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US funds Sunni terror groups from Pakistan to bomb and assassinate Iranians
by reposts
Wednesday Apr 4th, 2007 4:36 PM
Is one man's terrorist another man's freedom fighter? One's Jundullah another's Al Qaeda? Or visa versa? Or sometimes they are one and the same. Love. Hate. After spending hundreds of billions empowering Shia over the last 5 years (and enriching defense contractors), much to the dismay of Bush's Saudi puppetmasters, it now appears we are switching sides in the GWOT, if not just playing both sides as we did in the Iran-Iraq War.
US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran

William Lowther in Washington DC and Colin Freeman
Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:30am GMT 25/02/2007

America is secretly funding militant ethnic separatist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear programme.

In a move that reflects Washington's growing concern with the failure of diplomatic initiatives, CIA officials are understood to be helping opposition militias among the numerous ethnic minority groups clustered in Iran's border regions.

The operations are controversial because they involve dealing with movements that resort to terrorist methods in pursuit of their grievances against the Iranian regime.

In the past year there has been a wave of unrest in ethnic minority border areas of Iran, with bombing and assassination campaigns against soldiers and government officials.

Such incidents have been carried out by the Kurds in the west, the Azeris in the north-west, the Ahwazi Arabs in the south-west, and the Baluchis in the south-east. Non-Persians make up nearly 40 per cent of Iran's 69 million population, with around 16 million Azeris, seven million Kurds, five million Ahwazis and one million Baluchis. Most Baluchis live over the border in Pakistan.
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Funding for their separatist causes comes directly from the CIA's classified budget but is now "no great secret", according to one former high-ranking CIA official in Washington who spoke anonymously to The Sunday Telegraph.

His claims were backed by Fred Burton, a former US state department counter-terrorism agent, who said: "The latest attacks inside Iran fall in line with US efforts to supply and train Iran's ethnic minorities to destabilise the Iranian regime."

Although Washington officially denies involvement in such activity, Teheran has long claimed to detect the hand of both America and Britain in attacks by guerrilla groups on its internal security forces. Last Monday, Iran publicly hanged a man, Nasrollah Shanbe Zehi, for his involvement in a bomb attack that killed 11 Revolutionary Guards in the city of Zahedan in Sistan-Baluchistan. An unnamed local official told the semi-official Fars news agency that weapons used in the attack were British and US-made.

Yesterday, Iranian forces also claimed to have killed 17 rebels described as "mercenary elements" in clashes near the Turkish border, which is a stronghold of the Pejak, a Kurdish militant party linked to Turkey's outlawed PKK Kurdistan Workers' Party.

John Pike, the head of the influential Global Security think tank in Washington, said: "The activities of the ethnic groups have hotted 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."

Such a policy is fraught with risk, however. Many of the groups share little common cause with Washington other than their opposition to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose regime they accuse of stepping up repression of minority rights and culture.

The Baluchistan-based Brigade of God group, which last year kidnapped and killed eight Iranian soldiers, is a volatile Sunni organisation that many fear could easily turn against Washington after taking its money.

A row has also broken out in Washington over whether to "unleash" the military wing of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), an Iraq-based Iranian opposition group with a long and bloody history of armed opposition to the Iranian regime.

The group is currently listed by the US state department as terrorist organisation, but Mr Pike said: "A faction in the Defence Department wants to unleash them. They could never overthrow the current Iranian regime but they might cause a lot of damage."

At present, none of the opposition groups are much more than irritants to Teheran, but US analysts believe that they could become emboldened if the regime was attacked by America or Israel. Such a prospect began to look more likely last week, as the UN Security Council deadline passed for Iran to stop its uranium enrichment programme, and a second American aircraft carrier joined the build up of US naval power off Iran's southern coastal waters.

The US has also moved six heavy bombers from a British base on the Pacific island of Diego Garcia to the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, which could allow them to carry out strikes on Iran without seeking permission from Downing Street.

While Tony Blair reiterated last week that Britain still wanted a diplomatic solution to the crisis, US Vice-President Dick Cheney yesterday insisted that military force was a real possibility.

"It would be a serious mistake if a nation like Iran were to become a nuclear power," Mr Cheney warned during a visit to Australia. "All options are still on the table."

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany will meet in London tomorrow to discuss further punitive measures against Iran. Sanctions barring the transfer of nuclear technology and know-how were imposed in December. Additional penalties might include a travel ban on senior Iranian officials and restrictions on non-nuclear business.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/02/25/wiran25.xml




US behind raids by Pak militants in Iran: report
Reuters
Posted online: Thursday, April 05, 2007 at 0000 hrs

WASHINGTON, April 4 : The US has been secretly encouraging and advising a Pakistani militant group that has carried out a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran, ABC News reported on Tuesday, citing US and Pakistani intelligence sources.

The raids have resulted in the deaths or capture of Iranian soldiers and officials, the TV network reported. However, a CIA official said the account was not accurate.

The group, members of the Baluchi tribe, operates from Pakistan’s gas-rich province of Baluchistan, just across the border from Iran, the report said. The only relationship with the group that US intelligence acknowledges is cooperation in tracking al-Qaeda figures in that part of Pakistan, said the network.

The group, called Jundullah, has produced videos showing Iranian soldiers and border guards it claims to have captured, ABC said. The report cited US government sources it did not identify as saying the United States does not provide direct funding for the group but has maintained close ties to its leader, Abd el Malik Regi, since 2005. Regi claims to have personally executed some of the Iranian captives, the network said.

