The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was notified that a notorious terrorist group was planning a big operation in Iran before it happened in 2007, according to a new report.
The Jundallah terrorist group has carried out numerous bombings, assassination attempts, and terrorist attacks against Iranian government officials and civilians, including women and children.
Among the most notorious attacks by the group was a 2007 car bombing in southeastern Iran which killed 11 members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
The New York Times reports that a CIA officer roaming through the spy agency’s files came across an intelligence report, filed ahead of the bombing, that had warned “something big” was about to happen in Iran.
The intelligence report had originated in Newark, with a detective for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey named Thomas McHale who was also a member of an FBI counterterrorism task force, the Times said.
McHale had travelled to Afghanistan and Pakistan to cultivate contacts within the leadership of Jundallah. The informants, according to the Times, then operated under the joint supervision of the FBI and CIA.
The CIA officer, who had found the file, became increasingly concerned and began consulting agency lawyers on the matter, who then concluded that using informants to gather intelligence about terrorist attacks ahead of time would only suggest “tacit American support” for such operations inside Iran.
However, US officials continued to obtain intelligence from informants in Jundallah’s leadership, first through the FBI and then the Pentagon.
More surprisingly, American officials persisted with their relationships with their informants even when Jundallah’s attacks killed Iranian civilians or when the State Department designated it a terrorist organization. US officials repeatedly denied any connection to the terrorist group.
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.