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State Security Service: Up to 50 Georgians fight for terrorists

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, March 30
The Georgian State Security Service's (SSS) report says that at the moment, up to 50 Georgians are in Syria and Iraq fighting together with terrorist forces.

The report has been presented to Parliament for discussion. The SSS reports it has information about the people and will take all necessary measures if they return to Georgia.

The Service also said that the fight against terrorism is one of the main state priorities.

According to the report, an intensive search was underway for all those having some connection with terrorist organizations.

The report said several hundred people were in custody and 1014 people were banned from entering Georgia.

Georgian Dream (GD) coalition representatives were waiting for full and comprehensive information about Georgia’s security issues from the body, terrorist threats being a major focus.

Meanwhile, the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party said the SSS was “artificially created” by the founder of GD, ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, to “persecute” the opposition.

The opposition doubts the body will prevent security threats to Georgia.

Last year, a special bill was supported by Parliament that envisaged tough legal measures against terrorism.

Based on the bill, going abroad or attempting to go abroad for the purpose of carrying out, preparing or participating in terrorist activities or for the purpose of terrorist training became punishable by 6 to 9 years imprisonment.

The bill also envisaged the criminalization of calls for terrorism or voicing public support for terrorism if such calls create an obvious, direct and substantive threat against Georgia or its citizens.