Jundallah

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Jundallah
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Fullname: Jundallah
Alias: People's Resistance Movement of Iran
Soldiers of God
Origin: Iran
Foundation: 2003
Headquarters: Balochistan, Iran
Commanders: Abdolmalek Rigi (former)
Goals: Gain equal rights for Sunni Baluchis
Establish an independent state of Balochistan (disputed)


Jundallah (Arabic: جندالله‎, lit. 'Soldiers of God'), also known as People's Resistance Movement of Iran (PRMI), was a Sunni Militant Islam organization based in Sistan and Baluchestan, a southeastern region of Iran, that claims to be fighting for "equal rights of Sunni Muslims in Iran".

It was founded by Abdolmalek Rigi, who was captured and executed in Iran in 2010. It is believed to have between 700 to 2,000 fighters and, as of December 2014, is said to be responsible for killing 154 and injuring 320 Iranian citizens since 2003, while Jundullah commanders claim the group has killed up to 400 Iranian soldiers.

The group has been designated a terrorist organization by Iran, New Zealand and the United States and it has been linked to, and taken credit for numerous acts of terror, kidnapping and the smuggling of narcotics. According to many sources, the group is linked to al-Qaeda.

Goals

Jundullah have been referred to as separatists by various media, and Iranian leaders have stated that Jundullah is proxy group used by the enemies of Iran to destabilize the Islamic Republic. The group's (now dead) leader Abdolmalek Rigi, however, always denied the organization had any separatist agenda, or foreign links, claiming that they "merely fight for equal rights for Sunni Muslims" in predominantly Shi'a Iran.

In an interview with Rooz (an Iranian online newspaper), Rigi declared himself an Iranian and stating Iran was his home, and that he merely aimed at improving the lives of Sunni Baluchis in a democratic Iran. Dan Rather's US cable channel HDnet's television news magazine Dan Rather Reports, also interviewed Rigi and showed a video of Rigi personally cutting off his brother in-law Shahab Mansouri's head. In the same interview, Rigi described himself as "an Iranian" and denied that his goal is to form a separate Baluch state. He claimed that his goal is to "improve conditions for ethnic Baluchis", and that his group is "fighting exclusively for the rights of Sunni Muslims in Iran".

In an October 17, 2008 interview aired on Al-Arabiya TV, Abdolmalek stated, "the only thing we ask of the Iranian government is to be citizens. We want to have the same rights as the Iranian Shiite people. That's it." He described his group as an Islamic awakening movement but denied any ties with Al Qaeda or the Taliban. He also told the interviewer that despite the fact that "many of us have been martyred ... we are prepared to reach an understanding with the Iranian government, Insha Allah."