Colonel Gulmorod Khalimov made headlines in May of 2015 when he defected to ISIS and vowed to wage war on America. What made his story so unique from thousands of other foreign fighters who have joined ISIS, was that Khalimov was the commander of Tajikistan’s paramilitary special police force, and over the years he had received training from Russia’s Spetsnaz, US special forces, and Blackwater.
Now the former police commander has reportedly been promoted to the top battlefield commander of ISIS forces in Iraq, following the death of his predecessor Abu Omar al-Shishani. The US military claimed that al-Shishani was killed in an airstrike last March, though ISIS claims he was killed on the battlefield in July.
It’s believed that Khalimov’s appointment was kept secret over fears that he would be targeted by airstrikes. Since news of his appointment broke, the US government has placed a $3 million bounty on his head.
If the reports true, and Khalimov really has become one of ISIS’ most important commanders, he would be a formidable adversary for their foes. Not only does he have years of leadership experience and sniper training, but he has also participated in multiple counter-terrorism training classes in the United States and Russia.
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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .