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False alarm epidemic

By Messenger Staff
Friday, September 20
An epidemic of bomb alerts has occurred recently in Georgia. Various individuals have called 112 (the emergency line in Georgia) and reported that a bomb has been planted in Parliament, at the airport and other public buildings. All the warnings have proven to be false.

Each time, the police have immediately detected the caller and arrested them. In one five-day period, 11 false messages concerning possible terrorist attacks were reported.

Some analysts think that this is not merely a series of pranks but rather a plot by a particular group. The group is interested in undermining security and creating chaos in the country.

Experts Kakha Kakhishvili and Khatuna Lagazidze think the primary aim of these actions is to give the impression that the current Georgian government cannot keep order. They have suggested that the United National Movement is behind the series of false alarms.

Valeri Khaburdzania, a minister during the Shevardnadze government, claims that the calls were made to give voters the impression that the current government is inept in ruling the country.

So far, none of the arrested individuals have suggested that they acted as part of a larger conspiracy. Most of the prank callers are juveniles. According to Georgian legislation, they are not legally responsible for their actions. Thus, they have been released.

After this series of false alarms, lawmakers have unanimously decided to make amendments to the criminal code that will give much tougher punishments to those who file a false report of terrorism.

The amendment passed after the first round of votes on September 18th. The new amendment makes giving a false report of terrorism a serious crime. The maximum prison term will go up from three to five years. Offenders also face heavy fines and community work.