DUSHANBE, June 2, 2015, Asia-Plus – According to information posted on the Russian social-media site Odnoklassniki, Nusrat Nazarov, also known as Abu Kholid Kulobi, who was reportedly leader of Tajik jihadists in the al-Tabqa area, ar-Raqqah province in Syria was killed.

Other Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group’ accounts have not reported on Abu Kholid Kulobi’s death.

Nusrat Nazarov, a 39-year-old resident of the Charmgaroni Poyon neighborhood of the southern city of Kulob.  According to the Tajik law enforcement authorities, Nazarov was wanted by police for his involvement in drug dealing.

Nusrat Nazarov had frequently appeared in video materials from Syria.  In January 2015, he told Radio Liberty that there more than 2,000 Tajik nationals fighting alongside the ISIL militants in Syria.

In early January, Nusrat Nazarov reportedly threatened Ahmad Ibrohim, editor-in-chief of the Kulob-based independent weekly Payk, with reprisals.  According to Central Asia Online, Ahmad Ibrohim had a phone call on January 8 threatening to bomb his office in Kulob.  The newspaper regularly covers efforts to fight Islamist extremism and terrorism, as well as events in Syria and Iraq.  Although the caller did not identify himself, Ibrohim recognized the voice as that of Nusrat Nazarov.  Nazarov threatened to slaughter him and his colleagues, Ibrohim said.

Ibrohim immediately reported the threat to the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) so it could trace the call. The security officers confirmed what Ibrohim suspected, that the call had come from Syria.

According to information from the State Committee for the National Security of Tajikistan, there are no less than 400 nationals fighting alongside ISIL militants in Syria and Iraq.