The Arrest of Rigi

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The killing of innocent civilians, kidnapping for ransom, beheadings, bombings, torture and murder in cold blood are just some of the horrific acts of terror committed by the Jundallah terrorist group. They claimed that they were fighting for the rights of the Baloch minority in south east Iran, but in reality human rights had no value for them. Abdolmalek Rigi, Jundallah’s ringleader, took up arms as a teenager at the age of nineteen, and organized and carried out various terrorist attacks since then. Jundallah, under his command, carried out numerous terrorist attacks, bombings and assassinations in Iran. In one of its most vicious attacks, the terror group killed around 40 people in Pishin, a city in the southwest of Iran. In total, the group’s terror activities left more than 800 people killed or injured. This documentary “The Arrest of Rigi” will elaborate about the terror group’s activities and doctrine as explained by its own members and even Rigi himself. And show in detail how Iranian Intelligence forces captured and arrested the allusive kingpin.

TIME CODE: 00:00_05:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Voice of a man: “What do you do?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hostage: “I’m a student.” 

Narration: After its emergence in 2002, the terrorist group of Jundullah claimed lives of many innocent people through acts of terror, such as kidnapping and bombing public places like mosques.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Abdolmalek Rigi, Leader of Jundallah Terrorist Group: “If our demands are not met, all the soldiers will be beheaded.”

Narration: The stated goal of the group was to defend the Baluchi minority who live in south-east Iran, but in reality it killed many of them. For a long time, Jundollah enjoyed the backing of the number of the regional and Western powers. On February 23, 2010, Abdolmalek Rigi, group’s kingpin of the group was arrested in a intricate un recovered intelligence operation.

This film, some of the terrorist activities of this group as well as the way Rigi was arrested.

Abdulhamid Rigi, the leader’s brother and right-hand man was arrested on June 15, 2008. He was behind many of the group’s terrorist attacks. He will recount how they planned and carried out those attacks.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “This is the Tasooki area. On March 16, 2006, I came here as part of the group led by Abdolmalek. We moved in the dark. I personally had never been to this area. Anyway, our guide took us here from that direction. We came all the way through the desert to right about this spot. The cars, we parked our cars somewhere around here. This is the spot where Malek sat down and summoned everybody to sit down with him. He talked to them. I myself filmed that speech.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Abdolmalek Rigi, Leader of Jundallah Terrorist Group: “Make sure God is pleased with you. If God isn’t pleased with you, no matter what you do, will be in vain.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “Malek himself went and stood there along with five or six other people including his bodyguards. There were three groups of us. One would stop vehicles coming from Zahedan. The other would stop vehicles coming from Zabol. And a couple of men were standing on the road.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Voice of a man: “This is where the operation is taking place.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “Over there we set up a checkpoint. A couple of other men and I would wave down the vehicles coming that way. We’d force the passengers off the vehicles.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Voice of a man: “What is the purpose of this operation, sir?” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “The target was Shia Muslims. It didn’t matter if they worked for the government or not. They only had to be Shia. The order was to bring down anyone wearing Persian clothes. They gathered all the vehicles over here. Then Malek told the men who’d taken the car here to set fire to them.”

TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Voice of a man: “Setting fire to government vehicles.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Voice of a man: “Yasser!” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “So then they set fire to the vehicles. When I arrived, they’d already duct-taped the hostages and had them lie down on the ground.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Voice of a man: “All the devils who…”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “They had all the hostages lie down on the ground…Those who were rich were stripped of everything they had. Those who looked like government employees were loaded onto a vehicle.I remember mistreating the hostages. 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi’s voice: “Get up! Get up! No! No! You stay down. Get up! Get up! Get up, you cow! Get up or I’m gonna kick the tar outta you.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “After they forced the hostages to lie on the ground, Malek told his men to shoot them. We believed they weren’t Muslims. We believed they were infidels. They were Shias so they weren’t Muslim. That’s why we treated them like that. We’d kick them. One of them told me he was a student, but I myself gave him a kick and told him he was lying.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “What do you do?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hostage: “I’m a student.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “What do you study?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hostage: “I’m a student. Look…”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “You are like 50 years old! And you are telling me you are a student.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hostage: “I was born in 1983. Check out my ID card.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “What do you do? Get up! Get up one by one!” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hostage: “Arrgh!” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “Huh?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hostage: “Where are we supposed to go?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “What does your dad do?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hostage: “My dad was poor. He’s dead.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “He’s dead?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hostage: “Yeah.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “Go! Go!”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hostage: “My father is dead”.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “Wait! Go over there.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hostage: “Where am I supposed to go? Where am I supposed to go?” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “Here! Come here.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hostage: “When I watched the film later, I saw martyr SadeqKheir-khah. The one I kicked and disrespected.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Voice of a man: “It’s over. All these people that you see…”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “This is martyr Shahbazi whom we took hostage there. He was among the hostages whom Malek ordered to be killed right there.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “This is martyr Ahmad ZadehSheikhi. He was held hostage at the group’s hideout in Mahian for a while. Mahian is an area in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan. They killed him there.”  

