Washington considers Khalimov a particular threat due to his counter-terrorism training
Mosul, Iraq – Former Tajikistan Special Forces colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, defected to the ranks of ISIS last year and publicly declared jihad against the West. After being trained in the United States by private military contractor Blackwater, Khalimov has reportedly been promoted from within the Islamic State organization and has been named the new chief military commander for the global terror group.
“There’s information in the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) that Tajik Gulmurod Khalimov was named the new chief military commander of ISIS, after the murder of the previous leader Abu Omar al-Shishani,” a source in Nineveh province, where ISIS stronghold of Mosul is located, told Iraqi Al Sumaria.
The new Islamic State battlefield commander is certainly no stranger to U.S. military and intelligence officials. Former Tajik Special Forces colonel Gulmurod Khalimov reportedly received special counterterrorism training through the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security/Anti-Terrorism Assistance program and received training in Baton Rouge, Louisiana prior to his joining the Islamic State.
Khalimov also received training from elite instructors in Russia in addition to his training in the United States, an unnamed U.S. official told the Washington Post. After joining the ranks of the Islamic State, Khalimov had a message for the U.S. government and its citizens.
“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.”
The U.S. State Department labeled Khalimov a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224 on September 29, 2015. The designation is intended to specifically target and prevent the transfer of currency to select individuals known to hold leadership roles in terror organizations. The United Nations Security Council Resolutions and al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee also added Khalimov, who is listed as a fugitive wanted by the government of Tajikstan, to its sanctions list in February 2016.
Washington considers Khalimov a particular threat due to his counter-terrorism training, which included “crisis response, hostage negotiation and tactical leadership,” a State Department official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
“We consider Gulmurod Khalimov to be a threat to national security and the U.S. Department of State due to his prior counter-terrorism experience and training,” the official added.
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Full article: ISIS’ new top military commander was trained in U.S. by Blackwater & State Department (Intellihub)