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Preventing terrorism attacks in Georgia

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, June 8
On June 3 Georgian police released news that a terrorist attack was avoided in Tbilisi and bombs were defused near the NATO informative center office in the capital of Georgia.

Tbilisi alleges that the terrorist attacks are masterminded in Moscow which categorically denies the accusation. There are some people in Georgia who do not trust such allegations. However Georgian officials insist that such attempts are plotted against Georgia by Russia.

The question is why do some people in Georgia fail to believe the official version that terrorist attacks are masterminded in Moscow? One of the newspapers Kronika writes that people detained because of attempted terrorist attacks look so calm and they have such unconvincing stories that they sound like fairy tales for children. Moreover the opposition often comment on such events and think that these 'attempts;' are the clumsy work of the Georgian special services and they are mostly designed to switch the attention of the population to other issues. In particular, recent news about possible Russian plotted terrorist attacks, first in west Georgia near the administrative border of breakaway region Abkhazia and later in Tbilisi, were designed to transfer the attention of the population away from the May 26 protest rally crackdown and instead on to the threats coming from the Kremlin.

Georgian officials however keep repeating that all such attempts are masterminded in Moscow and they have evidence for their claims. Georgian President Saakashvili, in his interview to the New Times, spoke about the involvement of Russian special services in the attempts to organize terrorist attacks in Georgia. Saakashvili is not sure why Russian special services are attempting such attacks, maybe to assess the western reaction or maybe to create a sense of instability in Georgia. The members of the presidentís team of high ranking officials are also repeating the same allegations. Since the Kremlin's plans of May 21-25 were frustrated they tried to take revenge by plotting terrorist attacks, thinks Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee head Akaki Minashvili.

Politicians and analysts also identify the supposed motivation behind such attempts coming from Russia. Firstly it is to undermine Georgia's image as a stable country, secondly it is to frighten tourists who choose Georgia as an attractive destination, then to threaten possible investors and finally to create a feeling of instability and fear in the population. Most analysts however exclude the possibility of a high scale military assault from the Russian side against Georgia.