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RFU OP: Tajikistan and Khorasan Deception Part 3

by Oui Thu Mar 28th, 2024 at 04:05:43 PM EST

CSTO Troops Drill Against 700-Strong Taliban Invasion of Tajikistan | EurAsiaNet by Joshua Kucera - 20 May 2015 |

US trained senior Tajik police commander defected to Islamic State (ISIS) | VOA - 23 Nov 2017 |

Gulmurod Khalimov, a former Tajik military officer who is now the Islamic State group's chief recruiter, has become one of the world's most wanted terrorists. The United States is offering a $3 million reward for his capture.

Khalimov, 41, a former Tajik special forces colonel who trained in the U.S. and Russia, is now head of armed units and in charge of military operations for IS, according to Western intelligence reports. After an airstrike last week killed Islamic State's Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, analysts said Khalimov was elevated to serve as second in command to the overall IS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

"This further highlights the Islamic State's leadership wishes for the group to be perceived as an entity in which people from anywhere in the world may fill important roles," said Michael S. Smith, a counterterrorism adviser to members of the U.S. Congress.

Khalimov, who is believed to operate from Syria, is driven by a radical Muslim ideology, analysts say.

"In one of his video messages he blamed Tajik officials for suppressing religious freedoms, forcing Muslim men to shave their beards and removing veils from women's heads," Esfandiar Adineh, an analyst based in Dushanbe, told VOA.

New focus on Central Asia?

The Tajik commander's increasingly visible role could expand IS operations beyond Syria and Iraq, experts say.

"With his capabilities and trainings, combined with increased pressure on IS in the Middle East, there is a faint possibility that he may look more toward creating problems in Central Asia in a desperate attempt to remain relevant.

Another piece of the puzzle ...

Tajikistan attack reminds of Islamist terror threat in Central Asia | EurActiv - 31 July 2018 |

Islamic State sought to bolster its claim of responsibility for an attack which killed four Western tourists in Tajikistan, releasing a video on Tuesday (31 July) purportedly showing attackers pledging allegiance to the militant group.

Its claim runs counter to a statement by the Tajik government which accused a banned Islamist opposition party of being behind the attack. According to news reports, Rakhmon regime blames Islamic  Renaissance Party of Tajikistan for terror attack on foreign tourists. Tajik government claims terrorists were trained in Iran. Police killed 5 suspects.

The four cyclists from the United States, Switzerland and the Netherlands were killed when a car plowed into them on a rural road. After the crash, the attackers also stabbed their victims, Tajikistan's interior minister and the US embassy said.

It was the first known attack of its kind against Western tourists in Tajikistan, a remote ex-Soviet state located north of Afghanistan, Central Asia's most strategically important area, attracting multiple global powers' attention.

The collapse of the Soviet Union threw Tajikistan into an acute crisis of decolonisation, and from the onset of independence the country rapidly disintegrated into conflict and violence.

Islamic State, which once controlled large parts of Syria and Iraq, is known to have had some presence in Persian-speaking Tajikistan: a former Tajik elite police force commander Gulmurod Khalimov defected to the group in 2015.

Islamic State Khorasans (ISK) operations and alliances in Afg. & Pak. | 3 Dec 2018 |

A good read, my diary from 2017  ....

Global Jihad from the Caucasus to Kyrgystan | @BooMan by Oui - 16 Apr 2017 |

In September 2016, he was reported to have been appointed as the minister of war of IS in place of Abu Omar al-Shishani; his appointment had not been announced by IS for fears that he might be targeted in airstrikes by the anti-IS coalition. On 8 September 2017, Khalimov was allegedly killed during a Russian airstrike near Deir ez-Zor, Syria. However, the Tajik government, United Nations, and the United States believed that he was still alive by 2019, though his exact fate remained disputed.

By 2020, Islamist militants claimed he had died at some point; this source was considered unreliable by the Tajik government. Regardless, the United States had removed Khalimov from their Rewards for Justice Program by 2021 [cached link gone by 25 Oct. 2020].

