Sunday, October 11, 2009

Iran Links Kurdish Militants to Al Qaida

Kurdistan’s Judiciary Chief Ali Akbar Qarousi said today the recent terrorist attacks in Iran’s Kurdish region were linked to Al Qaida. Fars New Agency quoted Qarousi as saying that PJAK, the militant Kurdish group operating in northwestern Iran, was “directly supported” by a Al Qaida network in northern Iraq [Fars New Agency, 11 October].

Iran's new intelligence minister, Heidar Moslehi, said Wednesday the IRGC and security forces have killed four terrorists and arrested 14 others during recent attacks against top pro-government officials in [Iranian] Kurdistan.

“During the clashes, one of the Iranian intelligence forces and a member of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) were also killed,” Heidar Moslehi said [Fars News Agency, 11 October].

Linking PJAK to Al Qaida by a high-ranking judiciary official in Kurdistan surprised Iran analysts. The Iranian government had in the past claimed the group had close ties to US intelligence agencies.

“Iraqi Al Qaida equipped this group [PJAK] with arms and supported it financially,” Qarousi said. He added that the arrested terrorists have “confessed to their affiliation to Al Qaida.”

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