Commander of the elite Tajik police force defects to Islamic State

ALMATY (Reuters) – The U.S.-trained commander of Tajikistan’s elite police force has defected to Islamic State, he said in a YouTube video, and his former unit will issue a statement condemning him, media said on Thursday.

Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov commanded the Central Asian nation’s special-purpose police known as OMON, used against criminals and militants. He disappeared in late April, prompting a search by Tajik police.

He reappeared Wednesday, vowing to bring jihad to Russia and the Unites States as he brandished a cartridge belt and sniper rifle, in a professionally made, 10-minute video clip 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,” he said, addressing Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon…

“We are coming to you, God willing, we are coming to you with slaughter,” said Khalimov, a 40-year-old native of the Tajik capital Dushanbe. He spoke in Russian, sitting in front of a palm tree, and sported a new beard. It was not clear which country he was in…

“Listen, you American pigs, I’ve been three times to America, and I saw how you train fighters to kill Muslims,” he said, patting his rifle. “God willing, I will come with this weapon to your cities, your homes, and we will kill you.”

He lambasted Tajiks working in Russia. “You have become the slaves of infidels,” he said...

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