bandit but if he is killing Iranian forces, I can't cuss his name either. I think Ross/Isham are fishing more for an audience and camp followers. Leave it to the Iranians to claim a taliban/drug runner sort of guy needed tradecraft upgrading in order to make a cross-border hit, and of course said training was done at a secret camp in Pakistan. One of the respondents to the article said in affect that 'they shouldn't be supported because they aren't playing by the rules of war'. No wonder the GWOT is a transgenerational reality.

04-05-2007, 12:55 PM
Actually it is American & Pakistani government officials claiming this.

We've backed SOBs before, Regi far from the worst of them. But the fact that he is a former Talib and present-day Sunni extremist seems extraordinarily short-sighted even for an Administration which has put SCIRI at the head of the Iraqi government.

04-05-2007, 02:36 PM
(backwoods anlysis and tactics) More than anything it's a reminder to Iran of what is on their flank, sort of like a soft kidney punch when boxers are clinched - no real damage can be done but it is felt. When it opens up with Iran, it's not going to take much to send all kinds of Afghanis with combat experience raiding into Iran all up and down that border. These lads won't need any training time in 'secret camps' either. Some cash and marching orders from Clan leaders and it's shoot and loot time across the border in mullah land.

04-05-2007, 02:44 PM
I doubt we'd have much success with that particular strategy. First off, the greatest enemies of Iran in Afghanistan are the Pashtun Sunnis who are more consumed right now with killing Brits and Americans. Western Afghanistan, OTOH, is increasingly Iranian-allied territory. They've been (http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=nation_world&id=4806162)there for quite awhile (http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2007-02/Copy-of-IranAfganistan2007-02-14-voa6.cfm).

04-06-2007, 01:59 AM
Naww, think of it in terms of the Crow scouting/fighting for Custer against the Lakota and Crook using Apache against Apache and besides, if any of the lads were a bit shy about crossing over, a few crews of hillbillies could be rounded up to go over and do some mentoring...;)

Rex Brynen
06-29-2008, 11:54 PM
Seymour M. Hersh, PREPARING THE BATTLEFIELD: The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/07/080707fa_fact_hersh?currentPage=1), The New Yorker, 29 June 2008.

Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons program.

06-30-2008, 02:31 AM
Military and civilian leaders in the Pentagon share the White House’s concern about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but there is disagreement about whether a military strike is the right solution. Some Pentagon officials believe, as they have let Congress and the media know, that bombing Iran is not a viable response to the nuclear-proliferation issue, and that more diplomacy is necessary.

I used to be familiar with a map of Kharg Island 30 years ago. I think, and I stress, I think we have been planning something with Iran for some time now. I would imagine that the current administration has dusted off a lot of old plans in recent years. "A military strike" would not be a solution. There is still room for more diplomacy but I don't think Israel is going to wait on diplomacy. I'm afraid an American "preemptive military strike" translates to the use of less personnel and a lot more lethality than we I have seen in about 63 years. Now, a military war against Iran is a different story.

Diplomacy may have a couple of open doors with two fronts on Iran being developed as we write. Iraq and Afghanistan. May first question would be has the area known as Iran ever been successfully attacked from both regions at the same time? We just happen to be the latest big new tribe in the entire area. I'm sure there is some history.

06-30-2008, 02:35 AM
Wasn't that oil harbour given up due to war damage in the 80's and never taken back into service?

06-30-2008, 03:02 AM
Wasn't that oil harbour given up due to war damage in the 80's and never taken back into service?

Don't know. I moved on and haven't thought of the place until today.

02-19-2009, 11:51 PM
Summary of publicly disclosed information + historical analysis:


02-24-2009, 12:49 AM
In 1980 the Israeli's killed Yahia El Meshad, the Egyptian born head of Iraq's nuke program, in a hotel room in Paris. Then they threw the French Prostitute whose customer was Meshad, into oncoming traffic a few weeks later. Just like in a bad movie.

03-18-2009, 02:19 AM
A tantalizing hint. http://samsonblinded.org/news/israel-decided-on-attacking-iran-9443 Israel's military intelligence chief already announced at a Cabinet meeting that Iran has solved technical barriers to building a nuclear weapon. Certainly the Obama administration is not going to take any real action despite what he said during the campaign.

