US-trained sniper now ISIS’ Minister of War

Tajikistani Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov of the Tajikistani police, now head of the ISIS military forces.

A Tajikistani police sniper who was trained by the United States has been appointed ISIS’ new Minister of War.

According to News.com.au, 41-year-old Tajikistani Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov received specialist sniper training in the US when he was in charge of Tajikistan’s police force and is replacing Chechen Tarhan Batirashvili, who was killed in a July airstrike.

A father-of-eight, Khalimov’s past is relatively murky. It is speculated that he only recently radicalized, given his defection to ISIS in 2015.

Since his promotion, the US State Department has placed a $3 million bounty on his head.

“The Tajik has been appointed as the successor to the dead terrorist Tarhan Batirashvili who (was) also known as Abu Omar al-Shishani (Omar the Chechen)”, Iraqi News reported, citing an unnamed government source.

“The Tajik Golmurud Khalimov was elected as the first military commander in ISIS,” the source continued. “The organisation did not announce it officially because it fears that once mentioned, there might be a series of airstrikes against them.”

Khalimov surfaced in an ISIS video after his defection, saying he would bring Jihad to Russia, Tajiskistan and the United States. In the video, he described his experience, citing five counter-terrorism training exercises in the US and Tajikistan.

The courses were organized by the American Department of State’s Diplomatic Security/Anti-Terrorism Assistance program. Khalimov claims part of the training was conducted by private military contractors.

In addition to his American “education”, the sniper was also trained by the Russians.

Interpol recently issued a Red Notice for the capture oh Khalimov, as well as his name being placed on the US and UN sanctions lists. Khalimov’s second wife, a former press secretary for Tajikstan’s customs service, is allegedly supporting her husband and is also sought after by authorities.

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