Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Islamic State of Iraq Claims Deadly Oct. 25 Kamikaze Attacks in Baghdad

"The State of Islam [Islamic State of Iraq] Remains because it is built on skulls of the Crusaders & Apostates"

The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) issued a statement yesterday (Oct. 26) claiming responsibility for Sunday's (Oct. 25) two massive kamikaze car bombings that targeted the Iraqi Ministry of Justice and the headquarters of the Baghdad Provincial Council. These attacks are the most lethal in the country in two years. They killed 155 people (so far) and wounded over 700 others, including several Iraqi parliamentarians (MPs). Among the latter was MP Maha al-Duri, a member of the Sadr Movement's bloc in parliament, whose bodyguards were killed. Political rivals of the current Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, have questioned his claims of "improving" security in the country.

Sadr bloc MP Dr. Maha al-Duri. Al-Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr, head of the Sadr Movement (Tayyar al-Sadr), is on the poster leaning against the podium (below) with photographs of his two brothers assassinated with their father, Grand Ayatullah al-Sayyid al-Shahid Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, in February 1999.

More large-scale attacks such as this may damage al-Maliki's bid for a second term as prime minister as well as the political viability of his political coalition in upcoming national elections.

The ISI is an umbrella organization that includes as members several of the most violent and radical jihadi-Salafi groups operating in the country, including al-Qa'ida in the Land of the Two Rivers/Iraq (AQI). The umbrella is headed by the mysterious Abu 'Umar al-Baghdadi, who the Iraqi government has falsely claimed to have captured twice in the past, including this May. He is addressed as "amir al-mu'mineen," a title historically reserved by Sunni Muslims for the caliph, the ruler of the Muslim state (caliphate). Mullah Muhammad 'Umar (Omar), the leader of the Afghan Taliban, is also addressed in this way by jihadi-Salafis, including top al-Qa'ida Central (AQC) leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.


The ISI, which was publicly proclaimed in October 2006 in a video message, is divided much like an actual state, with ministries and ministers. It's current "prime minister" and "minister of war," announced in September, is the amir (leader) of AQI, Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, and it produces print, audio, and video releases through its media wing, the al-Furqan Media Foundation (al-Furqan Foundation for Media Production).

Sunday's attacks are remarkably similar to the ISI's multiple kamikaze vehicle bombings that targeted the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of the Treasury on August 19. The ISI is forgoing frequency for potency. Rather than attempting to launch a large number of attacks it has shifted to a strategy that relies on better-planned massive attacks that bear greater political dividends, both in terms of casualties and embarrassment to both al-Maliki's government and Iraq's divided political class as well as the United States, which still has over 120,000 soldiers in the country. I detail other examples of these types of attacks in Iraq that have occurred since June in this previous blog POST.


In its statement claiming the August 19 attacks in Baghdad, the ISI said that it had struck at the "strongholds of infidelity and unbelief" of the "Safavid government" of al-Maliki. By identifying the Iraqi government as "Safavid," after a medieval Shi'i Turkic dynasty that ruled much of what is modern Iran, the ISI is highlighting its sectarian nature. Al-Maliki is the current leader of Hizb al-Da'wa al-Islamiyyah (Islamic Call Party), one of the largest Shi'i political parties in Iraq. The Arabic word "da'wa" refers to a "call" or "invitation," in the missionary sense. The use of the description "Safavid" also points to what the ISI and many Sunnis in Iraq and the wider Arab and Muslim worlds see as the "Iranian" (read: "foreign") identity of Iraqi Arab Shi'is. This ignorant view is held by both radicals, such as the jihadi-Salafis, and supposed moderates and progressives, like the Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak.


The ISI's statement released yesterday follows essentially the same structure and formula as the one released about the August 19 attacks. Sunday's attacks were, like the August 19 attacks, part of the "blessed expedition/raid of the prisoner/captive" and they "opened the second phase of the harvest of the good [a collective name used for ISI terrorist and insurgent operations]" by the "sons of [the] state of Islam."


"Statement on the Second Expedition/Raid of the Prisoner in Baghdad"

The attacks were carried out by "unified/combined brigades in Baghdad" led by a "group of seekers of martyrdom" of great personal "piety." The targets were the "strongholds of the rejectionist-Safavid state in the land of the Caliphate [Iraq]." The Arabic term used to describe the al-Maliki government is "Rafidiyyah," which is related to the term "Rafidah" (plural, "Rawafid"), which is a derogatory name used by some Sunnis for Shi'is. It literally means "one/those who reject." In its derogatory usage, it refers to the Shi'is' alleged "rejection" of the "true" Islam, i.e. Sunni Islam. For Salafi Sunnis, this means there interpretation of Islam solely.

