What Is Jaish al-Adl, The Sunni Extremist Group In Pakistan Attacked By Iran

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TEHRAN: Jaish al-Adl, the shadowy Sunni extremist group operating on the Iran-Pakistan border, continues to cast a shadow over the region. Here’s an in-depth exploration of its roots, activities, and the geopolitical dynamics at play.

Jundallah’s Genesis

Jaish al-Adl, translating to the Army of Justice in Arabic, is considered the successor to Jundallah or Soldiers of God. The latter instigated a violent rebellion against the Islamic republic in 2000, leading to a decade-long insurgency in the restive southeast.

The tide turned in 2010 when Iran executed Jundallah’s leader, Abdolmalek Rigi. His capture, involving a dramatic interception of a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan, marked a significant blow to the insurgent group.

Jaish al-Adl’s Formation

Founded in 2012 by militant Salahuddin Farooqui, a vocal opponent of Iran’s support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Jaish al-Adl operates from bases in Sistan-Baluchestan and Pakistan. The group garners support from ethnic Baluch tribes, particularly in a region marked by the discontent of minority Sunni Muslims facing discrimination in Shiite-dominated Iran.

Bombings, Ambushes, And Attacks On Iran

Jaish al-Adl has claimed responsibility for numerous bombings, ambushes, and attacks on Iranian security forces, coupled with abductions. Iran labels the organization Jaish al-Zolm, denoting the Army of Injustice in Arabic, accusing it of receiving support from the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

In October 2013, Jaish al-Adl orchestrated an ambush that resulted in the death of 14 Iranian guards near the Pakistan border. The group justified its actions as a response to the Revolutionary Guards’ involvement in Syria. Iran retaliated with executions and clashes near the frontier town of Mirjaveh.

In February 2014, the abduction of five Iranian soldiers heightened tensions between Iran and Pakistan, prompting Tehran to contemplate a cross-border raid.

Jaish al-Adl’s Leadership

Jaish al-Adl, an ethnic Baloch Sunni group emerging in 2012, is viewed as an offshoot of the designated terrorist organization Jundullah. The group opposes the Shia Iranian government’s support for Bashar al-Assad. Key leaders include Salahuddin Farooqui and Mullah Omar, who commands the group’s camp in Balochistan, Pakistan. Abdul Salam Rigi, a cousin of Jundullah chief Abdolmalek Rigi, plays a significant role within Jaish al-Adl.

This intricate web of history, violence, and geopolitical tensions surrounding Jaish al-Adl underscores the complexity of the situation on the Iran-Pakistan border.

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