Iran Nabs Ringleader of US-Based Terrorist Group

Elias Hubbard
August 1, 2020

Iran's intelligence ministry said in a statement that Jamshid Sharmahd had orchestrated the April 12, 2008 bombing in Hosseynieh Seyed al Shohada Mosque in Shiraz, Iran.

The Iranian state television report did not say when or where Sharmahd had been detained.

The forces have reportedly arrested the head of a terrorist group named "Thunder" in the US.

Iran's Ministry of Intelligence announced on Saturday that its forces have inflicted a major blow to a terrorist group based in the US.

Sharmahd's reported arrest comes as tensions remain inflamed by US President Donald Trump's 2018 decision to unilaterally withdraw America from the nuclear deal.

The Kingdom Assembly of Iran, known in Farsi as Anjoman-e Padeshahi-e Iran, and Tondar seek to restore Iran's monarchy, which ended when the fatally ill Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi fled the country in 1979 just before its Islamic Revolution.

The statement said Sharmahd planned and directed an explosion at a religious centre in the southern city of Shiraz in 2008 that killed 14 people and wounded 215.

Iran hanged three men convicted of the bombing in 2009, saying they had ties to the monarchist group.

The statement issued on Saturday said that Tondar had plotted several other "big operations" which failed. An alleged Iranian government operative who allegedly tried to hire a hitman to kill Sharmahd disappeared in 2010 before facing trial in California, likely having returned to Iran.

According to the group's website, Sharmahd is an electronics engineer who was born in March 1955.

It said Iranian intelligence aborted several other plots in more recent years, including blowing up the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic.

Iran's intelligence ministry announced the arrest of a former opposition figure in similarly mysterious circumstances in October previous year.

Ruhollah Zam, described as a "counter-revolutionary" by Iranian authorities, was sentenced to death last month over "corruption on earth". Two people believed to be associated with the group were arrested and executed in 2010.

Abdolmalek Rigi was arrested while on a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan, when Iranian warplanes forced the plane he was travelling on to land in Iran.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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