Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 10, 2014

(Not) U.S. (Not) Israel Utilized Anti-Iranian Terror Group Jundallah

Jundallah is a radical Sunni group based in Baluchistan near the Pakistani-Iranian border. It has attacked Iranian soldiers as well as civilians. There were many rumors in the media that some U.S. operation was utilizing the group for terror attacks against Iran. But a 2012 story claimed that it was not the U.S. but Israel which sponsored the group's attacks. A story published yesterday refutes this and admits U.S. involvement though it tries, unconvincingly, to blame this on one "bad apple" rogue actor.

In January 2012 Mark Perry wrote an impressive story about the Jundallah group:

A series of CIA memos describes how Israeli Mossad agents posed as American spies to recruit members of the terrorist organization Jundallah to fight their covert war against Iran.

Several bloggers, including me, expressed doubt about the story:

Why is this whitewash of the CIA coming out right now, just two days after the assassination of another Iranian engineer?

Why is there no mention at all of JSOC, the U.S. military Joint Special Operations Command forces who are, according to Sy Hersh, operating in Iran? What is their relation to the Israelis?

Why is the U.S. now doing so much to say it has nothing to do with the assassination? Notice that this changed. State Department spokesperson Nuland when asked on January 11 immediately after the event issued no denial at all.

As Marc Wheeler pointed out:

Israelis and Americans have long hidden behind each other when working with Iranians, going back at least to the Iran-Contra ops that Dick Cheney had a fondness for. Hiding behind Israelis lets American officials pretend we’re not doing the taboo things we’re doing. Hiding behind Americans lets Iranian partners working with Israelis pretend they aren’t working with the Zionist enemy. That false flag business works in many different directions, after all.

I concluded:

The Mark Perry story may well be right in the detail. I doubt its value in telling something of the bigger picture though. It it does not tell us anything of what the U.S. agencies and military are currently doing in Iran and it certainly should not be used to exculpate the U.S. from the killing of the Iranian scientists.

Nearly three years after the Mark Perry story blamed Israel for cooperation with Jundallah a new story by James Risen and Matt Apuzzo now admits intense U.S. involvement with the group. The guy allegedly culpable for running Jundallah is claimed to be a New York Port Authority officer:

The Port Authority police are responsible for patrolling bridges and tunnels and issuing airport parking tickets. But the detective, a hard-charging and occasionally brusque former ironworker named Thomas McHale, was also a member of an F.B.I. counterterrorism task force. He had traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan and developed informants inside Jundallah’s leadership, who then came under the joint supervision of the F.B.I. and C.I.A.

So a local officer from New York is working with the FBI, the CIA and the military Joint Special Operations Command in Pakistan and Afghanistan to run operations with an anti-Iranian Jihadist group? Does he also sell bridges?

Reading the report, the C.I.A. officer became increasingly concerned. Agency lawyers he consulted concluded that using Islamic militants to gather intelligence — and obtaining information about attacks ahead of time — could suggest tacit American support for terrorism. Without specific approval from the president, the lawyers said, that could represent an unauthorized covert action program. The C.I.A. ended its involvement with Mr. McHale’s informants.

Yeah. Sure. The U.S. would never ever run operations that would suggest "tacit support for terrorism" or have itself operational responsibility for terrorist acts. That the CIA ended its involvement after several years of running it with Mr. McHale as "rogue actor" is also not convincing:

Some federal officials blame Mr. McHale for what they describe as an operation that veered out of control. They said that if the United States and Jundallah had too close a relationship, Mr. McHale’s go-it-alone attitude was to blame.

But friends and former colleagues say this characterization of Mr. McHale as a rogue operator is unfair. They point out that the relationship persisted for more than a decade, and Mr. McHale’s actions were approved and applauded by several United States agencies over those years. “I’m not sure what to say about this case,” said Mr. Holt, who is retiring from Congress this year. “Everything is plausible in the freewheeling intelligence world.”