الأسير المباركة التي افتتح بها أبناءُ دولة الإسلام المرحلة الثانية من خطّة حصاد الخير، انطلقت كتائب الموحّدين في بغداد من جديد، تتقدّمهم ثلّةٌ من الاستشهاديين الذين أجرَوا بَيْعهم مع ربّ السماوات والأرض، مستهدفين معاقل الكفر وأركان الدولة الرافضية الصفوية في أرض الخلافة،

The Iraqi Ministry of Justice is dubbed the "Ministry of Injustice (the alleged Ministry of Justice)" in the ISI's statement.

وزارة الظلم والجور المسماة بـ ... وزارة العدل

Al-Maliki and his political lackeys and allies, the ISI statement says, "only understand the language of force," (لا يفهمون إلا لغة القوة) which is why the attacks were carried out. The bombings were designed, and statement claims succeeded, in "shaking the steps of the castles of unbelief and the thrones of apostasy," (تزلزل خطواتها قلاع الكفر وعروش الردّة).

The ISI statement also includes an address to the "beloved Muslims of Palestine," those "who God will not forget."

Statement on Oct 25 Attacks in Baghdad

October 25 Statement by ISI

The ISI's warning that more attacks were coming, made in a September 5 statement refuting al-Maliki's allegations that "Ba'thists" were behind the August 19 attacks, have been tragically confirmed. Many of the bombings and other major attacks this year have also taken place in Baghdad or to the north, west, and east of the capital, particularly around the northern city of Mosul, suggesting that these areas are where the ISI, AQI, and other Sunni insurgent groups remain strong.

With the U.S. presidential administration of Barack Obama focussed on the unraveling U.S./NATO occupation and counter-insurgency campaign in Afghanistan and ongoing disarray in neighboring Pakistan and the continued ineptness of the Iraqi government in
forming a real unity government and countering the still-potent Sunni and jihadi-Salafi insurgencies, which some analysts declared "dead/over" prematurely, the ISI and other insurgent and jihadi groups continue to pose a very real and, as was shown Sunday, very deadly threat to the stability of Iraq.

The ISI has issued a second statement in response to condemnations of its Sunday attacks from some Iraqi religious-nationalist groups, including the Islamic Army of Iraq (IAI). The IAI refused to join the ISI when it was formed and the two groups have been engaged in a military and political feud since late 2006.

ISI Response to Jihad & Reform Front & IAI on Oct 25 Attacks

ISI Refutation of Religious-Nationalist Criticism for Oct. 25 Attacks


This is yet another example of the important ideological and strategical differences between many religious-nationalists and transnational jihadis, as I have discussed recently HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Islamic Army of Iraq

BBC News has closed-circuit footage of the attacks, with no sound.

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Grand Ayatullah al-Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah in Lebanon has issued a statement condemning Sunday's attacks in Baghdad. He also condemned "regional and international" actors who, he argues, have played a role in destabilizing the country and forcing its long-suffering people to live in an environment of "chaos" in which "horrific" attacks such as Sunday's are commonplace. Iraq has been the victim, he says, of a "regional and international game"

(لا يزال العراق بشعبه ومؤسّساته وكيانه، يدفع ثمن اللّعبة الدّوليّة والإقليميّة).

He is heavily critical of the ongoing U.S. occupation of the country. Fadlallah calls upon all Iraqis to unify in the face of these challenges.

إنّنا ندعو العراقيّين إلى الوحدة والتّماسك ومحاصرة الجهات التي تقف وراء هذه الجرائم، والعمل لكشفها وفضح أهدافها، ومنعها من اختراق النّسيج السياسيّ العراقيّ، في نطاق السّعي الحثيث لبناء العراق الحرّ والمستقلّ، والمتمرّد على الاحتلال ودعاة العنف والتّكفير.

Fadlallah Statement on Oct. 25 Iraq Attacks

Statement

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Iranian Takfiri Radicals Respond to Occident, Jundullah Releases 'Martyrdom' Video about May 2009 Mosque Attack

Abu Muntasir al-Baluchi (Balushi), also known as 'Abd al-Rahim Mollazadeh, a radical Iranian Salafi leader being his usual understated self when discussing the Shi'i-led Iranian government. The Fatimids were an Isma'ili Shi'i dynasty of caliph-imams who ruled Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, and Palestine for much of the tenth century, presenting a viable Shi'i alternative to the waning Sunni 'Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad. Al-Baluchi, who is in exile in Great Britain, is affiliated with Sons of Sunnah-Iran, a blog run by radical Iranian Salafi exiles.

