After disappearing in late April, a Tajikistan special forces counter terror unit commander recently resurfaced in an ISIS propaganda film, pledging his allegiance to the Islamic State.
The commander, Gulmurod Khalimov, is Tajikistan’s highest-ranking military member to join the Islamic terror group to-date.
In the video, Khalimov claims to have trained with Russian special forces in Moscow as well as American special forces in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At one point, he boasts about receiving specialized training from U.S. private security contractor, Blackwater in North Carolina.
The State Department confirmed that Khalimov participated in five separate counter-terrorism training courses in the U.S. and in Tajikistan from 2003 to 2014.
Experts say that while Khalimov would not have received the sort of training from U.S. forces that would make him a “killing machine,” their main concern is that as a commander in a counter-terror unit, Khalimov would understand how to plan counter terrorism operations.
According to TruthinMedia.com:
Addressing the many ethnic Tajiks who work as migrant workers in Russia, he says that living under a secular democratic government amounts to being “servants of infidels,” when as Muslims they ought instead to be “servants of Allah.” By this argument, he urges them repeatedly to “immigrate” to the jihadi group’s purported state in Syria and Iraq: “if you were believers, you would have known to come here.”
Echoing the group’s interpretation of Islam, he calls immigration to Islamic State a “religious duty,” marveling at the diversity of nations represented in the jihadis’ territory. The video, incidentally, was released shortly after a United Nations report saying that Islamic terrorist groups enjoy members from over 100 countries worldwide.
He taunts the government of Tajikistan which he recently served, saying that Islamic State is soon coming to reestablish Shariah there.
He also addresses “American swine,” saying that in his three visits to the country he has “seen how you prepare soldiers to eliminate Muslims and Islam.” He vows that in retribution, “we will come to your homes and we will kill you.”