Brother of Jundullah leader makes new revelations

July 21, 2009

ZAHEDAN - Abdul-Hamid Rigi, the brother of Jundullah leader Abdul-Malek Rigi, made confessions on Thursday about the background of the terrorist group and its criminal activities.

Abdul-Hamid Rigi was arrested by Pakistani forces and handed over to Iranian officials in 2008. He has been sentenced to death in Iran but his execution has been postponed for a few days so that more interrogations can be conducted.
At a press conference in Zahedan, Sistan-Baluchestan Province, he told reporters that he was born in a middle-class family in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan in Iranian calendar year 1358 (March 1979-March 1980).
He said he dropped out of primary school and then spent some time in a religious school before he moved to Tehran to look for work.
At the age of 19, he married his cousin and opened a cosmetics shop in Zahedan.
“After some years, I opened a cosmetics shop at the Rasouli Crossroads Bazaar and met my second wife, who was from Tehran, in that shop and married her. And in the year 1379 (March 2000-March2001) I was arrested for transporting 32 kilograms of illicit drugs in Kermanshah (Province) and was sentenced to three years in prison. After serving one year, I went on furlough… and never returned,” he added.
He said that his brother Abdul-Malek became involved with a terrorist group when he was 12, and on the ringleader’s orders, he traveled back and forth between Pakistan and Iran and Afghanistan and Iran for missions for a number of years.
“A few years later, my brother studied at the Nahook religious school in Saravan (in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan) for two years, and after his expulsion from the school… he established the terrorist group (Jundullah) with the United States’ support,” Rigi stated.
He said that during the war between the U.S. and the Taliban in 1382 (March 2003-March 2004), Abdul-Malek served as Al-Qaeda’s agent in Zahedan, facilitating the return of Arabs who were fleeing from Afghanistan to their home countries.
“My brother Malek was well-off even in that time period and was driving brand new cars, and whenever I asked how he got all the money, he would say Al-Qaeda provided him with the money in return for transferring Arabs,” he explained.
Rigi said he became involved in his brother’s activities because he was in debt and his brother agreed to pay off his debts.
Abdul-Malek held numerous meetings with the members of his group to interpret the Quran, during which he described Shias as infidels who have a different version of the Quran, he stated.
And as his colleagues were all illiterate, they would believe whatever he taught them, he added.
Abdul-Hamid Rigi also criticized the Sunni ulema for doing nothing about the lack of education of the youth.
“Not a single one of the Sunni ulema has ever taken an effective measure… to guide the youth, and that is why some youths, due to their ignorance, are attracted to terrorist groups,” he added.
Abdul-Hamid Rigi said Abdul-Malek brainwashed all the members of the group, and all the terrorist operations, such as the Tasuki attack, were planned by his brother.
“We were manipulated by Abdul-Malek to carry out terrorist attacks like Tasuki… and we never doubted his statements,” he added.
The Tasuki incident happened on March 16, 2006 when members of the Jundullah terrorist group attacked a convoy of vehicles near the town of Tasuki in the Sistan area, killing 23 people and taking seven others hostage.
Abdul-Hamid Rigi also confessed to killing one of his wives (the mother of three of his children) while she was asleep just because his brother had told him she was guilty.
“They (members of the group) even decapitated my wife’s brother Shahab Hosseini… and I did not protest at all because I was affected by Malek’s lies,” he added.
After completing his mission as Al-Qaeda’s representative in Zahedan, Abdul-Malek went to Pakistan to hold talks with religious figures of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban to muster support for his plan to start killing Shia people in Iran, he added.
But they did not agree to support his plan and told him that they believed that Iranian people are Muslims and civilians should not be killed, so Abdul-Malek left Pakistan and expanded his relations with U.S. intelligence agents, Rigi stated.
He went on to say that the United States has tasked Abdul-Malek with implementing its plan to foment discord between regional countries, and in his meetings with U.S. agents, he received financial assistance and equipment.
“On just one occasion, the Americans gave one hundred dollars to Abdul-Malek and some satellite and telecommunications equipment was sent to him (later),” Rigi added.
Rigi stated that before he was arrested, his brother was attempting to contact elements in Saudi Arabia in order to acquire financial support but added that he did not know whether Abdul-Malek succeeded or not.
He also said, “Some say the Islamic Republic of Iran forced me to make these statements, but I would like to say that I know that I have been given the death sentence… so force and pressure is not important and cannot influence someone who is awaiting death.”