Iranian officials captured Abdolmalek Rigi, the leader of a Sunni rebel group the Jundallah insurgency, on Tuesday. Rigi was allegedly captured coming from a U.S. military base. On state television Rigi “confessed” that an American agent had promised “finances, military aid, arms and ammunitions as well as a military base in Afghanistan close to the Iranian borders” if he cooperated. The Pentagon rejected the claims as propaganda.
The Jundallah insurgency has claimed responsibility for bombing attacks in Iran against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. This includes an October 18 that killed at least forty Iranian and fifteen Revolutionary Guard members. The group claims to be fighting for Sunni rights in the Shi’ite dominated Iran. Iran has hanged at least fourteen members of the group in the past.
The Jundallah insurgency also appointed a new leader, al-Hajj Mohammed Dhahir Baluch. The new leader was announced on the group’s website along with the statement in Arabic that: “The movement is more than its leader . . . With firm determination and strong will it will continue on the path of jihad till the last drop of blood.”