- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The U.S. State Department is offering $3 million for a Tajik officer who joined the Islamic State group after training in America.

Former Tajik Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov became a part of the U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice Program on Tuesday. The officer, who received training in the U.S., is said to be a “key” Islamic State leader.

“Khalimov is a former Tajik special operations colonel, police commander, and military sniper,” the State Department said on its website. “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.”

A U.S. official who spoke on condition on anonymity told Reuters on Tuesday that Col. Khalimov took part in five U.S.-funded programs between in the U.S. and Tajikistan between 2003 and 2014.

“Crisis response, hostage negotiation and tactical leadership,” were some of the skills the terrorist learned while inside the U.S., the official said.

Col. Khalimov appeared in a May 2015 propaganda video boasting of his desire to fight against the U.S., Russia, and Tajikistan. He became a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in September 2015 by the U.S., and was added to the United Nations Security Council ISIL (Da’esh) and al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee list in February 2016.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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