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Attack on terrorism?

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, June 18
From time to media outlets are spreading information concerning the outflow of Georgian youngsters from the Pankisi Gorge to the Islamic State (IS) to Syria and Iraq. The opposition used to state the law-enforcement bodies were quite ignorant to the issue. As it appears, a time of action has come.

A Pankisi resident and his three allies have been detained for cooperation with IS and recruiting the youth for the terrorist group that has already claimed many innocent lives.

The Interior Ministry stresses that the detainee Aiup Borchashvili is the representative of IS in Georgia. Together with Borchashvili, a cousin of one of the prominent leaders of the IS, Tarkhan Batirashvili, and several others were detained.

A special operation was launched in four villages of the Pankisi Gorge jointly at 6p.m. The law-enforcers were searching houses and personal belongings.

The lawyer of Borchashvili, Gela Nikolaishvili, states that accusations against his defendant are groundless.

“No one says that he did not have links with certain individuals. However, the notion that he was recruiting the youth to send them to fight for IS is absurd,” Nikolishvili says.

Meanwhile, the investigation report reads that Borchashvili with his allies, through different religious literature, internet and social networks, could win under age Muslim Kushtanashvili and Ramzan Baghakashvili over, who are now IS fighters.

Parliament passed with its third and final reading on June 12 legislative amendments that broaden the scope and range of offences and other activities linked to participation in illegal armed groups.

It also criminalizes traveling abroad and an attempt to go abroad for the purpose of terrorism.

According to the bill, “joining and/or participation in an illegal formation or receiving training from such formation; recruiting or training a person with the purpose of joining, participating or otherwise promoting the activities of such illegal formation” will be punishable with imprisonment from 3 to 7 years, instead of initially proposed 5 to 10 years. Public calls for committing these offenses, if this call creates obvious, direct and substantive threat, will be punishable with imprisonment for up to 2 years.

After questioning procedures, three of the detainees were released, while Borchashvili still remains in custody.

It should be stated that the locals are asking for the revealing of the groups that are recruiting their relatives for the terrorist group.

Analysts state that now everything depends on proper investigation and the court solution.

Yet this raises the question of what response the Islamists will prepare in retaliation.