UPDATE (Feb. 26, 2010): See the comments for a hilarious tantrum by a cyber takfiri, with my brief replies.

The folks at Sons of Sunnah-Iran, a blog run by radical Iranian Salafi exiles based in Great Britain, are in a tizzy about my post yesterday (Friday) about their celebration of the kamikaze attack by the Baluchi insurgent-jihadi group Jundullah on commanders targeting the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iranian Sunni and Shi'i civilian leaders on October 18 in the province of Sistan-Baluchistan. In my previous POST , I dissected the virulently anti-Shi'i sectarian language used by the Sons of Sunnah writer(s) in their macabre celebration of death and destruction. I also explained some of the references that may not be familiar to some readers.

The Sons of Sunnah blokes do not seem to like what I wrote, and have made several substantial additions and edits to their original post after spending a fairly significant amount of time perusing what I have written about them and their virulent takfiri ideology. Takfir is the declaration of other Muslims with whom you disagree to be apostates and non-Muslims, which Sons of Sunnah does with regard to Shi'i Muslims of all groups and Sunnis who disagree with them (i.e. the vast majority of the world's Muslims).

The Sons of Sunnah writer(s)'s first edit was to the title of their own post, changing it to one that closely resembles the beginning of the title of my own post from yesterday, "Sepah Went to Hell !" Sepah is a shorthand way of referring to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in Persian. In English, the acronym "IRGC" or Persian word "Pasdaran" is often used.

Sons of Sunnah is based out of Great Britain, and the blog's administrator(s) have a British Telecommunications IP address with a location, according to Google Maps, near the hamlet of Oughtershaw in Yorkshire Dales in northern England.

They made substantial additions to their own text (most of the post was and remains Web reprints of Reuters pieces). Their newly added text is in beige below, and I have highlighted their more belligerent "rejection" (Ra-fa-da) and "refutation" of my post from yesterday in bold red text. So, they are in a way "Rafidah" themselves... :-O All errors of spelling, grammar, and punctuation are in their text:

"Congratulations O Sons of Sunnah Iran – A bunch of Rev. Guards were sent to hell! According to Iran Official News, Deputy Chief, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), General Nur Ali Shustary (may Allah curse him) were also killed in the attack. More than 6 Top men of the Safavid Rafidite Khomeinistic Revolutionary Guards were sent ila Jahim (Hell), to Khomeini, Ibnu Saba’ and Abu Lo’ Lo’, by the grace of Allah subhana. There is not even a point of refuting the pathetic allegations and excuses of the Lovers of Safavism and Shirk (Rafidi Regime). For they and their Kafir brethren around the www cite how several Iranian Sunni Tribal leaders have been killed as well. These Kuffar and particularry the Rafidah should know better that we Muslims neither worship our scholars nor follow them blindly (Rafidi Taqlid), we are not afraid to speak out against any humand being who speaks out against Islam and Sunnah. Thus, those “Iranian Sunni Tribal Leaders” were nothing but a bunch of filthy hypocrites, palace “Sunni” schloras, working for the Rafidite Safavid regime in order to crush the Sunni resistence of Iran and its people. Munafiqin are not a new phenomenon in Islam and many Sunni Iranian scholars, like the late assassinated Shaykh Karampour may Allah have mercy on him spoke out against those Sunnah scholars who are not ashamed to work with the Satan Khamenei and its anti-Islamic regime.

So: To hell with the Rafidite Safavid regime, its Soldiers, its Guards, its Ayatush-Shaytatin, its “Sunni” Slaves (Munafiqin) and all those who believe in them and assist them, be it with the pen or the sword! (Bold and red text in the original)

According to Iran Official News, Deputy Chief, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), General Nur Ali Shustary were also killed in the attack.

Muslims (Sunnah Iranian) sources: sunni-news.com

Kafir Sources: ....[to Reuters...]" (Bold text & hyperlink in the original)

The current Iranian supreme leader, Sayyid 'Ali Khamenei, is labeled a "tyrant" of the "Rafidi" and "Safavi" government. The Arabic word Taghut literally refers to an "idol" but is used popularly to refer to dictators and other authoritarian rulers who seek to make themselves like "gods."

