DUSHANBE, September 30, 2015, Asia-Plus – On Tuesday September 29, The U.S. government announced sanctions against 25 people and five groups connected to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), disclosing intelligence that depicts a sprawling international organization with tentacles across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

The moves by the Treasury Department and the Department of State are aimed at disrupting the activities of ISIL''s financial, logistical and recruiting operatives who may not be suitable targets of American bombs or drone strikes. Many of them reside outside the theaters of war in Iraq and Syria.

The sanctions, the largest such effort against ISIL, also serve to demonstrate how far and wide the group''s ideology has spread.

The Department of State designated ISIL regional spin-offs in Russia''s Caucasus region, Algeria, Indonesia and Egypt''s Sinai Peninsula as foreign terrorist organizations. Among the individuals designated as terrorists is Gulmurod Halimov, former commander of Tajik special police unit (OMON).

A statement by the US Department of Sate notes that former Tajikistan special operations colonel, police commander, and military expert Gulmurod Halimov is a Syria-based ISIL member and recruiter.  “Halimov appeared in a propaganda video confirming that he fights for ISIL,” the statement says.

We will recall that the special police unit commander Gulmurod Halimov who has been missing for weeks reappeared on the Internet, claiming that he has joined ISIL militants in protest at official restrictions on religious observance back home.

In a video posted on YouTube on May 27, Colonel Gulmurod Halimov says that Tajik labor migrants "must stop serving infidels" in Russia and join ISIL in Syria and Iraq in order to establish Shari''a law in other countries, including Tajikistan.

Tajik law enforcement authorities on May 29 launched a probe into Halimov''s activities and he was declared internationally wanted.

Halimov reportedly joined Tajik police force in the early 1990s and attended training courses in Moscow and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the last several years.  He was appointed as commander of the special police unit on 20102.