Tajikistan police chief defects to Isis. […AFTER taking American aid.]

May 28, 2015 in News by RBN Staff

US-trained Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, who disappeared in April, resurfaces in video denouncing ‘American pigs’


A fighter holding an Isis flag. Photograph: Gail Orenstein/NurPhoto/Rex


Source: The Guardian
Agence France-Presse
Thursday 28 May 2015

The US-trained commander of Tajikistan’s elite police force has appeared in a YouTube video announcing his defection to Islamic State.

Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, 40, who commanded the central Asian nation’s special-purpose police force known as Omon, disappeared in late April, prompting a search by Tajik police.

He reappeared on Wednesday, dressed in black, brandishing a sniper rifle and vowing to bring jihad to Russia and the Unites States, in a 10-minute video clip posted online.

“Listen, you dogs, the president and ministers, if only you knew how many boys, our brothers, are here, waiting and yearning to return to Tajikistan to re-establish sharia law there,” he said, addressing the Tajik president, Imomali Rakhmon. “We are coming for you, inshallah.”

Rakhmon has run Tajikistan, the poorest post-Soviet nation, since 1992. He used Russian support to crush Islamist guerrillas in a 1992-97 civil war and tolerates little dissent. His government has been criticised by rights groups for everything from forced beard shavings to numerous convictions of believers on religious extremism grounds.

In the video, Khalimov asked soldiers whether they were prepared to die for a government that cracks down on public expressions of Islam such as wearing a hijab and praying in the street.

He said he had been trained by elite Russian spetsnaz forces in Moscow and US special forces in America.

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

He appealed to the more than one million Tajik nationals working in Russia to cease being “slaves” and join Isis.

Tajikistan’s interior ministry refused to comment on the video.

Both Russia and Nato, alarmed by the threat posed by radical Islam to predominantly Muslim central Asia, have stepped up military drills with the region’s post-Soviet nations. The International Crisis Group thinktank estimates that about 4,000 central Asians fight for Islamic State.

Alexander Knyazev, a Kazakhstan-based central Asia analyst, said Khalimov’s defection showed that some local security units could not be trusted.

“I think Islamist propaganda will now exploit Khalimov’s example in full,” he told Reuters, adding that volatile neighbouring Kyrgyzstan faced similar problems.