The last sentence is correct. It is entirely plausible that the CIA some three years ago fed some papers to Mark Perry to claim the Israelis are running Jundallah. It is also entirely plausibly that the CIA now fed the "rogue guy" material for the new story to James Risen to again exculpate itself from the terrorism it committed. What is not plausible though is that both stories are correct. They contradict each other.

Also plausible and even very likely is a third story hidden behind the limited hangouts the above two stories provide. That the CIA and JSOC, with presidential support, ran Jundallah to commit terrorism against Iran.

Obama may hope that the current negotiations with Iran will be successful and renewed cooperation with Iran will rescue him from the dilemma of the failed invasion of Iraq and the failed operation against the Syrian state. Within that context the publishing of the new story about a "rogue actor", even though its content is more half-truth than truth, makes at least some political sense.

Posted by b on November 10, 2014 at 14:28 UTC | Permalink


Excellent topic. Balochistan is the largest province in Pakistan, and also extends into Iran. Sunni. Some day somebody will write the definitive book on the US-Saudi terror-supporting alliance that has roiled Southwest Asia. Sibel Edmonds has written about it: Balochistan: CIA Carving Out New Role

And then there's been other reporting on it: In March 2011, The Peninsula, Qatar’s leading English language daily, revealed that the “CIA is indulging in heavy recruitment of local people as agents (each being paid $500 a month) in Balochistan (ostensibly) to locate members of the Quetta Shura, a term used by the Americans for Mullah Omar-led Taliban commanders.”

For US congressional support, there is US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, AKA "Hero of Balochistan" --

"As you may know, I have a resolution I submitted following hearings last year. This resolution basically says that the people of Balochistan have a right to control their destinies through the ballot box and we support a referendum for them to decide whether they stay part of Pakistan or not," he said.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 10 2014 14:43 utc | 1

Excellent analysis here from b. Picking through the cover stories and hangouts, we arrive at the cynical policy underneath the fig leaf, or the false olive branch, that the US administration uses to seduce public opinion. I doubt the Iranian leadership is fooled in the matter of who has killed their scientists.

One further reason to doubt the sincerity of Obama's so called peace feelers toward Iran, and the gloss of his administration's new conciliatory language, is precisely that after being the moving force behind those assassinations, he is trying to gull Iran into joining him in a military adventure against the Frankenstein monster, that is the IS(IS). The Iranian leaders are, however, much too smart to be pulled into the baited trap.

Posted by: Copeland | Nov 10 2014 15:09 utc | 2

Bush's Crusaders Join Forces with Soldiers of Allah in Terror Against Iran | June 21, 2008 |

Secret Bush "Finding" Widens War on Iran | May 2008 |

Democrats Okay Funds for Covert Ops

President Bush signed a secret finding authorizing a covert offensive against the Iranian regime that, according to those familiar with its contents, "unprecedented in its scope."

Bush's secret directive covers actions across a huge geographic area - from Lebanon to Afghanistan - but is also far more sweeping in the type of actions permitted under its guidelines - up to and including the assassination of targeted officials. This widened scope clears the way, for example, for full support for the military arm of Mujahedin-e Khalq, the cultish Iranian opposition group, despite its enduring position on the State Department's list of terrorist groups.

Similarly, covert funds can now flow without restriction to Jundullah, or "army of god," the militant Sunni group in Iranian Baluchistan - just across the Afghan border -- whose leader was featured not long ago on Dan Rather Reports cutting his brother in law's throat.
All this costs money, which in turn must be authorized by Congress, or at least a by few witting members of the intelligence committees. That has not proved a problem. An initial outlay of $300 million to finance implementation of the finding has been swiftly approved with bipartisan support, apparently regardless of the unpopularity of the current war and the perilous condition of the U.S. economy.

Posted by: Oui | Nov 10 2014 15:26 utc | 3

Mark Perry is way off base blaming Israel's Mossad in support of Jundallah terror inside Iran. His story just doen't add up, as most facts show it was Paul Wolfowitz and other Pentagon hirees who funded terror groups operating from Iraq (MEK) and Pakistan's Baluchostan's province (Jundallah).

