Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Iran arrests Jundallah ringleader, Rigi
Abdolmalek Rigi, ringleader of the Pakistan-based terrorist group of Jundallah, was captured in an operation on Tuesday.
Reports say Rigi was captured on a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan.
Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar told reporters that Rigi was arrested outside the country as he was preparing for a new act of sabotage.
The minister added that he was consequently transferred to Iran.
Zahedan Prosecutor Mohammad Marzieh also told Fars news agency that the notorious terrorist was arrested early Tuesday in a pre-planned operation.
"Rigi's arrest was eventually made through a series of security measures taken for a long period of time. He is now in Iran and will be handed to security and judicial officials," he said.
The Jundallah group has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks in Iran. The group has carried out mass murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, acts of sabotage and bombings. They have targeted civilians and government officials, as well as all ranks of Iran's military.
In their latest attack, which occurred on October 18, more than 40 Iranians — among them 15 members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), including top commanders, in addition to several tribal elders — lost their lives when Jundallah terrorists carried out an operation in the border region of Pishin, located in Iran's southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.
Citing US and Pakistani intelligence sources, the news group of an American televison network, ABC, reported in 2007 that the terrorist group "has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials" to destabilize the government of Iran.
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed in another report in July 2008 that US Congressional leaders had secretly agreed to former President George W. Bush's USD 400 million funding request, which gave the US a free hand in arming and funding terrorist groups such as Jundallah militants.
The Pakistan-based terrorist organization denies having any link to Washington but Rigi's brother, arrested earlier and now in Iran's custody, confirmed in an interview with Press TV that the Jundallah leader had, in fact, established links with the US administration.
Abdolhamid revealed that a go-between, named Amanollh-Khan Rigi, put the terrorist group in connect with the US administration, which had promised the anti-Iran terrorist group a safe haven in Pakistan.
"His name is Amanollah-Khan Rigi. He is my father's cousin. He was a royalist during the Shah's regime," Abdulhamid told Press TV.
"After the  Revolution in Iran, he left the country via Pakistan and sought asylum in the United States."
Abdulhamid said the Americans had asked Amanollah-Khan to forge a link between the US and Jundallah. "The Americans asked him [Amanollah-Khan] to introduce them to [Abdolmalek] Rigi in Pakistan and that's how link was established."
He also claimed to have visited the US Embassy in Pakistan to seek more US cooperation with the terrorist group.
"The most important issue that I raised was Jundallah's security in Pakistan," he said.
"I told the Americans that we needed support from the media, newspapers, radios and satellite channels to get our message across to the Baluch around the world," he said.
According to Abdolhamid, the Pakistani government was well aware of the whereabouts of the Jundallah terror group.
"It is impossible to believe that Pakistan is unaware of Jundallah's presence on its soil," he said. "Pakistan is a perfect haven for Jundallah."