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Security Service Head Says His Agency Prevented Terrorism Acts

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, April 19
The head of Georgia’s State Security Service Vakhtang Gomelauri stated on Wednesday, delivering his annual report, that his body managed to avoid several terrorism attacks last year and that the threat of terrorism remains low in Georgia.

Gomelauri referred to the November 22-23 and December 26 large-scale anti-terrorism raids in Georgia, which saw the death of the Islamic State terrorist Achmed Chatayev and his accomplices along with the arrest of several individuals on terrorism related charges.

“There were attempts to finance terrorism in Georgia last year, as well as to support terrorism ideas and radicalise some Georgian citizens. The Security Service acted in line with law to prevent terrorism attacks, neutralise threats and reveal suspects,” Gomelauri said.

He also said that the people tasked by foreign countries’ intelligence services have tried to encourage “anti-western propaganda in Georgia”, stir nihilism in public or damage the state image, however, his body managed to identify such people and groups.

Gomelauri stated that one of the key challenges for the State Security Service is the current situation in the country’s occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions.

Russia is carrying out the gradual annexation of Georgian regions,” Gomelauri said.

The December 26 anti-terrorist raid is still in focus as one individual, 19-year-old Temirlan Machalikashvili was shot during the raid and four others were detained.

Machalikashvili died two weeks after being shot and his family says he was “mistakenly killed.”

The family has already announced rallies in Tbilisi to demand “tough punishment” of Gomelauri and other people who planned the operation in Pankisi at the end of the last year.

The State Security Service claims that those killed and detained planned attacks on Georgian and Turkish diplomats.