Iran has captured the leader of a CIA-backed Iranian Baluch terrorist group that has launched repeated terrorist attacks inside Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan province from base camps in western Pakistan. Abdolmalek Rigi, the leader of Jundallah, or "Soldiers of God," was taken into custody by Iranian agents. There are reports that other passengers were also removed by the Iranians, possibly other Jundallah members traveling with Rigi, including Rigi's "right hand man."
Iranian intelligence agents on board a flight from Pakistan to Dubai ordered the plane to land in Bandar Abbas on the Gulf where Iranian security forces apprehended Rigi. Iran claims that Rigi had in his possession a U.S.-issued forged Afghanistan passport and a fake Pakistani identity card and was spotted by Iranian agents at a U.S. base in Afghanistan one day before his capture by Iran.
Originally, there were reports that Rigi was captured on a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan where the United States maintains a logistics and intelligence base at Manas outside the capital city of Bishkek. The plane forced down was a small aircraft and there have been no reports on whether the aircraft was a regularly scheduled commercial or chartered flight. There is speculation that the plane may have been a CIA charter flight that may have been based at Manas air base in Kyrgyzstan.
Last November, a Zimbabwe-registered MD-11 Avient Aviation Company cargo plane crashed en route to Bishkek crashed at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport. Three American crewmen were killed in the crash. Avient denied the plane was carrying a "sensitve" cargo. Another American was injured. The other crewmen included nationals of Zimbabwe, Indonesia, and Belgium.
Rigi was arrested by Pakistani authorities in September last year but, according to WMR's Asian intelligence sources, was released under pressure from the CIA. Rigi's Jundallah guerrillas carried out a deadly terrorist bombing in October last year that killed some 40 people, many of them members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard. Rigi's brother, Abdolhamid Rigi, already in Iranian custody, has admitted that Jundallah acts under the orders of the CIA. Abdolmalek Rigi allegedly also acts under the orders of the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal and also maintains links to Britain's MI-6 intelligence service.
Abdolhamid Rigi's execution was postponed by Iran with informed sources in the area believing that he has provided invaluable intelligence on the CIA's anti-Iranian operations being conducted inside Pakistan and Afghanistan. Former CIA agent Robert Baer confirmed the CIA's link to Rigi last October.
The capture of Rigi is certain to further exacerbate tensions between the CIA and its proxy private military operatives in Pakistan, including Blackwater/Xe, and the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. After the capture by the United States of the Taliban's number two leader in Pakistan, while he was traveling to meet European and Japanese envoys to negotiate an offer from Afghan President Hamid Karzai to cease fighting and join the Kabul government, ISI quickly moved to detain other Taliban commanders in Pakistan's northwest tribal region to prevent their capture or assassination by the United States. The word from Islamabad is moving to carve out its own room for negotiations without the involvement of the United States, which the ISI and Pakistan's military no longer trusts.
There is a belief that Pakistan cooperated with Iran in the capture of Rigi in order to trade him for Pakistani and Afghan Taliban elements captured inside of Iran.
The arrest of Rigi is the second major defeat for the CIA in the Middle East/South Asia region. Turkey has arrested 51 current and retired Army and Air Force commanders and high-ranking officers for trying to stage a 2003 coup, code named OPERATION SLEDGEHAMMER, against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The coup plotters were going to blow up two mosques in Istanbul and stage an air incident with Greece as a pretext for pointing to the weakness of the Erdogan government and move to take over to "restore order." WMR has learned that the CIA and Mossad were closely involved with OPERATION SLEDGEHAMMER.
Erdogan has maintained cordial relations with Iran and is opposed to any U.S. or Israeli military strike on Iran.
The take down of the Jundallah leader by Iran and the rolling up of the military coup plotters by Turkey represents a double body blow to U.S. and Israeli intelligence plans for the region.