'Mossad recruited Jundallah terrorists'
Members of the Jundallah terrorist group (file photo)
Leaked US intelligence documents show that the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, recruited Jundallah terrorists to carry out attacks and assassinations against Iranian targets.
According to Foreign Policy a series of CIA memos written during the last years of President George W. Bush's administration from 2007 and 2008 have revealed how Mossad agents passed themselves as American agents to recruit terrorists for their covert war in Iran.
The memos show that the United States had barred even the most incidental contact with Jundallah, but the same was not true for the Mossad.
The memos also detail CIA field reports saying that Israel's recruiting activities occurred under the nose of US intelligence officers, most notably in London, the capital of one of Israel's ostensible allies, where Mossad officers posing as CIA operatives met with Jundallah officials.
"It's amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with," a US intelligence officer said. "Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn't give a damn what we thought."
The Foreign Policy report noted that in addition to two currently serving US intelligence officers, the existence of the Israeli 'false-flag' operation has been also confirmed by four retired intelligence officers who have served in the CIA or have monitored Israeli intelligence operations from senior positions inside the US government.
"The report sparked White House concerns that Israel's program was putting Americans at risk," an American intelligence officer said.
He added, "There's no question that the US has cooperated with Israel in intelligence-gathering operations against the Iranians, but this was different. No matter what anyone thinks, we're not in the business of assassinating Iranian officials or killing Iranian civilians."
According to Foreign Policy, the debate over Jundallah was resolved only after Bush left office when, within his first weeks as president, Barack Obama drastically scaled back joint US-Israel intelligence programs targeting Iran, according to multiple serving and retired officers.
The State Department, the report added, also aggressively denied that the US government had or has any ties to Jundallah.
"We have repeatedly stated, and reiterate again that the United States has not provided support to Jundallah," a spokesman wrote in an email to The Wall Street Journal, following Jundallah's designation as a terrorist organization.
The Israeli operation left a number of recently retired CIA officers sputtering in frustration. "It's going to be pretty hard for the US to distance itself from an Israeli attack on Iran with this kind of thing going on," a CIA officer told Foreign Policy.
Intelligence experts maintain that while many of the details of Israel's involvement with Jundallah are now known, many others still remain a mystery -- and are likely to remain so.
The Jundallah terrorist group has carried out numerous bombings, assassination attempts, and terrorist attacks against Iranian government officials and civilians, including women and children.
Jundallah's notorious leader, Abdolmalek Rigi, was arrested by Iranian intelligence forces in February 2010 and executed in June 2010 after being found guilty of 79 criminal charges, including manslaughter, armed robbery, bombing operations, and armed attacks on Iranian police and civilians.
Rigi stated in his confessions that he had dealings with the US government and was promised unlimited funds and resources for “waging an insurgency” in Iran.