17 december 2017

Central Asia news

Tajikistan extradited former Russian Defence Ministry officer turned IS militant to his homeland

20.11.2017 23:52 msk

Ferghana


Denis Hisamov. Photo from the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan
Tajikistan extradited the former officer of the General Staff of the Russian Defence Ministry, captain Denis Hisamov, who fought for the so-called "Islamic State" (the banned terrorist organization "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant", IGIL, IG, ISIS or IS Eng., Daesh Arab., DAIS) to Russia. "Denis Hisamov was handed over to the Russian side in accordance with the interstate agreement last week," press secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Umarjoni Emomali said in an interview with Ozodi Radio (Tajik service of Radio Liberty).

The Turkey law enforcement authorities arrested Denis Hisamov in April of this year after he entered the country from Syria with a forged passport of a Tajik citizen. In Syria, according to law enforcement agencies, Hisamov was in May 2015, taking an active part in the fighting on the side of the IS. Since the militant had a Tajik passport, the Turkish authorities sent him to Tajikistan, where he was in custody.

While it is not known why the Russian military officer joined the ranks of the IS and what was his role in the organisation - the investigation in Russia probably would be able to find out. According to one of the versions mentioned earlier in the newspaper "Kommersant", Khisamov could leave for Syria not for ideological, but for purely economic reasons - in Russia, collectors pursued him for an outstanding loan. However, according to one person who knew the ex-officer, in recent years he already was fond of religious ideas.

Judging by Hisamov's biography, he could be of some value for the IS as a specialist in the military-technical sphere. Graduated with honours from the Krasnodar Higher Military School named after Shtemenko, he began to specialise in information protection, defended his thesis, and published several dozens of serious scientific works becoming "an expert in the protection of personal data and information technology in civil and military telecommunications systems."

After the school, Hisamov headed the State Secrets Protection Service of the Centre for Military and Technical Problems of Biological Defence of the Ministry of Defence's Research Institute of Microbiology in Moscow, where he "delivered command of hidden communications and controlled the secrecy regime of the work of personnel."

Then he worked in the 8th department of the General Staff controlling "the activities of subordinate units and units of special services in the field of information protection" by this time. In 2009, retired from the army, Hisamov returned to science, taking up the post of associate professor of the comprehensive information protection department of the Kuban Information Security Institute.

According to Russian special services, more than nine thousand militants from the post-Soviet countries fighting on the side of the IS in Syria, including four thousand people from Russia. The authorities of Tajikistan have data on 1,150 citizens of the republic, who left to Syria and Iraq, to join the IS in recent years. At least 300 of them died in action.

The most famous Tajik IS militant - former police special forces commander, Gulmurod Khalimov, went to Syria in April 2015. This year, there were two reports of his death: in April - from the air strike of the forces of the Western coalition, in September - as a result of a blow inflicted by Russian aerospace forces. The Tajik authorities say that they have not yet confirmed the reliability of this information.

Fergana News Agency