Converging Factors Signal Increasing Terror Threat to Tajikistan | Nov 2018 |

Other factors fueling the threat are reports of the Tajikistan government's continued repression of political rivals4 and likelihood of military operations in the Gorno-Badakhshan region--actions that could serve to galvanize opposition against the Tajik government and, in turn, be exploited by jihadis to rally support for resources and fighters. Additionally, Tajik jihadis have increased their stature among global terrorist groups over the past two decades, thus making assistance from larger terrorist organizations or a renewed jihadi focus on Central Asia increasingly probable. This article argues that despite the Islamic State's loss of territory in Syria and Iraq, the group maintains the ability to communicate and to direct external operations in regions such as Tajikistan and, likewise, that such conditions make it increasingly likely that Tajik elements of the Islamic State will make good on their promise to increase operational focus in their home country. On a broader level, this article also seeks to dispel the common misperception that liberating Islamic State-held territory is commensurate with winning the war against this group.

Framing the Threat of Foreign Fighter Outflow

The Islamic State's physical territory in Syria and Iraq continues to collapse, as coalition operations are ongoing against the group's last stronghold in the Euphrates River Valley in Syria and near the Iraqi border. The fight will undoubtedly continue to shift to an asymmetric war, an environment to which local Iraqi and Syrian Islamic State fighters can easily adapt by blending back into the local population. For the Islamic State's remaining foreign fighters, however, this is not likely an option. While many Islamic State foreign fighters have been killed, a senior U.N. official estimated in August 2018 that there could be approximately 20,000 foreigners still alive in the Islamic State's ranks in Syria and Iraq. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are two of the larger per capita global contributors of Islamic State foreign fighters. An estimated 1,300 to 2,000 Tajikistan citizens have reportedly traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State and other jihadi groups. Those Tajik jihadis who have survived could either continue to fight with groups there, chose to return to Tajikistan, or opt to travel to other conflict zones like Afghanistan where one Tajik and several other Central Asian terror groups are established.

The April 2020 Islamic State Terror Plot Against U.S. and NATO Military Bases in Germany: The Tajik Connection | CTC Sentinel - January 2021 |

In mid-April 2020, German authorities detained four Tajik nationals over an Islamic State-linked terrorist conspiracy to attack a variety of targets including U.S. and NATO military facilities and personnel stationed in the country. According to the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office, the arrested men were members of a terrorist cell that was in regular contact with two senior Islamic State militants--one of whom was based in Syria and the other in Afghanistan--from whom they received instructions. Allegedly, the cell members initially considered an attack in Tajikistan, but ultimately switched their focus to Germany after being convinced by their Islamic State contact and mentor in Syria, an operative known as "Abu Fatima," to "God willing, perform the jihad in the area where you are!"

It is alleged Abu Fatima al-Jaheishi issued this order to the ringleader of the cell through a voice message sent through the messaging app Telegram before the ringleader was arrested in Germany in March 2019. Reportedly, Islamic State "leadership" rejected a plan by the cell members to travel to Syria, and urged them to fight in Europe, describing it as a "place of evil."

Ret. Colonel Jacques Baud, Senior Swiss Military Intelligence Officer, former NATO official, author of "Ukraine Between War and Peace" and "Putin: Master of the Game?" VIDEO Interview - 20 March 2024

The Russian Art of War w/Col. Jacques Baud in Brussels | Daniel Davis - Deep Dive |

'A Soviet Sultanate' is a thing of this world!

Western Narrative Make Believe It Was ISIS-K

Moscow Terror Attack Spotlights Russia-Tajikistan Ties | Carnegie Endowment - 28 Mar 2024 |

Responsibility for the March 22 terrorist attack at the Crocus City concert hall near Moscow has been claimed by the Afghanistan-based Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), and most of the suspects in the attack are from Tajikistan.

Radicalization among some Muslims in Central Asia has been ongoing for many years, and organizations like ISIS-K--which had been largely forgotten in Russia until last week's deadly attack--have learnt to take full advantage.

This process is particularly acute in the region's poorest country, Tajikistan. At the beginning of March, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon said that in the last three years, twenty-four Tajiks have committed or planned terrorist attacks in ten countries. The country's entire population is just 10 million.

The reasons for this radicalization are no secret. Tajikistan is the only country in Central Asia to have lived through a relatively recent civil war (1992-1997). Some estimates put the brutal war's death toll at up to 100,000. The social and economic situation in Tajikistan is also one of the worst in Central Asia, with the country ranking 162 in the world by GDP per capita--alongside Haiti. About 70 percent of Tajiks live in rural areas, where child brides, polygamy, and female unemployment are common.

In the era of digitization and universal transparency, poverty and inequality exacerbate a sense of injustice, and Tajikistan is a corrupt, authoritarian regime where Rahmon and his family own almost everything of value and are not afraid to flaunt their wealth. Over three decades in power, they have destroyed all opposition. That means there are no longer any legal ways to fight injustice. There is only one path for those opposed to the regime: radicalization.