Narration: Fronted by Abdolmalek, Abdolhamid killed his wife Faezeh when she was asleep at their home in Quetta. Before that, Abdolmalek himself had beheaded Shahab, Faezeh’s only brother on camera. Saudi News Channel, Al Arabiya, broadcast the film the film of Shahabs murdered. Abdolhamid Meets His In-Laws after Being Arrested.

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Azam Hasani Doust, Mother of the Victim: “How could you kill my daughter Faezeh. Where’s my Faezeh. Look! Look! Look at my Faezeh! Look at my Faezeh! How could you? How could you? Was Abdolmalek really worth it? Didn’t my daughter dedicate herself to you? What are you gonna tell these two kids? What are you gonna tell them? Who’s gonna raise them? Why did you do it? Were you fooled by Abdolmalek? Is Abdolmalek the reason you ended up like this? You mean you made your children helpless and miserable to please Abdolmalek? I hope to God for Abdolmalek to die. Why did you kill my child? You cowards.Faezehdid everything for you.” 

Narration: As a terrorist group, Jundollah had more than 25 cases of kidnapping for extortion in its criminal record. For a variety of reasons, the group killed many of its hostages. Some of them were from Turkey, Italy and Japan.

TIME CODE: 10:00_15:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Son of Victim: “They called one afternoon and asked after my father. I told them he hadn’t come home yet.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “They were two rich friends. They looked alike. The same house. He was driving the same car, he’d go to his door, and his friend’s child was riding next to him in the car when he drove to their house.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Son of Victim: “I started asking what was going on and was told Dad had been taken hostage.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Wife of Victim: “They had planned to kidnap the director of the factory where my husband worked.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Son of Victim: “They even got into clashes with law enforcement but somehow managed to get away.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “It was some other guy who was the director of that company. The plan was to kidnap him. But weabducted someone else by mistake…Because we had never seen the guy before. 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Son of Victim: “After 24 hours, the hostage takers called me on my cell phone. They said, “Your father MrKeshmiri is here with us.” But then I told them, “It’s not Keshmiri. It’s Kaveh.” “He’s one of Keshmiri’s employees.” They said, “You have to hand over 500 million toman.” I said, “We don’t have that kind of money.” “All we have is this house.” “We have no money.””

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “By then, we’d arrived at the border. I and the rest of the men talked it over and decided we had to take him with us now that we’d taken him all the way there and especially because we’d gotten into clashes with law enforcement. We made a mistake, so be it. Let’s take him to Pakistan.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Son of Victim: “They gave me assurances that they were going to release my father.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] AbdolHamid Rigi, Abdolmalek’s brother: “The guy in charge of our propaganda told me so-and-so had shot so-and-so. That was when I realized he was shot dead by MullaZaherMultani.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Wife of Victim: “I don’t understand. What did they do? Seriously, what did they do to deserve that? When I saw him, he looked really pitiful. I pitied him more than I hated him.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Abdolrahman Niari, Jundallah Bomber: “About two days before the attack, the making of the suicide vest that you saw here started. It was me and two other men making it. Every day, Abdollayev would go into the city and would call Abdulmalek from different spots in the city to get his orders. He’d ask him what we had to do and what we didn’t have to do. Right about the time when they had finished making the vest, I realized they were gonna carry out a suicide attack. That they were gonna…”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing: “I remember minutes before the evening prayer right when the call to prayer started, we went to the mosque.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Abdolrahman Niari, Jundallah Bomber: “About half an hour before the evening prayer, we set out from my house in a car that I was the driver of.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing: “I was sitting under the huge chandelier, like the one in Imam Reza’s shrine, along with my brother and father.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Abdolrahman Niari, Jundallah Bomber: “I pulled up in an alley on the left. Abdol-Aref walked to the entrance of the alley and waited.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing: “Mr. Abbassi the clergy man, started the prayer.” 

TIME CODE: 15:00_20:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Abdolrahman Niari, Jundallah Bomber: “After twenty minutes, give or take…”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing: “The bomb went off…The sound of the explosion is still ringing in my ears.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Abdolrahman Niari, Jundallah Bomber: “My bother called Abdolmalek and told him something like “Mission Accomplished”. And he told him something like, “You don’t have anything to do there anymore and can return to the base” which was in Pakistan.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing: “I’m honored to have been wounded mourning the death of Hazrat Fatima. Not many people get to have such an honor.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing: “We saw someone coming. He kept coming. He looked suspicious. He arrived at the gates. When he arrived at the gates, he made a quick pause. He’d come in a chador. I mean he was wearing a chador.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Maddah (Religious singer): “She says, “I midwifed Imam Hussein’s birth.””