Bush Funded CIA Operations of Jundallah, Not Mossad | Jan. 2012 |

Posted by: Oui | Nov 10 2014 15:26 utc | 4

Most deadly bombings between Quetta and Peshawar targeting Shia religious muslims are perpetrated by the terror group CIA/Jundallah …

Pakistan: Terror Group Kills 10 Tourists in Scenic North | June 2013 |

Posted by: Oui | Nov 10 2014 15:27 utc | 5

The Risen and Apuzzo story is just another chapter in the never ending bullshit "Blowback" saga so beloved of dishonest/blind "western progressive" morons.

Posted by: JMcC | Nov 10 2014 15:35 utc | 6

And, given how heavily infiltrated by ZioNazis the Empire's Security apparatus is, at all levels, any pretence that theres daylight between Israel and the US on setting up/controlling of these myriad Jihadi Fakes, is risible

Posted by: JMcC | Nov 10 2014 15:40 utc | 7

Oui 3

Why doesnt it add up in your opinion?

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 10 2014 16:09 utc | 8

Very good post b, Thanks.


Check out Baluchistan in saleh's (Ralph Peters') 'after map' for the 'better' Middle East.


Why do you distinguish between Wolfowitz and Mossad/the Israelis?

John V Walsh has a cogent analysis of the US/World's predicament at the feet of the Israelis. If you told someone from Mars that planet earth was kept in a constant state of disaster by a tiny collection of 3 or 4 million rabid fundamentalists in the Middle East - the Israelis - they'd never believe you.

Of course it's a convergence of interests that puts the Empire and the Israelis in bed together, but Israel is a very effective dominatrix ... cross-dressed dominatrix.

And I cannot imagine that Walsh is really rooting for a 'successful' pivot to Asia as his article unfortunately seems to suggest.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 10 2014 16:32 utc | 9

Speaking of Israeli terrorism ... Five Nuclear Scientists Reportedly Assassinated Near Damascus.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 10 2014 16:44 utc | 10

Balochistan, home to deep warm-water port Gwadar with potential to bypass Straights of Hormuz.

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 10 2014 17:25 utc | 11

The Empire is stubbing its toe on the rocks immediately underfoot; this is a pratfall and not a pivot.

No pivot to Asia, ever. Soon, a dollar won't buy a donut, much less a Happy Meal.

Posted by: Copeland | Nov 10 2014 17:40 utc | 12

great post b. thanks. i find myself agreeing with copeland @2 also.

the usa's war on terrorism is quite a joke when you consider there terrorist actions as is suggested by this story. this is nothing new for the readers of this forum, but it is worth pointing out regardless.. however they want to manage the optics - that is all they are doing. at some point the exceptional empire is going to have to get back into the business of making it's own country it's primary focus and stop messing up the rest of the world, which is what people like myself are hoping for.. all the wars are self supporting acts that only serve the military industries interests.. the sale on terrorism goes hand in hand with this same complex, as does the financial complex that is fully on side with it too.

Posted by: james | Nov 10 2014 19:52 utc | 13

Interesting the stuff you dig up, b. No one has mentioned the oddness of the guy running Jundallah working for the Port Authority of NY/NJ? Actually, it's not that odd at all when we realize the central role the PA of NY/NJ has played in the unfolding of the 9/11 story. That central role was confirmed by the quick appearance of Giuliani and Chertoff as spokefolk and lawyer in the NJ Governor Chris Christie scandals at the Port Authority. The political dynamics of the Port Authority are complex with the dual responsibility that both NJ and NY Governors have for fielding the upper level management. Add in the national state security over the #1 US city and you have a pretty nice vehicle for your WOT.

Posted by: kafkananda | Nov 10 2014 19:52 utc | 14

Great post, as usual... but can we give credit where credit's due... I believe it is Marcy Wheeler (a woman) at emptywheel (not Mark).

