Iran: Israeli “false flag” ops behind Jundallah terror?

Does it get any murkier than this? The conspirosphere is abuzz with claims aired in Foreign Policy magazine Jan. 13 that Mossad agents recruited militants from the Iranian terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as CIA agents in a “false flag” operation. Iran’s Press TV and Pakistan’s The Nation as well as stateside conspiranoids like Prison Planet and have jumped all over it. But, predictably, the actual original report is fuzzy on the details and raises more questions than it answers. Here’s the salient passage:

Buried deep in the archives of America’s intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush’s administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives—what is commonly referred to as a “false flag” operation.

The memos, as described by the sources, one of whom has read them and another who is intimately familiar with the case, investigated and debunked reports from 2007 and 2008 accusing the CIA, at the direction of the White House, of covertly supporting Jundallah—a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization. Jundallah, according to the U.S. government and published reports, is responsible for assassinating Iranian government officials and killing Iranian women and children.

But while the memos show that the United States had barred even the most incidental contact with Jundallah, according to both intelligence officers, the same was not true for Israel’s Mossad. The memos also detail CIA field reports saying that Israel’s recruiting activities occurred under the nose of U.S. 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.

The officials did not know whether the Israeli program to recruit and use Jundallah is ongoing. Nevertheless, they were stunned by the brazenness of the Mossad’s effort.

Outraged quotes from conveniently anonymous officials follow. OK, how many ways is this whole thing suspect? Let’s see. 1. The “archives” of “intelligence agencies” are invoked, but we aren’t told what archives of what agencies. We aren’t even told what agency the two “intelligence officials” are from. 2. Why would Jundallah be any more likely to accept aid from the US than Israel? One would think they hate both equally. What was to be gained by the subterfuge? 3. What was to be gained at all, for that matter? The militants were “recruited” for what? Jundallah appear to be sufficiently motivated on their own. Their cannon fodder are made up of ethnic Baluchs who are Sunni Muslims—doubly oppressed by ethnic discrimination and religious persecution in Shi’ite-dominated Iran. Why would Israeli agents have to “recruit” them? 4. The writer has evidently not seen the supposed memos, but is relying on descriptions from the two anonymous “sources.” So the reader is getting it third-hand, and nothing can be independently corroborated.

The ever-growing legions who are obsessed by such arcana never seem to notice that they could be the ones who are being played for fools. Maybe Mark Perry, the writer of this frustratingly vague and illogical account, is himself a conduit (witting or un) for disinformation. Maybe the CIA is backing Jundallah and, afraid that this relationship was about to be exposed, made up this memo story to scapegoat Mossad. We certainly don’t claim to know this, but it doesn’t strike us as any less likely than the version that Perry and his echo chamber have spun…

See our last posts on Iran and the struggle in Baluchistan.

  1. ‘knowledge’
    “Maybe the CIA is backing Jundallah and, afraid that this relationship was about to be exposed, made up this memo story to scapegoat Mossad. We certainly don’t claim to know this…”

    Or perhaps, Mr. Weinberg, your ethnic loyalty is obfuscating your cogitation on the matter.

    Kindly spare me the anti-semite smear – your doubts and absolutely baseless theorizing seem to be selective. Mossad’s history is replete with false flags – the passport scandal of recent vintage is but one example.

    Funny how the ‘one unnamed source’ is just fine to fuel the insanity about Iran’s ‘nuclear program’ but a report suggesting Mossad wanted to, if their operation was exposed, foment retaliation against the US, thus drawing your country into that war the Likudniks ache for, seems not only possible but probable.

    I ask you – why the sudden skepticism?

    1. Shoe fits, wear it, Jew-baiter
      Why should I “spare you” the anti-Semite “smear”? You have a.) arbitrarily decided that my analysis is colored by “ethnic loyalty,” and b.) portray my “ethnic loyalty” as necessarily a bad thing. What, Jews don’t get to defend their enlightened self-interest like any other ethnic group?

      The CIA’s history is not “replete” with deception? Your assumption that the “false flag” claims are true is also “baseless theorizing.” Give us a break.

      And if you actually bothered to read this website, instead of making snap judgements on the basis of my last name, you would know that we are not “sudden” skeptics. We are skeptical about everything.

      1. Not. Even. Wrong.
        Because, in all seriousness, if someone claimed I were biased as to some story on Scotland because I’m Scottish – there would be no question of my raising a “hate” argument.

        You want to have your cake an eat it. We shouldn’t treat Jewish commentators or their biases differently, but we should – anything that would pass as fair, or even merely ‘wrong’ as to other groups gets the ‘anti-Semite’ smear by folks like you, who then don’t feel required to mount a compelling argument as to why their *baseless* offering of an alternative is motivated by more than ethnocentric bias.

        Basically, the FP story suggests Mossad acted as it has frequently done, and I suspect that if the story had been about the Pakistani ISI, you would not have been compelled to tender, with zero evidence, a narrative amounting to the precise opposite of a story written for a fairly major news journal. So – Thanks for proving my point Hitler-liar.

        Oh, Hitler-liar? That’s my new term for people who want to use a smear as applied to Jews they wouldn’t apply to any other group. For you, criticisms of any group, but Jews, will be addressed on their face. But if it pertains to your tribe – you readily give yourself license to attribute an emotional state, which precludes discussion on the merits.

        Thanks for proving my point, you Hitler-liar.