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Jundullah

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Jundullah—also known as "Army of God", "Allah's Soldiers", and "God's Brigade" [1], as well as the Popular Iranian Resistance Movement [2]—is a Sunni "Pakistani tribal miltant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran." It is "made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran," Brian Ross and Christopher Isham reported April 3, 2007, for ABC News.

The group, which "has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials", "has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News," Ross and Isham wrote.

Following the February 2007 bombing attack on Zaheden, which lies in the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchestan, bordering on both Afghanistan and Pakistan, Brigadier General Mohammad Ghafari "renewed Iranian accusations that Jundullah was receiving support from British and US forces in neighboring Afghanistan for its campaign of violence in Sistan-Baluchestan," David Eshel wrote in the March 2007 Defense Update.

"CIA is supporting Iranian ethnic groups like sunni Balochs and Kurds inside Iran. Iranian relation with pakistan are becoming tense. Pakistan is playing role of surrogate for americans even though they hate this role. Jundullah a sunni militant group is getting full support of CIA," the blog my views about world as i see it (Dr. Sanghar) stated February 25, 2007.

Because direct U.S. funding to the group "would require an official presidential order or 'finding' as well as congressional oversight, ABC News was told by tribal sources "that money for Jundullah is funneled to its youthful leader, Abd el Malik Regi, through Iranian exiles who have connections with European and Gulf states." [3]

Regi "used to fight with the Taliban" and is "part drug smuggler, part Taliban, part Sunni activist," according to 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," Ross and Isham wrote.

"Pakistani government sources say the secret campaign against Iran by Jundullah was on the agenda when Vice President Dick Cheney met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in February," Ross and Isham wrote. "A senior U.S. government official said groups such as Jundullah have been helpful in tracking al Qaeda figures and that it was appropriate for the U.S. to deal with such groups in that context."

"Some former CIA officers say the arrangement is reminiscent of how the U.S. government used proxy armies, funded by other countries including Saudi Arabia, to destabilize the government of Nicaragua in the 1980s," Ross and Isham wrote.

Background

"Jundullah is a purely militant outfit whose objective is to target Pakistan's pro-US rulers and US and British interests in the country. Members receive training in Afghanistan and South Waziristan, and it is now actively recruiting," Syed Saleem Shahzad wrote July 24, 2004, in Asia Times.

"The organization produces propaganda literature, including documentary films, and has a studio named Ummat. It does similar work for al-Qaeda's media wing, which is called the al-Sahab Foundation," Shahzad wrote. "These media outlets incite the sentiments of Muslim youths by producing films showing Western - particularly Israeli and US - 'atrocities' against Muslim communities. This is the basic tool through which a new generation of jihadis is being raised.

"Jundullah was allegedly headed by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaeda operational commander of the September 11 terrorist attack in the US. He was arrested in Pakistan early last year," Shahzad wrote.

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links

Profiles

Publications

  • Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, The Next Attack: The Failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting it Right, Times Books, October 13, 2005, ISBN-10: 0805079416 / ISBN-13: 978-0805079418.
  • Sushant Sareen, The Jihad Factory. Pakistan's Islamic Revolution in the Making, Hindustan Publishing Corporation, India, August 1, 2005, ISBN-10: 8124110751 / ISBN-13: 978-8124110751.

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