First, it's amusing to be labeled a "lover of Safavism." Still, it's better than being a "pretty takfiri hate machine." The Sons of Sunnah writer(s)' expanded introduction to the "kafir" Reuters pieces is a prime example of the most radical Salafis, and particularly jihadi-Salafis, justify their virulent hatred and often violence toward mainstream Sunnis who do not share their takfiri ideology. They refer to these Sunnis as munafiqin (munafiqeen), "hypocrites" who claim to be Muslims but "really" are not. Senior Twelver Shi'i scholars who are known by the title "ayatullah," which literally translates to "sign of God," are called "ayat al-Shaytan," or "signs of Satan," which is a common Salafi insult.

Second, after stating that "there is not even a point in refuting" my "pathetic allegations and excuses," the Sons of Sunnah chaps proceed to spend a fair amount of words attempting to "reject" and "refute" points I made in yesterday's post. Among the most interesting is their inclusion of "Hell" in parenthesis next to the word Jahim, which I added in yesterday's post as an explanatory note, and their new link to supposedly reliable "Muslims" (sic) sources and addition of the identifier "Kafir [unbeliever] Sources" just before their reproduction of the pieces from Reuters. As some readers may recall, in the first paragraph of yesterday's post I noted sarcastically that, "The bulk of the [Sons of Sunnah] post is made up of a Web reprint of two ("kafir"/"unbeliever") pieces from Reuters."


Also notable in the new text is the remark about the late Grand Ayatullah Ruhollah Khumayni being in Hell, where the Shi'is and their "Sunni slaves", according to Salafi takfiri belief, are also headed. These groups are also accused of shirk, or polytheism, which I discussed in yesterday's post.

Finally, the Sons of Sunnah fellas have added lengthy endnotes explaining their takfiri take on the Mahdi, the promised savior that all Muslims believe is coming, though they differ on his identity:

"*Note: The Twelver Rafidi Shia Mahdi is not the Muslim Mahdi peace be upon him, actually he (Shia Mahdi) is most surely the Dajjal. All Muslims upon us Sunnah, love the pure Ahl Al-Bayt (ra) and Imam al-Mahdi and no one would ever insult them. Insulting them is regarded as Kufr. Thus we are not ridiculing the Mahdi, but rather a non-existent naked coward whom they believe to have been living in a cave for 1200 years without any contribution to Islam although he is not sleeping and although he has super-powers! Basically, it’s like ridiculing and abusing Santa Claus.

The hyperlink, which is in the original, takes readers to a blog of anti-Shi'i polemic. The Dajjal is the equivalent to the anti-Christ who will oppose the Mahdi in popular Muslim apocalyptic literature and belief. The Sons of Sunnah bloke(s) make(s) the normal Salafi and even Sunni claim that it is they who "really love" the Ahl al-Bayt (the Prophet Muhammad's family).

To a Sunni (over 90 percent of Muslims) + Historians+Zaidiyyah Shia the Mahdi of Rafidah Shia does not exist (for the aforementioned groups all believe in the virtious and existence of the 11th Imams who the Shia ascribe to themselves, yet these Imams are as much as innocent of Shi’ism as Jesus peace be upon him is free of Paulism (”Christianity”). Yet none of these groups, except the twelver believe in the existence of a twelve Imam. We believe the 11th Imam had no son whatsoever). The fact of the matter is that sunnis will not, *CAN not* believe that the mahdi of the sunnis is the same as the mahdi of the shias. The reason for this is that there are virtually NO ahadith that state that he will be the son of Imam Askari.
As for super cave mahdi being naked, then unfortunately that’s what your scholars report, for instance in Haqqul Yaqeen by Baqir Majlissi, P.347."
The Sons of Sunnah writer(s) then claim(s) that "over 90 percent of Muslims" are "a Sunni" (sic), though this is impossible to verify. The general estimate is that 80-85% of the world's Muslims are Sunni. They repeat the same general critiques of Shi'i belief from Sunnis and specifically Salafis.


The Arabic text reads: "The Crimes of the Iranian Government against Our Brothers, the Sunnis, in Iran," with photographs of the late Grand Ayatullah Khumayni, current supreme leader Khamenei, powerful cleric 'Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (from left to right, top then bottom).

The Sons of Sunnah chaps also do not seem to be aware of what many Islamicist scholars know, that the medieval Iranian jurist Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, who held high positions in the Safavid court, compiled a vast number of traditions (ahadith, singular: hadith) of the Prophet Muhammad and Twelver Shi'i Muslim Imams regardless of the strengths and weaknesses of their chains of transmission (isnad). This is noted, particularly with regard to al-Majlisi's magnum opus, the 110-volume Bihar al-Anwar (Ocean of Lights), by Prof. Jonathan Brown of the University of Washington in Seattle, a specialist in ahadith and author of the excellent new book Hadith: Muhammad's Legacy in the Medieval and Modern World.

