Former Tajik police chief appears in IS video

Updated 28 May 2015

Former Tajik police chief appears in IS video

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan: A man claiming to be the former head of ex-Soviet Tajikistan’s special forces police division appeared in a video Wednesday saying he has joined the Islamic State militant group in Syria.
The man resembling Col. Gulmurod Khalimov, 40, who sparked panic after failing to report for duty in late April, says in the footage that he was driven to join the group by the impoverished state’s perceived anti-Islamic policies.
“We are coming for you,” he tells the Tajik government.
Tajikistan’s Ministry of the Interior refused to comment on the video which has been widely shared on social networks.
In the clip of over 10 minutes, which appears with the logo of the Furat media collective believed to be under the control of the Islamic State, Khalimov wears black clothing and headwear and totes what appears to be a sniper rifle.
Calling Tajikistan’s president and Interior Minister “dogs,” Khalimov asks soldiers in the country’s armed forces if they are “prepared to die” for a government that cracks down on public expressions of Islam such as hijab-wearing and praying in the street.
He also appeals to the more than one million Tajik nationals working in Russia to cease being “slaves” and join IS.
According to Tajik media, citing security sources, the colonel, who says he received formal military training in both Russia and the United States is believed to have flown to Moscow May 1 with “almost ten” people.
Tajikistan’s authoritarian and secular President Emomali Rakhmon, who oversaw the government’s victory against a coalition involving militant forces in a 1990s civil war, has said that “hell awaits” Muslims killing other Muslims.
But his government has been criticized by rights groups for everything from forced beard shavings to numerous convictions of believers on religious extremism grounds.

Man who spoke to Manchester bomber was ignored by security, inquiry hears

Updated 42 min 29 sec ago

Man who spoke to Manchester bomber was ignored by security, inquiry hears

  • Christopher Wild said he accosted Salman Abedi before he committed fatal terror attack
  • Salman Abedi would later detonate an explosive device inside Manchester Arena, killing 22 people

LONDON: A parent who spoke to a man he suspected was a terrorist at a music venue in the UK, before a fatal attack was carried out, has said his concerns were ignored by security.

Christopher Wild was at the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017, to pick up his 14-year-old daughter and her friend after attending an Ariana Grande concert when he saw a man who he thought could “let a bomb off” with a rucksack hiding on a mezzanine.

The man, Salman Abedi, would later detonate an explosive device inside the arena, killing 22 people.

Wild was speaking at a public inquiry into the attack, which is taking evidence on events in the build up and aftermath of the tragedy.

He said he was waiting with his partner Julie Whitley and said: “I just thought he could be very dangerous.”

He said he had spotted Abedi with a rucksack, and his partner had said to him: “It’s a kids’ concert. Why should he be sat there with a massive rucksack out of sight of everyone? It’s just very strange.”

Wild added: “I started to think about things that happened in the world and I just thought he could be very dangerous.”

He said he addressed Abedi despite feeling “a bit bad” for thinking he might be a terrorist. Wild said he asked him: “It doesn’t look very good you know, what you see with bombs and such, you with a rucksack in a place like this. What are you doing?”

He said Abedi responded: “I’m waiting for somebody mate. Have you got the time? What time is it?”

Wild added that he then approached Mohammed Agha, an event steward at the venue who was in the foyer below the mezzanine.

“He (Agha) said he already knew about him. That was about it really,” Wild said. “It was as if he had more important things to deal with — but in no way do I blame him because the guy was already in there. There was nothing more he could do.”

Whitley was badly injured in the explosion. She told the inquiry that Abedi’s rucksack had caught her eye because it was “massive,” and she believed he might have been a “dodgy merchandiser.”