American-trained sniper becomes Isis’s new minister of war

Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov replaces Abu Omar al-Shishani, also known as the ‘Ginger Jihadi’

By Shehab Khan, The Independent

Isis fighters parade through in Sirte in 2015
Isis fighters parade through in Sirte in 2015

An American-trained sniper has been given the position of minister of war by Isis.

Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov received training by the US when he was the head of Tajikstan’s special police force and has been given a promotion by the militant group.

The 41-year-old replaces Abu Omar al-Shishani, also known as the “Ginger Jihadi”, who was killed in a US airstrike.

Khalimov has been given the name “Tajik”, after his home nation and appeared in an Isis propaganda video where he pledged to carry out attacks on Russia, the US and Tajikstan, New York Postreported.

“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 airstrikes against them,” Iraqi News reported.

It is thought Khalimov was radicalised recently and only defected to Isis in 2015. He disappeared while serving as chief of the special police force in Tajikstan, according to news.com.au.

The US have placed a $3 million (£2.2m) reward for any information that could lead to Khalimov’s capture.

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