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Georgia Is a ‘Resort’ Transit to Russia

07.07.2011 16:29

Director of Russian FSB Alexander Bortnikov said that the leaders of bandit groups actually have the desire to get into the territory of the Russian North Caucasus through Georgia, but they still could not do it.

This statement was made by Bortnikov within the framework of St. Petersburg meeting of heads of special security services, law enforcement agencies on combating terrorism, commenting on intelligence that dozens of militants have recently filtered into the Russian territory through the Pankisi Gorge in Georgia.

?We have current-awareness information that certain leaders of bandit groups, located in other states, are hatching intention to use the Georgian territory for infiltration into our North Caucasus,? said the head of the FSB.

According to him, the FSB is taking ?appropriate measures? in this area.

At the same meeting, the head of the FSB stated about the continuing threat of international terrorism emanating from the ?al-Qaeda? and other terrorist and extremist organizations.

In particular, terrorist organizations such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Islamic Party of Turkestan, Muslim Brotherhood, as well as extremist movements, Tablighi Jamaat and Al Takfir Wal Hijra constitute a threat.

Bortnikov also noted that despite the elimination of ?iconic figures?, terrorist groups remain active, quickly adapt to new conditions, improve their tactics and skills, add the latest scientific and technological achievements to their armoury.

The day before, media reported that a large group of militants (numbering from 50 to 70) entered the territory of the North Caucasus from the Pankisi Gorge, where they were trained for terrorist acts.

Moreover, these data indicate that many of those who returned to the North Caucasus, just six months ago were considered missing or departed from the house in an unknown direction.

It is worth noting that the Russian secret services have repeatedly stated about the existence in Georgia of the so-called training camps for fighters who upon which commit terrorist acts in Russia.

For example, until recently the militant leader Doku Umarov has been sought there, whose whereabouts are still unknown. Meanwhile, according to the FSB, Umarov is hiding in Georgia, in a village Omalo of the Akhmeta District in Kakheti.

Let us also note that earlier there was a scandal caused by words by Nikolai Patrushev, Russian Security Council Secretary, who after the March attacks in the Moscow subway said that here was a Georgian trace in this case.

According to Patrushev, the ?Georgian trace? may appear because the behavior of the Georgian leader Mikhail Saakashvili is unpredictable and he is considered as loose cannon.

Security Council Secretary then made a point of the fact that certain employees of the Georgian special services keep in touch with terrorist organizations in the North Caucasus.

In addition, in November 2010, the Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov accused the Georgian authorities of harboring the escaped Chechen militants. In particular, Kadyrov said ?the detained militants have reported that there are still cases of rest and follow-up care in Georgia of members of the armed opposition groups which had been wounded in the mountains of Chechnya. These are the bandits who had been involved in the murders of imams, police, and heads of settlements.?

?These criminals said that during their stay in Georgia, people who introduced themselves as employees of certain services, got into contact with them, and even provided some help,? said Kadyrov.

?We remember well those times when Georgia publicly denied the existence of militants? bases in the country, but at the same time Ruslan Gelayev?s gang was enjoying itself and gaining strength there, and later invaded the territory of Russia, where Gelayev was killed,? added the head of Chechnya.