George L. Singleton
03-18-2009, 04:02 AM
I support Israel, am proud of UN Resolution 181 from 1947, and saw and knew two Jewish refugees from concentration camps when I was age 6 in 1945 when these Jewish refugees moved in with their Jewish relatives on our street in Montgomery, Alabama. These refugees still had shaven heads and of course visible tatoes on their forearms.

A very good friend of mine was saved at age 13 from a German holding prison for recently found & captured Jews in Belgium...and told me years ago the Germans were rushing to kill them all in this camp when the war ended and the Germans "ran away" leaving some Jews still alive, including my then 13 year old Belgium Jewish friend, now a naturalized US citizen who did four years in the USAF and is now retired from US Civil Service.

This says I stand by Israel and UN Resolution 181, which he Arabs had every opportunity and still have every opportunity to accept giving them a free state of Palestine, to peacefully coexist side by side with Israel.

What is "interesting" is this topic about Iran vs. Israel, is that Iranians are not ethnic Arabs and neither are most Lebanese ethnic Arabs, either.

It is my view and opinion that since both our Holy Bible and the Muslims Holy Quaran dwell on a new Jerusalem that all focus on the facts in both books to understand that a or the "New Jerusalem" is a spiritual, in the context of a new Heavens and a new earth, to be created place, my view, think of the New Jerusalem as under New York Citu "air rights" instead of a literaly on the ground piece of earth as we know it today. This is where, my view, the theological discussions should focus instead of stupidly on blood and guts, which never fixes anything.

Rex Brynen
03-18-2009, 02:09 PM
What is "interesting" is this topic about Iran vs. Israel, is that Iranians are not ethnic Arabs and neither are most Lebanese ethnic Arabs, either.

About 3% of Iranians are ethnically Arab--but, it should also be noted, only 51% are ethnically Persian. It is a very heterogeneous country (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html).

In Lebanon, by contrast, 95% of the population are ethnically Arab (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/le.html) (even if the occasional Maronite claims to be Phoenician). The only major group that aren't are the Armenians, who nonetheless consider themselves fully Lebanese (despite Amin Juayyil's disastrous comments to the contrary following his 2007 Metn by-election defeat).

03-18-2009, 11:47 PM
Recent NY Times story on a possible newfound focus in (Pakistani) Baluchistan...

WASHINGTON — President Obama and his national security advisers are considering expanding the American covert war in Pakistan far beyond the unruly tribal areas to strike at a different center of Taliban power in Baluchistan...
- from March 17, 2009 NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/18/world/asia/18terror.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper&pagewanted=print)Old reports on the area from Jamestown.org...

This extreme southeastern Iranian province is awash with lethal arms and illicit drugs. The more extreme eastern fringes of Iranian Baluchistan are effectively lawless land, and thus attractive to both religious militants and Baluch nationalists. The illicit trade of “drugs for arms” between Iranian and Pakistani Baluchistan goes on with impunity.
...Just as Pakistani Baluchs complain of “Punjabization” of their province, the Iranian Baluchs speak of “Persianization” of theirs. On the other hand, Pakistani Sunni militants, many of whom are suspected of having links with al-Qaeda, see in Iranian Baluchs a Sunni minority persecuted by the Shiite majority. Consequently, they are keen to exploit this constituency in their sectarian war with the Islamic Republic.
- from July 7, 2005, Jamestown.org (http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=496)I wonder if this could be used as leverage against Iran (for example, I would assume that our strikes would occur in tandem with some on-the-ground target acquisition/confirmation, which would also include cooperation with and developing ties with the Baloch). Or, perhaps, this could be a cooperative effort, given common interests in the region (Iran's Baloch insurgency and our adversaries in the same region).

03-18-2009, 11:55 PM
I guess it's not a secret anymore.

George L. Singleton
03-19-2009, 01:09 PM

Thanks for correcting me regarding Lebanon, but my comments about Iran being non-Arab are on targe. Iran is 96% non-Arab, or thereabouts.

Below is the CIA World Book info on Lebanon...and our many Lebanese Christians here in our largest city in Alabama do not claim to be Arabs but follow the Phoenician line of thought as ancient Christian cultures and churches here and in Lebanon.

Lebanese Ethnic groups:

LEBANON; Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%
note: many Christian Lebanese do not identify themselves as Arab but rather as descendents of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians

LEBANESE Religions:

Muslim 59.7% (Shia, Sunni, Druze, Isma'ilite, Alawite or Nusayri), Christian 39% (Maronite Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Melkite Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Chaldean, Assyrian, Copt, Protestant), other 1.3%
note: 17 religious sects recognized

Both Hizballah and Hamas are Shi'a Muslim terrorist organizations. Iran of course is majority Shi'a by a mile...but Iranains are not ethnic Arabs.

Similarly, Pakistan's population is majority non-Arab, and is or used to be about 50/50 Shi'a and Sunni religious complexion. Since 1947 when Pakistan as a new nation voted against the creation of Israel...Pakistan as a nation has tended to be more moderate and former President Musharraf was very moderate regarding Israel's existance.

Rex Brynen
03-21-2009, 01:19 AM
Certainly some Lebanese (usually Maronite) Christians claim not to be Arab— as they speak their Arabic (native) tongue, eat shawarma, etc. :D

Both Hizballah and Hamas are Shi'a Muslim terrorist organizations.

Hamas is Sunni--there are hardly any Palestinian Shi'ites.

Tom Odom
03-21-2009, 05:34 AM
Certainly some Lebanese (usually Maronite) Christians claim not to be Arab— as they speak their Arabic (native) tongue, eat shawarma, etc. :D

Hamas is Sunni--there are hardly any Palestinian Shi'ites.

Agreed. The Phoenician tag is as much a poltiical/sectarian statement as it is anything else.

Arab today is a linguistic term most commonly meaning those who use Arabic. Trying to use it an ethnic group is really a non-starter. Where that really gets silly is in places like Sudan or North Africa. In Sudan the many of "Arabs" looked much like the southerners.

Correct on the Palestinian and Shia Islam; that was one of the reasons the Shia in Lebanon were at first happy to see the IDF kick out the PLO.

Pass the schwarma please :D


William F. Owen
03-21-2009, 08:31 AM
Certainly some Lebanese (usually Maronite) Christians claim not to be Arab— as they speak their Arabic (native) tongue, eat shawarma, etc. :D

Quite a few of us eat Shwarma. I live on it. Not sure how happy I am with this new "Turkey" Shwarma, but apparently less fattening!

A lot of the Lebanese Christians I knew in London seemed to speak mostly French, and considered those of their community who did not, to be less sophisticated than themselves.

...but it's an interesting point taken about the linguistic snobbery in the Middle East. It's a minefield.

George L. Singleton
03-21-2009, 01:26 PM
Certainly some Lebanese (usually Maronite) Christians claim not to be Arab— as they speak their Arabic (native) tongue, eat shawarma, etc. :D

Hamas is Sunni--there are hardly any Palestinian Shi'ites.

Rex, thanks for correcting me, as I make dumb typos. Of course Hamas is Sunni, so again we have the Shi'a and Sunni split which keeps the PLO from having a more homogeneous government, but serves the most anti-Israel lobby interests of fighting the recognition of Israel and accepting in modern times what was originally offered in UN Resolution 181.

Here is a snippet about Hamas I find interesting:

Where does Hamas’s money come from?

Since its electoral victory to lead the PA, Hamas has had public funds at its disposal, though it does not have access to the foreign-aid dollars traditionally provided by the United States and European Union to the PA. Historically, much of Hamas's funding came from Palestinian expatriates and private donors in Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Persian Gulf states. Iran also provides significant support, which some diplomats say could amount to $20 million to $30 million per year. In addition, some Muslim charities in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe funnel money into Hamas-backed social service groups. In December 2001, the Bush administration seized the assets of the Holy Land Foundation, the largest Muslim charity in the United States, on suspicions it was funding Hamas.

Be interested to read some of your opinions on how the Shi'a vs. Sunni dicotomy works in Gaza and the West Bank and related areas in the effort to get a two state, Israel and Palestine settlement worked out.

Tom Odom
03-22-2009, 06:17 AM

Unliess Rex or Wilf knows differently I have never really found any significant population of Shia Palestinians. Don't see any Sunni-Shia role in Gaza.

Shia-Sunni had nothing to do with PLO fragmentation. That was driven more by Pan-Arab, Communist, Nationalist agendas as well as good old fashon personality-driven conflicts.



