Indian Shiite Muslim demonstrators burn an effigy of the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a protest in New Delhi on June 9, 2017. It is in protest against the ISIS-claimed twin attacks in Tehran that killed 17 people, and injured more than 40 people. Photo: AFP / Prakash Singh
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The ISIS group that had claimed the Tehran deadly attacks which killed 17 people has published a video of five gunmen that appear threatening Iranians of a “slaughter” campaign to be waged by the soldiers of the “Islamic State.”
Rudaw understands that four of the attackers are from the Kurdish province of Kermanshah, in particular Paweh district. The identity of the fifth man is still unclear.
A statement from Iran’s ministry of intelligence states that they have arrested 41 ISIS members within the three Kurdish provinces of Kermanshah, Kurdistan, Azerbaijan Gharbi, and also in Tehran.
It says the operations took place with the cooperation of the families of some of those arrested, and authorities have confiscated a number of explosives and equipment.
It referred to the attackers as a group who were divided into teams of operational units.
The video published by ISIS claims to show the five gunmen before the Tehran attacks with one of them speaking briefly in Arabic and then him switching to Kurdish.
“This is a message from the soldiers of the Islamic State, from one of the units of the Islamic State,” a gunman said in Kurdish regarding their plans in Iran to target what he called al-Rawafiz, or apostates — a term ISIS uses for the followers of Shiite Islam.
The majority of people in Iran are Shiites, while Kurds are mainly Sunnis.
Three of the attackers appear in masks are in front of the camera. The speaking gunman is wearing black clothes and sitting in between the other two as he holds a pistol and a Kalashnikov rifle.
The other two gunmen have their backs the camera but do not wear masks. None of them can be identified from the video.
“Do know that the necks of the Rawafiz [Shiites] are not far away from the swords of the soldiers of the Islamic State,” the gunman continued.
He hoped that their “martyrdom” would become “the key to Jihad” in Iran, calling on others to follow their path.
“God willing, this would be the first unit, but won’t be the last [ISIS] unit,” he warned, adding that they "are not agents of anyone."
The gunman also warns Saudi Arabia that after Iran, they are next to be targeted.
BBC Persian reported Thursday that one of the secular armed rebel groups opposed to Iran, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), had published the name and photo of one of the gunmen on its website two years ago, accusing the Iranian authorities of letting him rally support for ISIS and other extremist groups freely inside Iran.
The gunman named as Saryas Sadiqi, a Kurd, is believed to be one the two gunmen who attacked the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini in southern Tehran. He blew himself up in the attack.
Iran’s intelligence gave the first names of the five gunmen on Thursday, Iranian citizens whom it said had fought in Iraq and Syria.
The ministry said that the gunmen had a record in “terrorism” with links to the Sunni extremist groups, who had then joined the ISIS group and fought alongside the ISIS militants in Mosul and Raqqa.
ISIS claimed the attacks on Wednesday, also publishing a video hat it claimed was from the parliament building.
It added that the group returned to Iran last year trying to commit acts of terrorism in the holy cities of the country but they failed to do so since the security forces inflicted damage on their network while killing its ringleader named Abu Aisha.
The five gunmen remained in the country until they committed the two coordinated attacks, three of them attacking the parliament, and the other two attacking the shrine.
Editor’s note: Rudaw English does not run ISIS propaganda media.