News & Commentary

Did ISIS ‘claim responsibility’ for the bombings in Iran? A quick analysis

Most outlets don't even try to provide a source link, while The Hill cites a private intelligence company founded by a former IDF member

At a press briefing on Wednesday, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller was pressed by several reporters about that day’s deadly bombings in the Iranian city of Kerman; specifically, whether the US and/or Israel could have been involved.

His answer was, let’s say, “less than entirely convincing.”

The mass media is now reporting that ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

However, if you read the articles, most (if not all) of them are just vaguely citing an alleged “statement” and/or Telegram post.

“Has any news outlet actually linked to the post in question, or even the channel(s)?” Decensored News asked on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday.

Here’s a sampling of the media’s attribution for the claim. None of these stories appear to link to an actual source:

  • New York Times: “a post on the extremist group’s official Telegram account”
  • Associated Press: a “statement circulated online among jihadists”
  • Times of Israel: “a statement posted on its [ISIS’s] affiliate Telegram channels”
  • Financial Times: a “statement which was posted on Isis-affiliated Telegram channels”
  • AXIOS: (no source cited)
  • CNN: a statement “issued” by “ISIS media wing Al-Furqan” entitled “And Kill Them Wherever You Find Them”

CNN’s article, which is the most specific of the ones linked above, even says that:

  • ISIS media wing… offered no further proof” that they were behind the bombings. (Sounds like no real “proof” has been offered at all.)
  • The “account of the blasts” attributed to ISIS “differ from that given by Iranian media,” including a “significantly higher” death toll.

All the more reason that they should be providing the actual source so that we can scrutinize it for ourselves.

Where did “Al-Furqan” “issue” this “statement,” exactly, and how did CNN verify its authenticity?

The Hill says that ISIS “claimed responsibility” for the bombings in a “widely circulated statement.”

The hyperlink on those words (“widely circulated statement”) goes to a page on the website of SITE Intelligence Group, which is also archived here.

The SITE page shows two men whose heads are covered and faces blurred, in what appears to be an alleged screenshot from “AMAQ News Agency.”

Beneath the picture, SITE says: “If you are seeing this message, you do not have the appropriate subscription to access this content.”

This page—at least the publicly-viewable version for those of us without “the appropriate subscription”—does not appear to provide a link to the source material, nor proof that it’s authentic and/or was “widely circulated.”

A note at the bottom of the page says: “The following materials are for information purposes only and may not be copied, reproduced, or transmitted without the explicit permission of SITE Intelligence Group and specific attribution to SITE Intelligence Group.”

SITE was—per a lengthy profile by The New Yorker—founded by Rita Katz, the daughter of a “wealthy Jewish businessman” who was executed by the Iraqi government in 1969 for allegedly “spying for Israel.”

She then moved to Israel with her mother and siblings around age six and went on to serve in the IDF.

She ended up moving to Washington, DC in her 30s when her husband won an NIH fellowship.

Katz remains the Executive Director of SITE, who The Hill is now citing as their source for the claim that ISIS has taken responsibility for yesterday’s bombings in Iran.

Some final points and notes:

— This doesn’t mean that ISIS didn’t take credit, necessarily. The point is that the media does not appear to have provided proof.

— ISIS has (allegedly) taken credit for attacks that they did not commit numerous times over the years, so even if they did claim responsibility for this one, that doesn’t (in and of itself) mean that they did it.

— The “rise of ISIS” didn’t just happen spontaneously. To quote from a 2015 article by James Corbett, which asks the question of how this “ragtag band of jihadis who are supposedly at war with the combined military might of the US, Turkey, the Saudis, the Russians, the Iraqis, the Iranians and many others (including, of course, the Syrians)” manages to “fund and coordinate spectacular international terror attacks”:

Earlier this year it was revealed that French President François Hollande had authorized illegal shipments of arms to the Syrian terrorists in 2012. The deliveries—including cannons, machine guns, rocket launchers and anti-tank missiles—were in direct contravention of an EU embargo that was in place at the time.

In late 2012 it was revealed that one of the most prominent backers of the Syrian terrorists was the French government, who, besides illegal arms shipments, were also delivering money directly to the terrorist opposition leaders.

Last year the French arms export industry enjoyed its best sales in 15 years, with revenues up 18%. The reason for the Merchant of Death bonanza? A spike in sales to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two of the main funders and supporters of ISIS.

Of course, not all of the blame for the fostering, funding, arming, equipping and training of ISIS belongs to France. Much of it belongs to the United States, its Gulf allies, Turkey and Israel, as well as assorted other NATO members

For much more context, please see The Corbett Report’s 2015 presentation, “Who is Really Behind ISIS?

A version of this article was originally posted as an “X” thread on January 4. Please follow Decensored News on your favorite social media sites and bookmark the website to keep up with future reports.