William F. Owen
03-22-2009, 02:40 PM
Unliess Rex or Wilf knows differently I have never really found any significant population of Shia Palestinians. Don't see any Sunni-Shia role in Gaza.

Concur. I've never even heard it raised as an issue within the West Bank or Gaza.
It's just one of the characteristics of Hezbollah's make-up, - and that's only relevant to how Hezbollah behave in their own turf.

10-18-2009, 12:51 PM
From Uskowi on Iran...

IRGC Commanders Killed in Terrorist Attack - Updated (http://uskowioniran.blogspot.com/2009/10/irgc-commanders-killed-in-terrorist.html)

A suicide bomber attack killed at least 20 people Sunday, including five senior officers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC پاسدارانانقلاب), in southeastern Iran.

IRNA news agency reported the dead included the deputy commander of the IRGC ground force, Brigadier General Noor Ali Shushtari, as well as IRGC provincial commander for Sistan-Baluchistan and the Amir al-Momenin unit, Brigadier General Rajab Ali Mohammad-Zadeh. Also killed were the IRGC commanders of Iranshahr, Sarbaz and the Pishin region. Dozens of additional casualties were also reported.

[Much more at the link.]Also now being reported in the Wall Street Journal...

Suicide Bomb Kills Revolutionary Guard Commanders (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125585233185992507.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLETopSto ries#printMode)

Two blasts in Iran's restive southeast on Sunday killed more than a dozen people, including at least two senior Revolutionary Guard Corps officers, and injured as many as 60 others, according to state media.

[More at the link]See also, related threads on Jundallah...
Secret War Against Iran (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=2533&highlight=jundallah)
A Semi-Involved Question Regarding the Recent Bombing in Shiraz, Iran… (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=5247&highlight=jundallah)

To my surprise, they are blaming it on the British, rather than us or Israel.

On Oct 14, IRGC Deputy Commander gave a public speech (http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=108624&sectionid=351020101), saying "Iran is Invincible". Not so invincible now, I guess.

Tom Odom
10-18-2009, 02:04 PM
I will now offer a nano second of silent respect...:wry:

Nanoo, Nanoo...:D


William F. Owen
10-18-2009, 03:50 PM
To my surprise, they are blaming it on the British, rather than us or Israel.

Eyh!... give them time. Eventually they'll get around to blaming both my teams! :rolleyes:

10-18-2009, 06:03 PM
May I make a bold conjecture that, like most bold conjectures, may well be full of crap?

Press TV's elaborate and unusually crazy allegation that the Brits are giving air support to the Taliban (witness the s**tness here (http://presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=108923&sectionid=351020403)) looks like it has something to do with the Jundallah, allegedly supported by the British.


10-24-2009, 02:59 PM
A comment on Iran that provides some scene-setting by a UK-based US analyst: http://www.acus.org/new_atlanticist/iranian-regime-under-three-front-attack


10-24-2009, 03:28 PM
I did a country risk assessment on Iran two years ago in which I highlighted three significant political risks (in addition to the myraid of economic and financial ones). The threat of sanctions for moving ahead with their nuclear program and failing to remedy human rights abuses (largely against the Bahai), the threat posed by the several possible insurgencies whose grievances stem from inequality and persecution (Kurds, Baloch, groups in the NE, and maybe even a terrorist threat from outsider Sunni extremists like Ansar al-Islam), and the huge demographic youth bulge that is composed largely of youngsters who are frustrated with the ruling elite, with their politicized brand of religion, and already surprised the Mullahs at the polls about ten years ago and may do so again.

I think that jibes with the article. However, those are only the three major political risks. I think their economic and financial challenges are just as problematic. Their economy is heavily dependent upon petroleum exports, their unemployment is high despite the relatively high educational level of their youths, and their currency is basically monopoly money with fancier graphics.

10-24-2009, 05:17 PM

No worries I only posted the article as it might help in an area I have no expertise.

