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Georgia upset by Russia's terrorist accusations

By Ernest Petrosyan
Monday, August 15
Russia`s National Counter-Terrorism Committee continues to claim that Georgian special forces were providing assistance in terrorism activities to one of the North Caucasus Islamist groups. The National Counter-Terrorism committee [NAK], operating under the Federal Security Service [FSB] launched the accusation in its written statement on August 12.

According to the statement of Russian security forces, they killed six militants including the group`s leader Abdula Mogamedaliev in Makhachkala, Dagestan on August 10-11. As the statement says, Magomedaliev was suspected of organization of a terrorist attack on the Russian internal Ministry Base in Buynaksk in Spring 2010, killing the head of the Press Service of Dagestan’s President Garun Kurbanov on July 28, the assassination of Dagestan MIA colonel Akhmed Bataliev and various other crimes.

“Mogamedaliyev maintained contacts with the Georgian special forces through his foreign emissaries, which were providing him assistance in implementing terrorist activities," says the statement released by NAK.

The Russian side’s statement, however, provides no further details of its allegation, traditionally restricting itself to empty accusations in cooperation with Islamist insurgents in the North Caucasus, which over the recent years have become commonplace from Russian officials.

The Brussels based think-tank International Crisis Group recently released a report on the Russian-Georgian conflict where it wrote that “the third-country diplomats say they have seen no supporting evidence” of these random allegations by the Russian Officials.

“The Russians do not seem entirely serious about their allegations, using them instead perhaps to prepare the grounds to blame Georgia should there be a grave breach of security in Russia especially around the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games,” says the report.

International Crisis Group also called on Georgia to abstain from responding “nervously to every Russian politician’s allegation" and urged Russian officials to refrain from "making unsupported and provocative allegations without firm evidence".

“On the one hand, Russia needs to undermine Georgia’s image in society accusing Georgia in cooperation with North Caucasus terrorists, thereby preparing a ground for a possible military intervention and keeping Georgian authorities under constant pressure. On the other hand, I cannot cogently exclude the connection of Georgian special forces with North Caucasus terrorists, though it is not likely since the Russian side has never provided any cogent facts or details”, analyst Mamuka Areshidze told The Messenger.