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing: “Right then I saw martyr Gardavi rush to the attacker, wrap his arms around him and drag him to a corner. The moment he moved the attacker away from the entrance, I heard a loud explosion.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Abdolmalek Rigi, Leader of Jundallah Terrorist Group: “We violated the sanctity of the mosque. We shed innocent Muslim blood. We tarnished the image of the religion of Islam worldwide. The only parties that rejoiced at what happened were those same enemies of Islam who, as I say, cheered at what happened and ridiculed us (Muslims) for fighting with each other and neglecting them. Well, that was one of the consequences of our actions. The blood of the people that was shed there. Obviously, now I consider that as a sin, as a crime, and as haram. And I think that at the end of the day, I will be responsible to God, and to the people whom I’ve caused so much grief.” 

TIME CODE: 20:00_25:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing: “It was a Sunday, 8:00 o’clock. They invited me, so I went there…..I hung around for about half an hour before I saw the general arrive.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] General: “Hello everyone. How is it going everybody? Excellent job! Well done.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Man: “I started walking behind him.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Victim of Bombing: “The explosion was so loud. It turned the place into hell instantly. He said he was fighting for the rights of the Baloch. Is this how he’s fighting for our rights? We don’t want him to fight for our rights at all.”  

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Mother of Victim: “Like I said, you killed my child but I’d still pay your child utmost respect.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Seyed Mohammad Mousavi, Father of the Victim: “We are the followers of a religion that encourages forgiveness, clemency, and magnanimity. In one of the chapters in the Quran, God says, He swears actually…He says, “Humans are to ere.” “And those who are truthful and do good deeds…”. I hope God will have mercy on you. We forgive you and we hope God forgives you, too. May God give those who brainwashed you the severest of punishments.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Mother of Victim: “Go sit on the chair son. Get up.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Seyed Mohammad Mousavi, Father of the Victim: “Get up! Get up”. 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Azam Hasani Doust, Mother of the Victim: “I forgive you. I hope God forgives you, too.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Seyed Mohammad Mousavi, Father of the Victim: “We forgive you. I hope God forgives you, too.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Azam Hasani Doust, Mother of the Victim: “Look how he’s holding Mahdi in his arms and kissing him.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Seyed Mohammad Mousavi, Father of the Victim: “Those who made you do what you did, those who lead the children of this land astray, I hope God will take our revenge from them, for the love of Imam Hussein. I pray to God to forgive you. We forgive you, too. Just pray to God to bring comfort to this grieving mother.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Azam Hasani Doust, Mother of the Victim: “God be with you.” 

Narration: Security forces intercepted Abdomalek Rigi’s telephone calls and found out that he and his henchmen were moving from Quetta, Pakistan to Qandahar in Afghanistan, for the first round of fresh negotiations with the Americans on how to implement the agreements reached in Casablanca, Morocco.  

TIME CODE: 25:00_30:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Abdolmalek Rigi, Leader of Jundallah Terrorist Group: “Mr. Nasser Golladay sent a team with us. Nasser himself is the spokesman for the Balochestan People’s Party, which is a secular ethnic party. 

He sent me an email saying a group of NATO officials would like to meet with you and discuss how you could cooperate. If you are interested, I can make the arrangements for you and the NATO officials to meet. 

After a few days, I received another email about the same topic, from Mr. YassinAhwazi. YassihAhwazi is a member of the Al-Ahwaz Arab People’s Party. 

My answer to Yassin was positive. They asked where I wanted the meeting to take place. They suggested that the meeting be held in Morocco. 

I and one of my friends by the name of Salman, Salman Azizi, went to Karachi together. Then Mr. Yassin sent us our visas. We bought plane tickets in Karachi.

When we arrived there, we saw Yassin waiting for us at the airport. Together we went to a hotel named Al-Hayat. We checked in and waited. 

A few hours later, Yassin Ahwazi came by and said we had to go to the meeting and hold talks. 

One of their main demands, that they put forth and backed up with reasons and explanations, was that we had better move our operations from Balochestan and the border areas to the center. They said, “That would be both in our interests and yours.” “Because your operations carried out in those regions don’t affect the government.” “They have no bearing on the economy or on the government.” “They will only be effective if you launch them in the central areas.” “Only then will the government take notice of you.” 

INTERVIEW [English] Interviewer: “Abdolmalek Rigi has said that he has met with Nato representative in Afghanistan in Morraco. Can you confirm this meeting? Or these meetings took place?”