I did find - thanks to jihadica.com - a hat tip for a Norwegian report on the Jundallah, pub. July 2009: http://www.mil.no/multimedia/archive/00128/FFI-rapport_2009-01_128873a.pdf


10-24-2009, 06:04 PM
Eyh!... give them time. Eventually they'll get around to blaming both my teams! :rolleyes:

Iranians of all stripes (left, liberal, moderate Muslim, radical Muslim) tend to have Britain on or near the top of their enemies list. Its decades since Britain had an empire that could seriously screw with them, but logic is not always paramount in these matters. ANYTHING bad happens in Iran, expect Britain to be listed in the bad guy list....

02-23-2010, 01:13 PM
RFE/RL, 23 Feb 10: Iran Accuses West Of Supporting Detained Sunni Rebel Leader (http://www.rferl.org/content/Iran_Arrests_Sunni_Militant_Group_Leader/1965567.html)

Iranian officials have accused Western countries (http://www.alwatandaily.com/resources/pdf/517/5.pdf) of supporting the leader of the Jundallah Sunni Muslim rebel group, whose arrest was announced earlier today.

Iran described the capture of its most wanted fugitive as a "great defeat" for the United States (http://www.politico.com/pdf/PPM136_microsoft_word_-_boozallenpesiahousejundallahanalysis__2_.pdf) and Britain.

Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi made the comment after Iranian state media announced that security forces had arrested Abdulmalik Rigi, whose group has been waging a low-level insurgency (http://www.mcu.usmc.mil/Middle%20East%20Studies%20Documents/Information%20Papers/20091023%20High%20level%20IRGC%20commanders%20targ eted%20in%20bombings%20in%20Sistan-Balochistan%20Province%20of%20Iran.pdf) in southeastern Iran (http://www.thebaluch.com/documents/A%20New%20Phase%20of%20Resistance%20and%20Insurgen cy%20in%20Iranian%20Baluchistan_excerpt.pdf).....

02-23-2010, 10:09 PM
Some more apparent details on the arrest, after an airliner forced to land whilst crossing Iranian airspace:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/7300767/Iran-arrests-most-wanted-man-after-police-board-civilian-flight.html

Curious the Dubai aspect.

02-28-2010, 02:45 PM
From an Israeli think tank:
At a press conference called by Intelligence Minister Haidar Moslehi, he reported that the operation to arrest Rigi had been carried out without the cooperation of foreign intelligence services; however, the Iranian Diplomacy website reported that the Pakistani intelligence service had taken part in it as well. Rigi’s trial is scheduled to begin soon and will be open to public (various news agencies, February 23).


05-25-2010, 07:10 PM
From today's Financial Times, Separatist rebel organiser executed in Iran (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2cfd63cc-6758-11df-a932-00144feab49a.html)...

A senior commander of the largest armed opposition group within Iran’s borders was hanged on Monday for his involvement in bomb attacks and the killing of government officials.

Abdolhamid Rigi, a senior member of Jundollah, a militant group responsible for numerous violent attacks, was executed in prison in the south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.
Abdolhamid Rigi was arrested two years ago for allegedly smuggling drugs and killing at least 20 Iranians. But the regime had declined to sentence him for fear of stirring more violence by Jundollah and retaliation by his brother.

From the Baloch Hal, Iran executes Jundullah leader Rigi's brother (http://thebalochhal.com/2010/05/iran-executes-jundullah-leader-rigis-brother/)

Abdulhamid Rigi allegedly told Iranian interrogators he was to meet in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, with a high-ranking U.S. official to discuss new attacks on Iranian territory, Fars reported.
The United States has denied any connection to the Rigi brothers and their group.

And from PressTV, Jundallah terrorist executed in Iran (http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=127535&sectionid=351020101)

Earlier confessions made by Abdolhamid confirmed reports that Washington aided and abetted the armed terrorist group in carrying out its terror activities in Iran.

In a 2009 interview with Press TV, Abdol-hamid revealed that since 2005, his brother had repeatedly met with US agents in the Pakistani cities of Islamabad and Karachi and maintained communication with them through a common link.

His brother, Abdolmalek Rigi, the captured ring leader of the Jundallah terrorist group, is also charged with carrying out assassinations and bomb attacks.

Abdolmalek has also spoken of links with suspected Israeli or US agents who had offered him money and given him a list of people to assassinate in the Iranian capital of Tehran

11-05-2010, 07:50 PM
Designation of Jundallah Global Terrorist (http://cryptome.org/0002/dos110410.htm), Federal Register: November 4, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 213).