A former Central Intelligence Agency officer has confirmed US’ relations with the terrorist group Jundullah, despite the CIA knowing that the group has close links with the al-Qaeda.
“American intelligence has also had contact with Jundullah. But that contact, as Iran almost certainly knows, was confined to intelligence-gathering on the country,” Robert Baer, a former Middle East CIA field officer wrote on the Time.com, IRNA reported early on Saturday.
However, he noted that the US-Jundullah relationship “was never formalized, and contact was sporadic.”
The news comes amid US denial of any involvement in a recent terrorist attack in Sistan-Baluchestan province in southeastern Iran, which Jundullah claimed responsibility for.
“I’ve been told that the Bush Administration at one point considered Jundullah as a piece in a covert-action campaign against Iran, but the idea was quickly dropped because Jundullah was judged uncontrollable and too close to al-Qaeda.
Baer also noted that Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), has had relations with the Jundullah leader, Abdolmalek Rigi.
“Pakistani intelligence has indeed had contact with Jundullah over the years, but there’s no good evidence that Pakistan created Jundullah from scratch. And there’s certainly no evidence that Pakistan ordered the attack,” Baer said in reference to the terrorist attack that took place in Iran on Sunday, October 18, which killed 42 people including the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps commanders.
“In fact, Pakistani intelligence over the past few years has been arresting Jundullah members and turning them over to Iran,” he claimed.