“He 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,” said Alexis Debat, a senior fellow on counterterrorism at the Nixon Center and an ABC News consultant.

<b>“He used to fight with the Taliban. He’s part drug smuggler, part Taliban</b>, part Sunni activist,” Debat told ABC.

The group 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 Zehedan, ABC said.

The report says that last month, Iranian state television broadcast what it said were confessions by those responsible for the bus attack. They apparently admitted to being members of Jundullah and said they had been trained for the mission at a secret location in Pakistan, the network said.

ABC cited Pakistani government sources as saying the secret campaign against Iran was on the agenda when Vice-President Dick Cheney met Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in February.

Asked about the report, Cheney spokeswoman Megan McGinn responded: “We don’t discuss conversations between the vice-president and foreign leaders.”

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/27474.html




Pakistani militants staging raids inside Iran-ABC

REUTERS

5:08 p.m. April 3, 2007

WASHINGTON – The U.S. has been secretly advising and encouraging a Pakistani militant group that has carried out a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran, ABC News reported Tuesday, citing U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources.

The raids have resulted in the deaths or capture of Iranian soldiers and officials, ABC reported.

The group, members of the Baluchi tribe, operates from Pakistan's gas-rich province of Baluchistan, just across the border from Iran, the report said.

The only relationship with the group that U.S. intelligence acknowledges is cooperation in tracking al Qaeda figures in that part of Pakistan, ABC reported.

The group, called Jundullah, has produced videos showing Iranian soldiers and border guards it says it has captured, ABC said.

ABC cited U.S. government sources it did not identify as saying the United States does not provide direct funding for the group but has maintained close ties to its leader, Abd el Malik Regi, since 2005.

A CIA official said the account was not accurate.

Regi claims to have personally executed some of the Iranian captives, the ABC News report said.

“He 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,” said Alexis Debat, a senior fellow on counterterrorism at the Nixon Center and an ABC News consultant.

“He used to fight with the Taliban. He's part drug smuggler, part Taliban, part Sunni activist,” Debat told ABC.

The group 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 Zehedan, ABC said.

According to the report, Iranian state television last month broadcast what it said were confessions by those responsible for the bus attack.

They reportedly admitted to being members of Jundullah and said they had been trained for the mission at a secret location in Pakistan, ABC said.

ABC cited Pakistani government sources as saying the secret campaign against Iran was on the agenda when Vice President Dick Cheney met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in February.

A spokesman for Cheney's office did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/20070403-1708-iran-pakistan-militants.html





Have We Switched Sides on the War on Terror? (10 comments )
READ MORE: Iran, Pakistan, Dick Cheney, Al-Qaeda

ABC News is reporting that we are helping a "militant" group in Pakistan to undermine the Iranian regime. Another word for "militant" in that sentence is "terrorist." As the story explains they kidnap and execute Iranian officials, as well as soldiers and border guards. Have we switched sides on the war on terror? Are we with the terrorists now?

The "war on terror" has always been a fraud. Terror is a tactic, not an enemy. And we were never fighting all of the terrorists in the world. I don't remember our offensives against the IRA or the Tamil Tigers. And we eventually started labeling almost all of our enemies as terrorists, whether they fit the definition or not.

But now this is another step. We are actively aiding and abetting militants who execute people on camera. The leader of this group, Jundullah, is a guy named Abd el Malik Regi. He is described by a senior fellow on counter-terrorism at the Nixon Center this way:

"He used to fight with the Taliban. He's part drug smuggler, part Taliban, part Sunni activist."

Lovely fellow. You know who else is known as Sunni activists? Al Qaeda. There is a secret war going on behind the scenes between the Shiites and Sunnis in the Middle East. Seymour Hersh explained it pretty well in his last article in The New Yorker. And guess whose side we're on? If you guessed Shiites, try again. No, it appears we're with the "Sunni activists."

Now, if you're thinking, wait a minute, "We're fighting the Sunnis in Iraq and Al Qaeda is Sunni." You're quite right. But here's what you didn't figure, "Saudi Arabia is Sunni and Iran is Shiite." So, who cares about Al Qaeda, let's go get those Iranians!

This is madness. When do we step in and stop this insanity? How can we get Dick Cheney to stop fighting a secret war that is completely against our national interests? In case you were wondering, the ABC story explains that Jundullah was on Dick Cheney's agenda when he went to visit Pakistan. Who did you think was going to be behind it?

There is also the matter of the kidnapped Iranian diplomat that the New York Times uncovers. And the two other senior Iranian officials we intended to snatch in Kurdish territory. And the Mujahedeen-e Khalq, another terrorist group we might be sending over the border to attack Iran. Gee, I wonder why the Iranians might respond by capturing some Western troops.

I don't know if Cheney is actually trying to undermine the Iranian government or whether he is trying to provoke them into taking action that could be used as a cause for starting a war against them. Either way, the madman we have as Vice President has to be stopped.

He has crossed the line here. We need to have an immediate investigation to see whether our government is covertly supporting Sunni terrorists acting against Iran. They are crossing the Iranian border, kidnapping Iranians and executing them. If we're connected, then we're starting a war without even realizing it. Someone has to put an end to this.

The Young Turks

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cenk-uygur/have-we-switched-sides-on_b_44975.html

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