Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, who received specialist training in US when he headed Tajikistan’s police force, has been promoted to the group’s top field commander. By all accounts, the 41-year-old is an extremely dangerous man. His promotion prompted the US State Department to place a $3 million bounty on his head.
Khalimov succeeds Tarhan Batirashvili, who began his terrorist career as a Chechen rebel, working his way up to the top of the IS military chain before being killed in a US air strike in July. “The Tajik has been appointed as the successor to the dead terrorist Tarhan Batirashvili who (was) also known as Abu Omar al-Shishani (Omar the Chechen)”, the Iraqi News reported, citing an unnamed Iraqi security source.
“The Tajik Golmurud Khalimov was elected as the first military commander in ISIS. The organisation did not announce it officially because it fears that once mentioned, there might be a series of air strikes against them.” Abu Omar al-Shishani was said to be “enormously popular” and influential with Islamic State soldiers, who nicknamed him “Red Beard” for his ginger locks.
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