A former elite commander from Tajikistan who underwent training in the U.S. in counterterrorism appeared as a jihadi fighter in a new Islamic State video.
Col. Gulmurod Khalimov, who led the country’s special purpose police force designed to fight against criminals and terrorists, defected and joined the Islamic State.
Khalimov, dressed in the traditional Islamic State black headscarf and black clothing and armed with a sniper rifle, appeared in a video threatening America.
Speaking in Russian, Khalimov states, "Listen, you American pigs: I've been to America three times. I saw how you train soldiers to kill Muslims. You taught your soldiers how to surround and attack, in order to exterminate Islam and Muslims."
Looking directly into the camera, he vows, "God willing, we will find your towns, we will come to your homes, and we will kill you."
Later in the video, he demonstrates his abilities by blowing apart a tomato positioned close to 25 meters away.
CNN reported that the State Department confirmed that Khalimov took part in three counterterrorism training courses in the U.S. and two in Tajikistan between 2003 and 2014. The program trains foreign forces in how to fight against terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State.
The State Department said Khalimov had specifically received training in crisis response, tactical management of special events and tactical-leadership training.
Former Army intelligence officer Michael Breen called Khalimov’s training “a dangerous capability" now that he has switched allegiance to the Islamic State.
"It's never a good thing to have senior counterterrorism people become terrorists," said Breen. "He knows how to plan counterterrorism operations. So he knows how the people who protect a high-value target will be thinking; he knows how people who protect an embassy would be thinking."
In addition to its propaganda effect, officials surmised that the video was also part of a recruiting strategy in Central Asia.
The following is a clip from the video: