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Georgian Media Releases Audio footage by Late ISIS Terrorist Chatayev

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, July 3
The Georgian Kviris Palitra media has released an audio footage sent to the government of Georgia by late Islamic State terrorist Akhmed Chatayev in July 2014.

In his audio footage Chatayev demands the release of his accomplices and says that if the Georgian government fails to meet with the demand the Georgian citizens and tourists will be at risk.

Chatayev demanded the release of Aiuf Borchashvili, who was accused of recruiting youth from Georgia’s Muslim-populated Pankisi Gorge to Syria, making them become members of the Islamic State terrorist organization.

Georgia’s State Security Services confirmed in December last year that the suspect killed during the 22-hour counterterror operation in Tbilisi was a noted Chechen-born ISIS commander Chatayev.

The security service reported that Chatayev blew himself up with a suicide belt after two of his companions were killed in a siege of their apartment building.

Born in Vedeno - the same town as notorious Chechen militant Shamil Basayev - Chatayev was a veteran of the 1999-2001 Second Chechen War, where he lost and arm fighting Russian troops. He later fled to Austria and is believed to have helped recruiting and financing volunteers to join Doku Umarov, Basayev’s successor, and help carve out an Islamic state in the North Caucasus.

Chatayev was later arrested on several occasions, including in Sweden and Ukraine, for weapon possession and suspected links to terrorist groups.

Following his arrest in Ukraine, he was deported to Georgia where he took up refuge in the same home village, Tarkhan Batirashvili – the Chechen native of Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge who would later gain international attention as ISIS’ main field commander using his nom de guerre, Abu Omar al-Shishani.

While in Pankisi, Chatayev was picked up by Georgia’s security services during the 2012 anti-terror operation near Georgia’s border with the North Caucasian region Dagestan. Acting first as a go-between for the Georgian government and the Chechen militants, Chatayev later switched sides and joined the armed terrorist group.

He lost his leg in the ensuing raid, but was later released after prosecutors determined there was a lack of evidence to try him for terrorist activities.

By 2015, several local media outlets identified Chatayev to have joined ISIS in Syria.

Chatayev was listed as a terrorist by the United States in 2015 for planning attacks against the US and Turkish facilities.

In the summer of 2016, Turkish law enforcers named Chataev as a mastermind of a terrorist act in the Ataturk Airport killing 48 and injuring more than 200.

Based on unofficial figures, 25 youngsters from Panakisi have been killed in Syria and Iraq as ISIS memners.