DUSHANBE -- The brother of a Tajik colonel who joined the "Islamic State" (IS) resigned from his post in Tajikistan's penal service late last year, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported Monday (March 5), quoting sources in the Tajik government.
Gulmurod Khalimov was commander of Tajikistan's OMON riot police when he vanished in 2015 and resurfaced in IS propaganda videos filmed in the Middle East. He became IS's "minister of war" in 2016.
Gulmurod Khalimov has not been heard from in months, but Tajik authorities have been unable to confirm reports of his death in Mosul, Iraq.
Saidmurod Khalimov, his brother and a lieutenant colonel, resigned in late 2017. His resignation did not become public knowledge until now, according to a Justice Ministry official.
He quit after a Tajik court last October sentenced two other Khalimov brothers and a nephew to various prison terms for trying to cross into Afghanistan last July and to join IS there. Four other Khalimovs were killed in Vose District, Khatlon Province, when security forces made the arrests.