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Tajikistan's riot police commander joins Islamic State

May 28, 2015, 10:40 UTC+3 DUSNANBE
He explained his decision with discontent with rules in the Tajik Interior Ministry, including a ban on wearing Muslim clothes and having five daily Muslim prayers
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© AP Photo Archive/Militant Website

DUSNANBE, May 28. /TASS/. The commander of Tajik Interior Ministry’s OMON riot police, who mysteriously disappeared a month ago, has turned up in Syria among Islamic State militants, as shows his video message posted on the Internet and shown by some media on Thursday.

The video footage shows Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov in Muslim disguise and surrounded by a group of new allies. He is heard on the video speaking good Russian and explaining his decision with discontent with rules in the Tajik Interior Ministry, including a ban on wearing Muslim clothes and having five daily Muslim prayers.

The novice extremist said he was not satisfied with the situation in Russian-Tajik and Russian-US relations, although he had been trained at special units of Russia and the US.

Informed sources in Tajik secret services have also confirmed to Tass Khalimov’s joining Islamic State in Syria, saying that according to other data five or six OMON policemen are also with the colonel in Syria.

Speaking with reporters earlier, Khalimov’s coworkers said "Over the recent time Khalilov has gathered full information through Internet sources about the activity of Islamic State and its structures, and began spreading ideas of this terrorist organization among his subordinates, reacting extremely nervously to any critical remarks".

The 40-year-old colonel, father to eight children, took charge of special police force three years ago, and has several state awards.

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