REVISED Sons of Sunnah Sepah Sent to Hell...
The "new" & expanded Sons of Sunnah Post

Compare it to the Sons of Sunnah's ORIGINAL POST.

All things considered, it's strangely nice to know that one's work is being read by diverse audiences, particularly by groups one studies, even if they are takfiri jihadi-Salafi types.

SEE MY OTHER PREVIOUS POSTS ABOUT SONS OF SUNNAH HERE & HERE.
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The second video I linked to yesterday is part of Jundullah's official video release about their terrorist attack on a mosque in Zahedan in May of this year, which killed 19 people and wounded 125.



The video was produced by the Information Department of Jundullah's Foundation of Da'wa (literally "call" or "invitation," which has a missionary meaning) and Jihad (literally "struggle" or "to strive"). The video is entitled the "Zahedan Martyrdom Operation".


View the Video

Stills from the video, showing the will of the kamikaze bomber

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Sepah Went to Hell !," Blog Affiliated with Radical Iranian Sunnis Celebrates Death of Iranian Revolutionary Guards



This post is a brief addendum to my previous POST on the Iranian Baluchi jihadi-insurgent group Jundullah's attack on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in Sistan-Baluchistan province. Sons of Sunnah-Iran, an English and Persian-language blog affiliated with a collective of radical Iranian Sunnis that I have written about previously HERE and HERE, have published a celebratory post about the attacks. The bulk of the post is made up of a Web reprint of two ("kafir"/"unbeliever") pieces from Reuters.

The Sons of Sunnah writer(s) write (sic):

"Congratulations O Sons of Sunnah [Sunnis] Iran – A bunch of Rev. Guards were sent to hell! More than 6 Top men of the Safavid Rafidite Khomeinistic Revolutionary Guards were sent ila Jahim ["to Hell"], by the grace of Allah subhana ["may He be praised"].

As usual, the pathetic, desperate Rafidite regime blames the United States and the British. Yet, even the pakistianis! who is next to blame? Father Christmas? or even their cave dwelling saviour in Qom? Allah knows best, the reality is, it is an indipendant Sunni Iranian resistance, led by noble balochi Iranians, who are fighting for the rights of Sunni Iraniansaltoghether, be it the Baloch, Kurds or Persian Sunnis, although the unbelievers dislike it."

A defaced logo of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard

They refer to the Iranian government and system by a derogatory term, originally from Arabic, used by some Sunnis, and particularly Salafi Sunnis, to refer to all Shi'is, Rafidah/Rafidi, which translates approximately to "one/those who reject [the "truth", i.e. Sunni Islam]." The bloggers also identify the Iranian regime as a "Safavid" government, referencing the dynasty that ruled much of modern Iran from 1501 to 1722/32. Some Arab Sunnis use the Arabic term "Safawi" ("Safavi" in Persian and other Islamicate languages) to suggest that Arab Shi'is are not "real" Arabs but are in fact "Persians/Iranians," i.e. foreign. Finally, they use the term "Khomeinist-ic," noting the influence of the late grand ayatullah. The term "Khomeinist/Khumaynist" is also used by some academics, such as noted Iranian-Armenian, Marxist-leaning historian Ervand Abrahamian (author of the magisterial Iran Between Two Revolutions), to describe, generally, the late revolutionary leader's "school" or vein of thought.

Shaykh 'Abd al-Rahim Mollazadeh, also known as Abu Muntasir al-Baluchi (Balushi), a virulently anti-Shi'i and anti-government Iranian Salafi Sunni leader connected to Sons of Sunnah.


Watch a spiel by Shaykh al-Baluchi.

In the second paragraph, there is a sarcastic reference to the twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, whom Twelver Shi'is (who make up the majority of Iranians) believe will emerge out of a mystical occultation (ghayba) at an appointed time to usher in a period of absolute justice for his followers, the Shi'is (and only "true Shi'is," as a number of Twelver ahadith say). Many Iranian Shi'is popularly believe that the Imam will emerge from al-ghayba al-kubra ("the greater occultation" which he is presently in) from the Well of Jamarkan near the Shi'i seminary and shrine city of Qum in Iran.