Posted by: GoraDiva | Nov 10 2014 20:12 utc | 15

Similarities to the Levinson story.

Posted by: James | Nov 10 2014 21:31 utc | 16

well, these boys from langley are soooo 'intractable,' no? it was less than a month after those 11 elite iranian guards were blown to smithereens in south eastern iran in 2007 that robert levinson disappeared from the island of kish. poof! he's gone.

yep, these boys from langley have the franchise.

Posted by: john | Nov 10 2014 21:33 utc | 17

Pentagon: Reports unconfirmed of ISIS leader killed or wounded in airstrike

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 10 2014 22:39 utc | 18

Former Russian secret service chief accuses the West of a 'cover-up' over MH17
November 6, 2014 by legitgov
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Former Russian secret service chief accuses the West of a 'cover-up' over MH17 --Retired secret service chief said Ukrainian forces shot down MH17 5 Nov 2014 Western secret services were today accused of a cover-up over the shooting down of flight MH17 by a retired chief in Vladimir Putin's military intelligence agency. Retired Lt. Gen. Nikolai Pushkarev - formerly a senior official Russia's secret service, GRU - implied that the aircraft was shot out of the sky by Ukrainian forces. [It was.] 'Western intelligence and the Americans are very well aware of all the details - who shot flight MH17 down, why and what for,' he alleged. They 'manipulate this information and this incident for their own benefit. This provocation was organised to lay blame on Russia and force it into sending troops to Ukraine, officially. But the Russian government did not succumb to this provocation'.

Posted by: brian | Nov 10 2014 23:56 utc | 19

That these two best fiends are hiding behind one another now is no surprise. The US and Israel use each other and always have. Good Cop/Bad Cop. The two have forever been doing each others dirty deeds, saying whatever they have to say in public, doing whatever they can do in private.

The Israelis supported two of the most dastardly crimes of the 20th Century - the genocide in Guatemala and the Racists in South Africa - when the US Congress (post VietNam) was able to prevent the US from doing so quite so openly. In fact, Israeli weapons went to all the worst of the fascist regimes that popped up in Latin America. Those are deeds which have forever earned the Israelis the distrust of the average citizen there, and cemented the bond between the people of Latin America, and the people of Palestine.

Now for the latest show: The US is desperate to crack the SCO. It is pressing mightily on Russia in Ukraine and in Syria, and offering the Grand Bargain with Iran. The US pretends to be miffed with Israel, meanwhile the settlement building and the white phosphorous raining down on Gaza continues unabated. Obomber is penning "Dear Ayatollah" while telling his underlings to call Bibi "chickenshit" in public - but its all the purest diplomatic showmanship. "Crisis in the relationship! Things have never been lower!" Meanwhile, every US Congressperson no matter what the differences agrees on one thing: "if bombing babies is what it takes for some twit in Ashkelon to enjoy his stolen seaside balcony - then by God, that's okay by me!" Nothing has changed. Another quick scam played on the world by the two most aggressive nations on the planet.

I don't gather that there are too many Iranians short-sighted enough to fall for any of this nonsense. The US is pulling out all of the stops to wean the Iranians away from the SCO, even putting up this pretense of some kind of phony "break" with Israel (read: excuse for Israel to build settlements and threaten al Quds, while still collecting their $3B a year apparent birthright). It's a ploy more completely transparent than your average length of Saran Wrap. The real temptation is the US securing for Iran a big cut of the European gas marker - but its a deal only a fool or a traitor could love. As soon as the US gets their way with Russia, Iran will be back on the hit list.


Looks like Jurk McClueless is back for more. Basking in the dim light of his mediocrity.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 11 2014 1:21 utc | 20

The US is going the extra mile by throwing Mr. McHale under the bus. Assuming such a character even exists.

It does show the tight links between US local law enforcement and the thugs sent out for foreign duty. Its a pattern established since at least US colonization/occupation of the Philippines.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 11 2014 1:24 utc | 21



Your projection is showing

Being called a mediocrity by a bitter bitchy little queen with projection issues who hasnt had an original thought since sometime around the end of the vietnam war, if even then, is hilarious.

