In a video published in YouTube, shows the Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, the former commander of Tajikistan’s elite police force, who was trained by the United States, explaining that he defecting to Islamic State.
According to the media, the former Khalimov’s unit will release a declaration condemning him.
Khalimov was the commander of the Central Asian state’s special police force known as OMON, which had the purpose of fighting against militants and criminals. The Tajik police led a search for Khalimov in April after his disappearance.
On Wednesday, Khalimov reappeared declaring to take jihad to the U.S. and Russia while wielding a sniper rifle and a cartridge belt, in a 10-minute video clip that was posted in social networks.
“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,” Khalimov said, addressing to Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon.
Rakhmon has been the president of Tajikistan since 1992, the poorest country of the post-soviet state and neighbor of Afghanistan. Russia supported the country to fight and crush the Islamist guerrillas during the 1992-1997 civil war, Rakhmon tolerates slightly the dissension in Tajikistan, a country that only has a 8 million population.
Khalimov was born and raised in the Tajik capital Dushanbe. “We are coming to you, God willing, we are coming to you with slaughter,” he said. In the video, he was talking in Russian, while showing a new beard and sitting in a palm tree, and his location was unknown.
So far, Tajik police have not released any comment about Khalimov. According to officers who were Khalimov’s comrades, the OMON police force is planning to make a statement criticizing his actions.
According to Khalimov, U.S. Special Forces in America and also the Russian elite “spetsnaz” forces in Moscow trained him.
“Listen, you American pigs, I’ve been three times to America, and I saw how you train fighters to kill Muslims,” Khalimov said, wielding his rifle. “God willing, I will come with this weapon to your cities, your homes, and we will kill you.”
He scolded Tajiks who are working in Russia. “You have become the slaves of infidels,” Khalimov said.
NATO and Russia are alarmed by the menace of radical Islam, which is becoming stronger in the mainly Muslim Central Asia, reason why they have started military drills in the region’s post-soviet countries.
According to the International Crisis Group think-tank, there is around 4,000 Central Asians who have joined the Islamic State and fighting for them.
Khalimov’s defection has shown that local security officers cannot be reliable if threats come from inside and not only from insurgents, explained Kazakhstan-based Central Asia analyst Alexander Knyazev.
“I think Islamist propaganda will now exploit Khalimov’s example in full,” Knyazev said, explaining that the unstable neighbor Kyrgyzstan is having similar problems.
Photo Credit: Por Desconocido [Public domain], undefined