The gaudy Jamarkan Mosque

Many Iranian Shi'is drop pieces of paper with scribbled requests and prayers into the well, in the hopes that the Imam will answer them or intercede on their behalf with God. This practice, which is not common to all Shi'is, is viewed by many Sunnis, both Salafi and non-Salafi, and even some Shi'i scholars as bid'a ("innovation") or even shirk ("polytheism"), as it contradicts the concept of tawhid, absolute monotheism/unity of God. Yale University historian Abbas Amanat has written an excellent essay on popular folklore about Jamarkan in an essay, "Messianic Aspirations in Contemporary Iran," in his last published collection, Apocalyptic Islam and Iranian Shi'ism.

Congratulations O Sons of Sunnah Iran...a Bunch of Rev. Guards Were Sent to Hell!
Document #1

Sons of Sunnah's denial and mocking of the Iranian government's allegations of foreign involvement with Jundullah, both generally and specifically in the latest attacks, is also interesting to note.


A YouTube channel, taftaanbaloch, includes some fascinating examples of Jundullah multimedia releases. Their use of popular Arabic-language jihadi anasheed (singular: nasheed, a type of song) is particularly interesting. The use of the anasheed is interspersed with footage of Shi'i innovations and polytheism in the eyes of many Sunnis and particularly Salafis. As such channels and videos often get taken down, I recommend looking at them ASAP. You can download YouTube videos at SaveVid.com.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Baluchi Insurgent-Jihadi Group Assassinates Senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commanders, Internet Jihadi-Salafis Celebrate


***SEE END OF THE POST FOR SEVERAL IMPORTANT UPDATES***

The Baluchi (Balochi) Sunni insurgent (some say jihadi) group Jundullah ("Soldiers of God") carried out two bombings, including a kamikaze attack, on Iranian government and civilian targets in the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan on Sunday (October 18). Iranian state English-language media reports that 42 people were killed, including senior officers in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and . Among those killed were the IRGC's deputy commander of ground forces, General Nur 'Ali Shushtari, and the provincial IRGC commander, Rajab 'Ali Muhammadzadeh, along with four other IRGC officers. Iranian Sunni and Shi'i tribal leaders and civilians were also killed. The dual attacks reportedly included a kamikaze bombing inside a mosque by a Jundullah member disguised as a soldier.

IRGC Deputy Commander of Ground Forces, General Nur 'Ali Shushtari

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other government officials have accused the government of the United States of supporting Jundullah and Pakistan of allowing the group to operate from its territory. The speaker of the Iranian parliament, 'Ali Larjani, said, "We consider the recent terrorist attack to be the result of US action. This is the sign of America's animosity against our country. Mr. Obama has said he will extend his hand towards Iran, but with this terrorist action he has burned his hand." The U.S. government makes similar claims about a wide array of alleged Iranian-backed groups in Iraq (and there are some allied to Iran) and Afghanistan. As a general rule, such propaganda is best ignored or taken with a large amount of salt.

The U.S. government condemned the attacks and denied involvement in them. The Pakistani government did the same. Ahmadinejad has accused Pakistani agents of being involved in supporting Jundullah, a claim the Pakistani government also denies. Pakistan's military intelligence services, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has supported armed groups, including jihadi groups, in the past, including the Afghan Taliban and Kashmiri insurgent groups.

The government and IRGC promise a "crushing" response to this latest Jundullah attack. The insurgent group, which has carried out bombings, ambushes, kidnappings, and murders against Iranian government officials, military figures, and policemen, is led by 'Abdul Makik Rigi, who is in hiding.

'Abdul Malik Rigi, leader of Jundullah

The reactions to the latest Jundullah attacks clearly show the politics involved in the naming of "terrorism." Right-wing commentators in the U.S. and others opposed to the Iranian revolutionary system and government tend to describe Jundullah as an "insurgent" group and avoid the use of the term "terrorism." It should be noted that many other neutral analysts view Jundullah as an insurgent group that often engages in acts of terrorism, like other groups in the region.

For its part, the Iranian government and its supporters label Jundullah a "terrorist" group, but does not describe its allies in Iraq or other parts of the region as such, even when they purposefully attack civilian targets or show a wanton disregard for civilians in their attacks (which is how "terrorism" is defined here at Views from the Occident).

Jundullah is a Baluchi insurgent group that claims to represent the Baluchi minority in southeastern Iran, which is often marginalized by the Iranian state, which tends to emphasize an Aryan "Persian" identity despite the fact that approximately half of Iran's population are not ethnic Aryans or native Persian speakers. Aryan Iranians in the West often equate Iranian identity with "Persian-ness," therefore cutting off non-Aryan Iranians ahistorically from an Iranian identity. Amnesty International and other international human rights organizations have documented discrimination against Iran's Baluch minority. [Please see Update #1 at the bottom of this post for an important update/correction to the text in red italics]

Jundullah reportedly has had ties to al-Qa'ida Central and the Afghan Taliban.

Members of jihadi-Salafi web forums have celebrated the attacks on the Iranian regime, which they view as a theological, doctrinal, and strategic enemy in no small part because most Iranians are Shi'i Muslims, who Salafis of all veins view as being either apostates or non-Muslims. Members of the web forums have also condemned the "conspiratorial intrigues" against what they see as Jundullah's jihadi-Salafi credentials and goals in its war against the "government of apostates," the Iranian Shi'i government.

Jundullah 2
Document #1
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Martyrdom Operation Against IRGC in Iran (Oct 18) #2
Document #2
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UPDATE #1 (4:55 A.M., Oct. 19): Alexander (whose blog, Ruh of Brown Folks, you should read, has made an important addendum/correction to my post in the Comments. I quote the relevant part here (but check out his full comment). I have left my original language for posterity, but have marked it in red with a note to refer to the updates.

"approximately half of Iran's population are not ethnic Aryans or native Persian speakers.
" (Me)

"Remember, "Aryan" is not merely a euphemism for "Persian" (despite what some diaspora Persians might have you think!) If we treat "Aryan" as a real concept, it must be based (in an Iranian context) on being a member of an Indo-Iranian ethnolinguistic group. Thus, in addition to Persians, you must also count Baluchis, Kurds, Lors, Gilakis/Mazandaranis, among others. (Indeed, many people from these groups do self-identify as "Aryan"). While around 50% of Iran does not speak Persian natively, only around 30% is non-"Aryan." " (Alexander)
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UPDATE #2 (4:57 A.M., Oct. 19): What appears to be a news interview in Urdu with 'Abdul Malik Rigi, who is looking a bit more spiffy with sunglasses and a cool Afghan hat than his mugshot-type photograph above, was posted at 6:39 A.M. GMT to an English-language jihadi-Salafi web forum. The initial post with the video link does not specify when the video interview was originally produced, but from the moving of the thread to a section for "previous releases," it appears the video is not brand new. The requisite footage of firearms, and particularly the "amir's" handling of them, is included. Rigi wastes ammunition from an automatic pistol, an automatic rifle or machine gun, a sniper rifle, and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. His sunglasses, however, prevent one from taking his jihadi tough-guy schtick seriously.

Jihadi GQ: 'Abdul Malik Rigi, Jundullah's Amir (commander)



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UPDATE #3 (5:11 A.M., Oct. 19): I've found another interesting thread dedicated to Jundullah, a PDF of which I've embedded below. Readers can find links to what appears to be the group's YouTube user account and blog(s) in the thread, including links to a very interesting video "series" complete with jihadi-style anasheed (songs). The author of the initial post, and many jihadi-Salafis, identify Jundullah as a Sunni group first and a Baluchi group second, if at all.

جماعة جند الله السنية في أيران
Document #3
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UPDATE #4 (5:41 A.M., Oct. 19; Correction @ 4:39 P.M.): Two "logos" from what appears to be a Jundullah-affiliated blog, as well as another spiffy photograph of Jundullah amir Rigi:


Interestingly, the Jundullah logo in the video(s) linked from the above thread on the group is very similar (almost the same as) to the logo that appears in videos released recently by a "Jundullah Studio" of Uzbek, Turkish, and German jihadis associated with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in Waziristan in Pakistan's North West Frontier Provinces (NWFP). If it is the same logo and the same production outlet is producing and releasing media materials for both Jundullah and the IMU, this seems to support allegations that the former has some connection to other Sunni jihadi groups (though not necessarily al-Qa'ida Central), in this case an Uzbek group known to have had friendly relations with the Afghan Taliban in the past and similar relations with some of the Pakistani jihadi groups and Pashtun militias.




Jundullah logo from the video linked in the web forum thread discussed in this Update
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Jundullah Studio logo featured in several recent videos of Uzbek, Turkish, and German jihadis in Waziristan in the NWFP, Pakistan.


Watch the Jundullah video from the web forum thread (notice that the introductory nasheed "nahnu jundullah", "we are God's soldiers," is in Arabic).

