The US State Department has confirmed that an ISIL militant who calls for terrorist attacks against the United States in a new online video was trained on American soil by Blackwater.
Officials told CNN on Saturday that Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, a former head of Tajikistan’s special forces, took part in counterterrorism courses as part of a program sponsored by the State Department.
Blackwater Worldwide, which is now known as Academi and is based in McLean, Virginia, is the most notorious private security firm that had operated in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In his online video, Khalimov appears in black ISIL clothing with a sniper rifle and a bandolier of ammunition, claiming that he attended programs on American soil three times.
State Department spokeswoman Pooja Jhunjhunwala confirmed his claims.
“From 2003-2014 Colonel Khalimov participated in five counterterrorism training courses in the United States and in Tajikistan, through the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security/Anti-Terrorism Assistance program,” said Jhunjhunwala.
The militant was trained in crisis response, tactical management of special events, tactical leadership training and other related issues, according to a State Department official.
Khalimov says in the video that what he witnessed during his training in the US turned him against Washington.
“Listen, you American pigs: I’ve been to America three times. I saw how you train soldiers to kill Muslims,” he says in Russian. “You taught your soldiers how to surround and attack, in order to exterminate Islam and Muslims.”
The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control large parts of Iraq and Syria.