International terrorist groups have long looked on Tajikistan as a fertile recruiting ground. Media outlets affiliated with ISIS-K produce content in the Tajik language. They publish religious material and political tracts criticizing Rahmon for being too close to Russia, for his authoritarianism, and for not being religious enough. ISIS-K also runs Tajik-language Telegram channels and TikTok accounts.

All this activity has yielded results, and ISIS has organized several terrorist attacks in Tajikistan itself. In 2019, dozens of fighters crossed deep into Tajikistan from Afghanistan and attacked a border post on the border with Uzbekistan. The year before, ISIS claimed responsibility for killing a group of Western cyclists in the Tajik mountains. ISIS has also been behind two prison riots in Tajikistan that resulted in the deaths of dozens of prisoners and guards.

Criminal investigation: Money Trail Leads to Ukraine [Russsian source

В СК заявили о переводах с Украины для террористов из «Крокуса»

Machine translation:

The Investigative Committee announced transfers from Ukraine for terrorists involved in Crocus [attack]

The perpetrators of the terrorist attack at Crocus received funds and cryptocurrency from Ukraine, the Investigative Committee said.

“As a result of working with detained terrorists, studying the technical devices seized from them, and analyzing information about financial transactions, evidence of their connection with Ukrainian nationalists was obtained,” the statement says.

Another suspect was identified and detained. According to investigators, he participated in a terrorist financing scheme. The Investigative Committee will petition for the arrest of the suspect.

Currently, eight defendants have been arrested in connection with the terrorist attack . These are the alleged attackers at Crocus City Hall - Shamsidin Fariduni, Muhammadsobir Fayzov, Dalerjon Mirzoev and Saidakrami Rachabalizoda, as well as those whom the investigation considers their accomplices. In total, the FSB reported the detention of 11 people in the Bryansk region.


Operation Cyclone

Moscow Denounces Brzezinski's Views About 'Proxy War' | NY Times - 10 Jan. 1978 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Mar 29th, 2024 at 01:41:11 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 31st, 2024 at 06:55:18 PM EST
The Northern Storm Brigade: It's History, Current Status, and Why It Matters | 18 Mar 2014 |

According to the sources mentioned above, the first two men to join Ebed were two Iraqis who went by the noms de guerre of Abu Suhaib al-Iraqi and Abu Staif al-Iraqi. Both had extensive networks throughout the Muslim world, and they were able to leverage them in order to bring more fighters into Syria. By the end of 2012, the Amr bin al-Aas Brigade had largely fallen apart, many of its members leaving in order to join two newly formed groups with a more radical tilt - Jaysh al-Muhajereen and Jaysh Muhammad.

Jaysh al-Muhajereen was formed during the summer of 2012 by Abu Omar al-Shishani, a Chechen [from the Pankisi Valley in north-east Georgia] who later became the northern commander for ISIS. In March of 2013, it merged with Jaysh Muhammad and another group to form Jaysh al-Muhajereen wa-Ansar (the Army of Emigrants and Helpers) under al-Shishani's leadership. After its forces were consolidated, al-Shishani reportedly controlled over 1,000 fighters. He would later leave and join ISIS, taking some of his fighters with him.

On May 27, 2013, with the hostages still being held and negotiations largely stalled, a visit from US Senator John McCain would again push the NSB into the spotlight. McCain traveled to Azaz with General Salim Idriss, then the commander of SMC, to meet with a contingent of FSA leaders from across Syria. Among these groups was the NSB, and McCain drew considerable criticism for allegedly crossing paths with Dadikhi and Muhammad Nour, another member of the brigade that was directly involved in the kidnappings.

From the diaries ...

John McCain - Let's Not Forget

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 31st, 2024 at 06:56:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]

The ISKP (Khorasan) terror group was the alleged perpetrator. In retaliation the IRGC attacked Erbil (Mossad link) and Idlib (ISIL with western support - HTS-Al Nusra).

Iran claims Israeli-Tajik was one of two suicide bombers in Kerman attack

ISIS has claimed responsibility for bombings that killed about 100

Commemoration Quds Commander Qassem Soleimani in Kerman - Twin Suicide Bombs Kill 100 | 3 Jan. 2024 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Apr 4th, 2024 at 07:29:43 PM EST

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