SOUNDBITE [English] James Appathurai, Nato Deputy Assistant Security General for Political Afairs: “Certainly not. I have no information of any Nato official met with anyone from that organization neither the leader of the office. I had seen reports on the media he has said that he had met with the Nato Security General, none of this is true, I don’t know even what he said but certainly the press report it occurred.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Abdolmalek Rigi, Leader of Jundallah Terrorist Group: “The idea was….After all, we all agreed that we had one enemy, that we had a common enemy and common goals, no matter if (our partner) is NATO, Israel or any other…Since we have common goals and their demands are in line with our objectives, in other words, since they don’t go against our goals, we can cooperate with each other and go ahead with our plan.” 

SOUNDBITE [English] Mark Perry, Security Analyst: “Israel feels threatened by Iran; It said it would do anything to protect its country. The Mousad does not have a prohibition against assassination. Clearly they want to be able to react t the Iranian threat in any manner they can up to and including assassinations so it’s clearly mean they want  the reason that they want to create Jundollah to carryout actions against Iranian government to behalf of Israel.” 

TIME CODE: 30:00_35:00

Narration: The man in charge of following and surveilling Rigi’s team, informs the intelligence headquarters that Riggi’s convoy that included two SUVs and two motorbikes was approaching the Chaman border area that separates Pakistan from Afghanistan. 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Terrorist Forces: “Hi. They are moving in two SUVs and two motorbikes. Two motorbikes.Two. Yeah. Over.”

Narration: As soon as the information headquarters receives that tipoff, it tells the undercover agent to give an update on the group to the link. 

Rigi’s convoy makes a stopover in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area to rest and to have dinner.

The undercover agent seizes the opportunity, and writes his message down and makes it locatable. The convoy leaves the spot. The link arrives at the stopover and finds the message using a locating device. 

The link informs headquarters that the final destination is still Qandahar, that there hasn’t been any change of plan, and that a security team will receive the target in Spin Boldak and take him to the American military base. 

TIME CODE: 35:00_40:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Terrorist Forces: “Hello! Hi! The motorbikes and SUVs are all gone. Yeah. Yeah. Both the car and the motorbikes. Yeah. Yeah.Enough! Enough! Thank you!”

Narration: Since the target was approaching the American military base, central command decides to continue the operation via electronic surveillance, and rely less on the undercover agent. 

TIME CODE: 40:00_45:00

Narration: Headquarters plants another one of its elements in the caravanserai to hand over a GPS device and a traceable substance to the undercover agent. 

Initial negotiations take place at the US military base with Rigi in attendance. Following that, the Americans make the arrangements for Rigi and Hamzeh to fly from Qandahar to Kabul and take the Dubai-bound Ariana Afghan flight number 401 on an Afghan passport and under his false name Khaled. From Dubai, they were to fly to Kyrgyzstan to meet with US Assistant Secretary of National Security Richard Holbrooke at Manas Air Base in Bishkek. 

The Kyrgyz pilot of flight number 454 ignores the warning from the control tower at Bandar Abbas Airport.  He responds to the warning by saying that he has permission to fly over Iran’s airspace. Eventually, the plane carrying Abdolmalek Rigi is forced to land at Bandar Abbass Airport. It touched down at 02:45 a.m. on February 23, 2009.  

TIME CODE: 45:00_49:47

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Voice of a man (pilot): “I woke up to the roar of two F-4 fighter jets that took off from the airport. I got a call at 06:30 a.m. and was told there had been a problem and that I had to have a word with the pilot of that plane. When I arrived at the plane, I saw it surrounded by security forces. They had taken some guy out of the plane. He was standing under the plane now. I talked to the pilot and told him we were ready to usher the passengers into the airport for food and refreshments since they had been on that flight for four hours. The stopover lasted around seven hours. At 10:15, they left Bandar Abbass airport for Bishkek.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] BBC Anchor:  “AbdolmalekRigi, the leader of Jundullah has been arrested.” 

SOUNDBITE [Persian] Seyed Mohmoud Alavi, Iran Minister of Intelligence: “No one in the region felt threatened by AbdolmalekRigi to be compelled to work hand in hand with the Islamic Republic, to join forces with Iran or to share intelligence with the Islamic Republic of Iran, or to offer solutions of some sort. There was none of that. The Islamic Republic of Iran did all of it by itself. Without a doubt, if the intelligence apparatus of other countries had learned about the Islamic Republic of Iran’s covert plan to hunt down and ensnare that element of insecurity, they’d have acted as impediments to it, and prevented the operation carried out by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s intelligence apparatus from succeeding. 

Both the intelligence services of our allies, and those of our rivals and foes, all admit that the intelligence apparatus of the Islamic Republic of Iran, I mean the Information Ministry is among the most efficient intelligence apparatuses, not only in the Middle East, or in West Asia, or in Asia, rather it’s one of the most efficient intelligence apparatuses in the world.” 


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