Iranian Suicide Bombers
Some 200 masked young men and women gathered at a Tehran cemetery Thursday to pledge their willingness to carry out suicide bomb attacks against Americans in Iraq and Israelis. The ceremony was organized by the Headquarters for Commemorating Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement, a shadowy group that has since June been seeking volunteers for attacks in Iraq and Israel. A spokesman, Ali Mohammadi, described Thursday’s group as the “first suicide commando unit,” though another official has claimed members already have carried out attacks in Israel. “Sooner or later we will bury all blasphemous occupiers of Islamic lands,” Mohammadi said.
Sunday, Iran’s deputy interior minister for security affairs told reporters the movement had no official sanction and said such groups could operate only “as long as their ideas are limited to theory.” The group, though, has the backing of some prominent hard-line Iranian politicians. The deputy minister, Ali Asghar Ahmadi, did not say if the government had tried to crack down on the military style training the group claims to offer or whether officials believed any of its volunteers had crossed into Iraq or into Israel.
Iran has had no diplomatic ties with the United States since the 1979 Islamic revolution ousted the U.S.-backed shah. But it says it has no interest in fomenting instability in Iraq and that it tries to block any infiltration into Iraq by insurgents – while pleading that its porous borders are hard to police.
Insert appropriate “religion of peace” commentary here.