Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, chief of Tajikistan's paramilitary police unit (OMON) has joined Isis
Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, chief of Tajikistan's paramilitary police unit (OMON) has joined IsisVideo Grab/YouTube

The news that Tajikistan's special forces chief Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov has joined the Islamic State (Isis) militants has shook up governments world over.

Gulmurod Khalimov, a distinguished officer, had gone missing sometime in April. He resurfaced the last Thursday, when he appeared on an Isis propaganda video. In the 10-minute video, Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, who just weeks back was responsible for the country's security, lashed out at Tajikistan's policy towards religion, which he says is anti-Islamic.

Dressed in black, holding a Dragunov sniper gun, Khalimov vowed to destroy the infidel Tajik government.

Addressing Americans as "swines", he says in the video: "[I have] seen how you prepare soldiers to eliminate Muslims and Islam."

But now "we will come to your homes and we will kill you," he vowed.

According to BBC's Abdujalil Abdurasulov, "Khalimov used to fight extremists at home and was one of the best trained officers in the country."

But the same man now has vowed in the Isis video, believed to have been recorded at a Syrian camp, says that he will return to Tajikistan and "bring slaughter".

"Listen, you dogs -- the president and ministers -- you don't know how many of the guys here, our brothers, are waiting to return to Tajikistan to revive Shariah law," Colonel Khalimov said in the video, addressing the president of Tajikistan, Emomali Rakhmonov. "We are coming to you with slaughter, inshallah."

Halimov, who once led counter terrorism units in Rasht Valley and Khorog in 2012 against local Islamist insurgents sponsored by Afghan and the Pakistani Taliban, claimed in the video that he was disillusioned with the Tajik police.

Colonel Khalimov, as the commander of the elite OMON division of the Tajik national police, has been to the United States twice. In the video, he claims he visited the US several times to train with Special Operations Forces and Blackwater. He also claimed that he was trained by the Russians as well.

A New York Times report suggested that the development would certainly be worrisome for Russia, which maintains a military base in Tajikistan and has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.

Following the emergence of the video, Pooja Jhunjhunwala, a spokeswoman for the State Department, told CNN: "From 2003-2014 Colonel Khalimov participated in five counterterrorism training courses in the United States and in Tajikistan, through the Department of State's Diplomatic Security/Anti-Terrorism Assistance program."

It is also reported that Colonel Khalimov is also trained in crisis response, tactical management of special events, tactical leadership training and related issues. 

In the video, Colonel Khalimov, who speaks in an accented Russian, urges ethnic Tajiks working as migrant workers in Russia to join the Isis. "If you were believers, you would have known to come here," he concludes.

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