Posted by: JMcC | Nov 11 2014 1:55 utc | 22

@22- a bitter bitchy little queen with projection issues who hasnt had an original thought

Here again the toss pot calling the kettle black. The way this slag off flips the script you'd think he was writing copy for the state department.

Posted by: Cooter | Nov 11 2014 2:39 utc | 23

Gimp, calling yourself "cooter" ain't fooling anyone

Posted by: JMcC | Nov 11 2014 2:45 utc | 24

a very big abyss to bridge

Posted by: Jay M | Nov 11 2014 3:06 utc | 25

This isn"t guest77 ninny hammer. And a supercilious swotted up tosspot with multiple screen names and delusions of omnipotence who has been banned from this board multiple times should get a clue and seek professional help.

Posted by: Cooter | Nov 11 2014 3:17 utc | 26

Mmmmmm-Another "ISIS/Terrorist" killed, or wounded....KABUKI.

Copeland@ 12:

"Soon, a dollar won't buy a donut, much less a Happy Meal."

We keep hoping.

Posted by: ben | Nov 11 2014 3:18 utc | 27

The only really intriguing question is how Risen and Apuzzo could write that "could suggest tacit American support for terrorism" paragraph without spitting up all over their laptops. Or maybe they did and just had to do some clean up.

Posted by: fairleft | Nov 11 2014 3:21 utc | 28


No Gimp

Its definitely you.

Posted by: JMcC | Nov 11 2014 3:50 utc | 29

You've definitely gone around a bend in a queer road. Guest77 wouldn't be arsed. Apologies to guest77 for the febrile imaginings of this twits defective brain.

Posted by: Cooter | Nov 11 2014 4:05 utc | 30

Apologising to yourself for the actions of your sockpuppet, gimp?

You Demented loon

Posted by: JMcC | Nov 11 2014 9:21 utc | 31

I still think that Mark Perry's story is likely correct. It was obviously the case that the CIA had established a position in Baluchistan at least by 2008 and were supporting agents that were attacking Iran. What they complaining about to Perry was that Israel was cutting in on their action and impersonating CIA agents for their own purposes. There is no contradiction in these stories. Perry was simply reporting a sliver of the bigger picture. It remains really unclear what that bigger picture really consists of. So far we have only seen a few glimpses.

Bringing up this McHale character as some kind of "rouge" who broke ranks reminds me of the Wilson-Terpil saga over 30 years ago in an operation in Libya. To this day it is difficult to know what really happened then but it is clear that those two were active CIA agents and were probably doing something that was officially sanctioned though they might have been making some money on the side. For some reason the agency turned against them.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 11 2014 10:54 utc | 32

Seymour Hersh writing in July 2008 in the New Yorker -- Preparing the Battlefield: The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran -- discusses JSOC and Jundallah.

Posted by: Another Anonymous | Nov 11 2014 15:39 utc | 33

Could this be a connection to the FBI's investigation of Robin Raphel? So many patterns to connect the dots. I agree with ToivoS -- this story is likely true and just a sliver of the bigger picture. The dots are revealing a pattern which echo's across the zio-NWO-globe. Is anyone else bored by it all? The mendacity. The malevolence. The mundane evil of its objectives. There's no creativity. No freshness. Nothing interesting in the way they go about doing their sordid business. The Khazars can't seem to come up with anything new. Like that Hollywood contingent who keeps cranking out poor copies. They bore me to sobs.

Posted by: giddy | Nov 11 2014 16:35 utc | 34

Robert Baer, The Devil We Know, p. 245:

The Iranians want us to stop dealing with three Iranian terrorist groups responsible for killing Iranians: the Party for the Free Life of Kurdistan (PEJAK), an Iranian Kurdish separatist organization that has taken refuge in northern Iraq; the Mujahidin-e Khalq, which is based in Iraq; and Jundallah, an Iranian Baloch group affilliated with al Qaeda. All three goups maintain contact with American intelligence."

