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Tajik Official Says Son Of Fugitive Police Colonel ‘To Go On Trial’

Gulmurod Halimov, a former commander of the Tajik Interior Ministry's special forces joined IS two years ago.

A Tajik law-enforcement official has told RFE/RL that the son of a fugitive Tajik police colonel who joined the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in 2015 will face trial for allegedly trying to join his father in Iraq.

Behruz Halimov, 18, has been charged with attempting to commit a crime and attempting to join a foreign militant group to fight as a mercenary, said the official, who is involved in the investigation but not authorized to speak to media.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the Tajik official said Halimov "had been in contact on social media with unidentified people that called themselves friends of his father and urged Behruz to join his father in Iraq."

The official said Halimov obtained a plane ticket to leave Tajikistan through Moscow in an attempt to join his father in Iraq, but he was arrested by Tajik authorities before his planned departure in April. The official did not say when the trial will take place.

Behruz Halimov is the eldest son of Gulmurod Halimov, a former commander of the Tajik Interior Ministry's special forces who joined IS in 2015.

In August 2016, the U.S. State Department named Gulmurod Halimov as a key member of IS and offered a reward of $3 million for information on his whereabouts.

Tajik officials have not publicly commented on Behruz Halimov's arrest.

But his mother, Nazokat Murodova, says police took the teenager away from his family home in a Dushanbe suburb in April.

Murodova says her son has been held incommunicado since his arrest.

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