Thanks to reader "turan saheb" for pointing out a correction re: my misreading of the Persian language blog post originally embedded here, as well as for sharing his/her insights re: the similar logos. Finally, thanks to them for also for providing a link to another blog with the official Jundullah statement in Arabic on the attacks, which appears to be the same text as other copies of the statement that have been posted to jihadi-Salafi web fora.

Jundullah Blog Post About Oct 18 Attacks
Document #4
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UPDATE #5 (6:57 A.M., Oct. 19): There is dissension among Internet jihadis over Jundullah's attacks in Iran. Rigid Salafi-like takfir (declaration of apostasy with regard to other Muslims) has been criticized before, including by a senior jihadi Sunni strategist, Abu Mus'ab al-Suri. Refer to the work of Brynjar Lia.

One user, sivaslimucahid, (a Turk judging from his/her use of the Turkish spelling of the Arabic term "mujahid," "warrior of faith," in their forum name), writes: "i dont accept this. this act is not good. this is a jew plan. i'm turkish sunni muslim and i worked in iran and iran is supporting mujahideen. jundullah dont make this attack. israel is wanting to attack iran if they use seperatism they can break down iran and hezbollah. i joined war with my brothers and friends in 2006 we bought lots of weapons from algeria and tunissia. we carried metis missiles for hezbollah. we are fighting to rise islams flag everywhere and we want shahadat. our biggest enemy is kuffar. if anybody believes allah and kur'an and Allah's prophets and Allah's angels and the fate and the judgement day and every event comes from allah and who says "eshedu en la ilahe illallah ve eshedu enne muhammeden abduhu ve resuluh" and who does conditions of islam i say this person is muslim. i'm acting with sheriah. i read and understand jihad ayaths and i moved from my birthplace to join jihad." (sic)

Another user, Ibn Ali al-Turki, tries to explain why "the Shi'a" are also "their" (jihadi-Salafis') enemy: "Assalaamu alaikum brother sivaslimucahid: The Shi'a are an enemy to us as well. A Shi'a nuclear state would be a disaster to us as well. Every front we open to fight the enemies of Allah is important. We should fight them everywhere, insha'Allah.

As Turks, how do you and I feel to see statues of that sickening, disgusting kaffir Ataturk in every city and square? I find it disgusting. We are people from a country where people are allowed to insult Allah, but should one raise even a breath against the person of Ataturk, we face punishment. I could not find employment at an Islamic bank because of my beard. Should we have mercy for such a people? Alhamdulillah, Allah provides for me and I am able to continue my efforts, insha'Allah.

We should not differentiate between Shi'a, Turk, or any other kaffir (meaning nationality or any other association should not matter besides being of ahlus sunnah wal jama’ah). Should they be successful, goodness will be defeated. Many of my relatives have abandoned Islam. They are same to me as any Shi'a, murtad, or kaffir. I am a Turk, but should the entire Turkish nation apostatise, I would not shed a tear while battling them, not even for the son of my mother and father. The Shi'a are not out our brothers. Shi'ism is not Islam. We should not befriend them.

Narrated AbuHurayrah:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend.

{Book 41, Number 4815 : Sunan Abu Dawud}
" (sic)

Jundullah Claims Responsibility for Terror Attack (Oct 19) #2
Document #5
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UPDATE #6 (8:25 A.M., Oct. 19): A statement from Jundullah, under its preferred name of the "Iranian People's Resistance Movement," claiming responsibility for Sunday's attacks, and primarily the kamikaze bombing ("martyrdom operation," as it's called in the statement), was recently posted to jihadi-Salafi forums:

Jundullah....Statement Regarding the Martyrdom Operation in Sarbaz
Document #6
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Jundullah....Statement Regarding the Martyrdom Operation in Sarbaz (R)
Document #7
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UPDATE #7 (12:39 A.M., Oct. 21): A new research report on Jundullah from the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment has been PUBLISHED (PDF-direct link).
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NOTE: The term "jihadi" is a much-contested and often problematic one. "To struggle" (ja-ha-da) in Arabic has several connotations, and can refer to both physical and spiritual struggle. It can also have a militaristic meaning, which is how I use it on Occident. After much consideration I have decided to use the term, despite its potential problems. I have done so because the movements, such as al-Qa'ida Central and its affiliates, use the term to describe themselves. They of course do not use "jihadi" as a noun, and instead use the noun form of the Arabic root, "mujahideen/mujahidun," which translates approximately to "those who struggle for faith." Given my use of "jihadi" primarily in its militaristic sense, I translate "mujahideen" as meaning, approximately, "warriors of faith."