2010: Country Reports on Terrorism – Gerogia Review
Annual report: Country Reports on Terrorism
Overview: The Georgian government continued to improve border security and monitor terrorist finance. It also took steps to implement the requirements of several UNSCRs on counterterrorism and worked with the United States and several EU countries on counterterrorism issues. The Georgian government investigated and arrested several suspects involved in terrorism-related activities, including individuals involved in smuggling nuclear and radioactive substances. Its lack of control of Abkhazia and South Ossetia limited its ability to counter terrorism in these regions and to secure its border with Russia.
2010 Terrorist Incidents:
- On September 22, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated about 100 meters from the U.S. Embassy buildings. Police destroyed another IED that was located in the same area. No one was injured.
- On October 7, an IED was discovered on a railway bridge near Chaladidi village in Western Georgia’s Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region. The IED failed to detonate, and no one was injured.
- On October 22, two IEDs exploded near a train station in Tbilisi. No one was injured.
- On November 28, one IED exploded in front of the Labor Party office in Tbilisi, killing one woman. On the same day, another device exploded in front of a building, which housed a grocery store and apartments, in the Mukhiani district in Tbilisi.
Open source reporting indicated that several possibly terrorism-related incidents occurred in the separatist territory of Abkhazia. Information on incidents in the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is limited and in many cases has not been corroborated because the Georgian government does not have control over these territories. Foreign embassies and international missions have limited access to these areas.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In early 2010, President Saakashvili tasked the National Security Council with preparing a decree to establish the Permanent National Interagency Antiterrorist Commission. The purpose of this commission is to implement the requirements of UNSCR 1267 and subsequent resolutions, UNSCR 373, and Georgian policies on countering terrorism. The commission will also be responsible for coordination between appropriate agencies and making recommendations aimed at improving Georgia’s counterterrorism efforts.
The U.S. and Georgian governments worked together to improve border security. The U.S. government funded programs that focused on the identification, investigation, and detention of criminals at the Georgian border; the detection of nuclear or radioactive material; the targeting and inspection of high-risk conveyances, cargo, and travelers; detecting contraband; and surveillance techniques. In addition, the U.S. Coast Guard provided training to Georgian officials in maritime law enforcement and the use of the Incident Command System.
In early December, Georgian police arrested six suspects believed to be responsible for a series of explosions in Tbilisi. In addition, the Georgian government accused two individuals living in Abkhazia and a Russian military officer of being involved in the attacks and requested the Russian government’s help in detaining and interrogating those individuals.
In November, two Armenian nationals were sentenced to 13 and 14 years for smuggling 18 grams of highly enriched uranium (HEU) into Georgia. The defendants were arrested with the 18 grams of HEU in Tbilisi in March. The defendants attempted to sell the substance to undercover agents of Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Georgia is a member of the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (MONEYVAL). It has developed laws and infrastructure needed to counter money laundering and terrorist financing but did not meet standards in investigating and prosecuting money laundering cases and fell short in enforcing anti-money laundering and terrorist financing reporting requirements.
Regional and International Cooperation: Georgia ratified the International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and continued its counterterrorism cooperation with regional and multilateral organizations. Georgia signed bilateral agreements with Estonia, France, Italy, and Austria in 2009-2010. These agreements covered a broad range of issues, including counterterrorism. Georgia was working on similar agreements with the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Germany, Lithuania, and Malta at year’s end.