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Tajik Authorities Look Into Reports Of Top IS Post For Fugitive Officer

  • RFE/RL's Tajik Service

Gulmurod Halimov, a former commander of the Tajik Interior Ministry's special forces, joined IS in April 2015.

Gulmurod Halimov, a former commander of the Tajik Interior Ministry's special forces, joined IS in April 2015.

Tajik authorities say they are looking into reports suggesting fugitive Tajik Colonel Gulmurod Halimov, who joined the extremist group Islamic State (IS) last year, has been appointed IS's top military commander.

Iraqi media reported on September 3 that Halimov had replaced Umar al-Shishani, who was reportedly killed in July in northern Iraq.

Muhammadrizo Halifazoda, a spokesman for the Tajik Prosecutor-General's Office, told RFE/RL on September 5 that "measures to prevent Halimov’s possible plans to destabilize Tajikistan" were being taken. He did not elaborate.

On August 30, the U.S. State Department called Halimov a key member of IS and offered a reward of $3 million for information on his whereabouts.

Halimov, the former commander of the Tajik Interior Ministry's special forces, known as OMON, joined IS in April 2015.

Tajik authorities say he has been seriously injured twice in Syria.

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