A US-trained former Special Forces colonel from Tajikistan, Gulmurod Khalimov, was appointed a new top ISIS battlefield commander in Iraq. Khalimov defected to the ISIS terrorist group in 2016.
“There’s information in the Islamic State that Tajik Gulmurod Khalimov was named the new chief military commander of ISIS, after the murder of the previous leader Abu Omar al-Shishani,” Al Sumaria reported on September 3, citing a source in the Iraqi province of Nineveh (the ISIS last major stronghold in Iraq, Mosul, is located there).
Now, the United States offers up to $3M for any information on Khalimov.
“The US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice Program is offering a reward of up to $3 million for information leading to the location, arrest, and/or conviction of Gulmurod Khalimov (variant Halimov), a key leader of the terrorist group ISIL, also known in Arabic as Da’esh,” the press release posted on the US department’s website on August 30 says.
Before defecting to ISIS, Khalimov was a Tajik special operations (OMON) colonel, police commander and military sniper.
From 2003 to 2014, Khalimov participated in 5 counterterrorism training courses by the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security/Anti-Terrorism Assistance program. According to the terrorist commander, a part of the training was conducted by the private US military company formerly known as “Blackwater” (now, it’s known as “Academi“).
“Washington considers Khalimov a particular threat due to his counter-terrorism training, which included “crisis response, hostage negotiation and tactical leadership,” Reuters cites a an anonymous State Department official