Posted by: g_h | Nov 11 2014 18:24 utc | 35

Obama may hope that the current negotiations with Iran will be successful and renewed cooperation with Iran will rescue him from the dilemma of the failed invasion of Iraq and the failed operation against the Syrian state.

Wrong. These "operations" weren't failures, they just cost more than The Empire would've like to pay out.

Maybe someday The Empire will run out of human filth to bribe and right into people whose price tips It into insolvency. Without the liquidity to induce people to crawl over their mothers to fuck their sisters The Empire instantaneously turns into a pumpkin, midnight or no. And that day may be closer than we all like to think.

Posted by: Eric Shun | Nov 11 2014 20:17 utc | 36

Obama's operations in Iraq and Syria are not the only foreign policy failures he must endure. The war against Libya, his support for the Ukrainian coup, pivot to Asia and his incompetent handling of Israel should also be added to the list. I agree that at this point he has only one chance to avoid batting zero and that would be to end 35 of hostilities against Iran. If he fails here will go down in history as having the worse foreign policy since Woodrow Wilson.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 11 2014 20:41 utc | 37


I think it's an illusion to look at whatever deal is made with Iran on their nuke program as an end to hostilities from the US, it is only the beginning of the humiliation that the US will demand if Iran decides to surrender to the Hegemon.

The Hardliners seem to see this for what it is while the Merchantile Class only care about their profits.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 11 2014 21:59 utc | 38

America's CIA works hand in glove with Jundullah, no matter what emptywheel writes in 2012. The CIA under Obama was directly involved with the Jundullah leadership.

I've written about the arrest of Abdolmalek Rigi in 2010 …

America's Terrorist Arrested by Iran's SF in Pakistan

Iran's Special Forces using US rendition and Mossad techniques

TEHRAN, Iran (Press TV) - Iran's Intelligence Ministry says Abdolmalek Rigi, ringleader of the terrorist group Jundallah (Soldiers of God) or People's Resistance Movement of Iran (PRMI), was at a US base 24 hours before being captured by Iranian forces.

In a news conference following Rigi's capture, Iran's Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi shed light on certain details regarding Rigi's arrest as well as his links with foreign elements. Moslehi said that Americans utilized an Afghan passport for Rigi, a declaration which adds to already existing evidence on Rigi's links with the US.

Posted by: Oui | Nov 11 2014 22:35 utc | 39

Why are you so interested in denying the Israeli aid?

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 11 2014 22:47 utc | 40

"Obama may hope that the current negotiations with Iran will be successful and renewed cooperation with Iran will rescue him from the dilemma of the failed invasion of Iraq and the failed operation against the Syrian state."

Wrong. These "operations" weren't failures, they just cost more than The Empire would've like to pay out.

They were failures because A.the Iraq government does not have relations with Israel and is in Iran's sphere of influence, even forbidding the US to use its air space to attack Syria. and B. Assad is still in power.

Meanwhile, Israel is taking hits as well.

Posted by: truthbetold | Nov 11 2014 23:52 utc | 41

Posted by: giddy | Nov 11, 2014 11:35:56 AM | 34

Recycling the same old script is making the Empire's schemes look a little Groundhog Day-ish.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 12 2014 4:19 utc | 42

To Hoarsewhisperer,

Yes. But Groundhog Day had a moral principle at its core. These people have no morals and no principles. They have no humanity. And are ugly inside and out. Through and through. Its why they like to breed with other tribes. To mask themselves in the humanity of others. It's farce. More and more see them as they ARE. Lying. Deceitful. Murderers.

Yesterday was Veterans Day. I WILL NEVER fly the American flag. It's a sham. The ZIOS have made America a sham. It's shameful that anyone belongs to the American military. Only dual-citizens need apply to DOS. Or CIA. They've lost core Americans. And are only beginning to feel the blowback.

Not even Hollywood can fix it.

Posted by: giddy | Nov 12 2014 16:40 utc | 43

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