A few days ago, word got out that Mohammad al-Adnani, ISIS’ main propaganda officer and a prominent leader of the Islamic State had been killed. Al-Adnani had been the unofficial spokesman of ISIS as well as second in line after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Now just days after his death, his spot has been filled by Tajik Special Forces colonel Gulmurod Khalimov , who swore jihad against the West last year.
Now that Khalimov is in this new position, the United States is facing major humiliation – because it turns out that Khalimov had actually been trained by American advisors. To make matters even worse, he’d come to the United States several times specifically for counterterrorism training by the US State Department’s Diplomatic Security/Anti-Terrorism Assistance program. Unknowingly, America had trained one of its biggest threats in “crisis response, hostage negotiation and tactical leadership.”
Khalimov defected to ISIS last year, and was welcomed with open arms because of his familiarity with the U.S. military and its intelligence strategies. For the American-trained former Special Forces colonel, this training paid off tremendously, as he was promoted quickly by the terrorist organization and soon became an Iraqi battlefield commander. This move was unusual for the Islamic State, because traditionally only “second and third ranking commanders who lead militants in [Nineveh] province” lead Iraqi forces. These particular militants stay low so that they cannot be “detected and destroyed” by US Forces in Iraq.
Khalimov has been labeled as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US State Department, under Executive Order 13224 on September 29, 2015 – which was designed to stop currency from getting to leaders of terror organizations. Currently, the U.S. State Department is offering a $3 million reward for Khalimov. According to the U.S. State Department, Khalimov was involved in five U.S.-funded programs between 2003 and 2014:
“Khalimov is a former Tajik special operations colonel, police commander, and military sniper. He was the commander of a police special operations unit in the Ministry of Interior of Tajikistan. He is now an ISIL member and recruiter.”