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U.S-trained Tajik special forces commander defects to Islamic State

Col. Gulmurod Khalimov, who commanded Tajik Interior Ministry’s elite forces, joined the ranks of Islamic State.

In what can be referred to as a setback for Tajikistan, Tajik special forces chief of police Col. Gulmurod Khalimov entered the fold of IS, the deadly Islamist militant outfit which has butchered thousands in Iraq and Syria.

At first, speculations arose that Khalimov had gone on a business trip. This was later followed by rumors that he had disappeared following a fall-out with his colleagues, after a high level meeting. However, Gulmurod himself laid all the rumors to rest himself when he openly embraced banned outfit Islamic State in a video message. Renowned researcher Charles Lister also tweeted the news:-

 

Khalimov’s video released online showed up clad in a black outfit, and announced that he was not the only one who had joined the ranks of IS.

“Listen, you dogs, the president and ministers,” Khalimov says in the video, “if only you knew how many boys, our brothers are here, waiting and yearning to return to reestablish sharia law there.”

Tajikistan’s longtime President Enamoli Rahmon has introduced laws that crack down on Islamic practices, such as young children going to the mosque, the growing of beards as well as women covering their faces in certain areas. Interestingly, Khalimov has been trained by elite instructors in the United States as well as Russia. In his video message, Col. Gulmurod Khalimov also targeted foreigners, by delivering this message:-

“Listen, you American pigs, I’ve been three times to America, and I saw how you train fighters to kill Muslims,” he said. “God willing, I will come with this weapon to your cities, your homes, and we will kill you.”

A total number of 200-500 estimated Tajiks are currently fighting for Islamic State. IS continues to gain ground in Iraq and Syria, as they conquered the historically relevant city of Palmyra. Is’s growing strength and continued progress is a distressing sign for the world, which has aimed to rid itself of the barbarian outfit which has slaughtered countless Muslims and non-Muslims as well as pillaged, looted conquered towns and cities.

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