The suspected terrorists killed in the Tbilisi counter-terrorist operation on November 22 were planning to attack diplomatic missions in Georgia and Turkey, says the Georgian State Security Service.
The Service revealed the results of the ongoing investigation this afternoon.
It said that the purpose of the neutralised group of suspected terrorists was to carry out terrorist acts in the two countries but this was prevented thanks to the November 22 special operation.
At today’s press conference, the State Security Service also announced the detention of five other people in Georgia allegedly connected with Akhmed Chataev and other suspected terrorists killed in Tbilisi last month.
The State Security Service said that the five individuals were arrested for charges related to financing terrorism, provision of other material support and resources to terrorists activities.
The five people were detained in a special operation held in capital of Tbilisi and two villages in eastern Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge, Duisi and Omalo early this morning.
The arrested individuals are linked to the suspected terrorists killed in the Tbilisi counter-terrorist operation on November 22, the State Security Service said.
All of the five men are Georgian citizens:
- Zurab Gornakashvili
- Ruslan Almadov
- Ramaz Margoshvili
- Badur Chopanashvili
- Temirlan Machalikashvili
The head of the State Security Service press office Nino Giorgobiani said that during the operation, Machalikashvili tried to activate a hand grenade after which the police had to fire in his direction. Machalikashvili was wounded in the head and is now in hospital.
Giorgobiani also said that the following has been established at this stage of the investigation:
- The five men arrested today organised the transportation of Akhmed Chataev and his accomplices on the territory of Turkey, from his temporary residential area in Turkey to the Kirnati-Maradidi ‘green border’ (a section of border between crossing points) between Georgia and Turkey.
- Then, they helped Chataev and his accomplices to actually cross that ‘green border’ line and enter Georgia unlawfully.
- They also helped them travel to Tbilisi from the border, rent a flat in the capital and get a weapon.
Giorgobiani said that Georgian and American investigators are carrying out a joint investigation into the case and the identity of all the suspects killed and arrested during the November 22 anti-terror operation is now known.
- The arrested man is Russian citizen Shoaip Borziev, wanted by Interpol for terrorism charges.
- The two killed men are Russian citizens, Ibragim Adashev and Aslanbeg Soltakhmadov. Adashev had been in Georgia with different fake passports in 2010-2012.
Meanwhile it became known earlier the third person killed in the November 22 anti-terror operation was Akhmed Chataev, Islamic State-linked, Russia citizen of Chechen origin.
Giorgobiani said today that law enforcers found the personal computer of Chataev in the flat on the Gabriel Salosi Street in Tbilisi, where police found audio recordings that proved that the group was planning terrorist acts in Turkey and Georgia.
"Their aim was to attack diplomatic missions in Georgia and Turkey”, Giorgobiani said.
The investigation is ongoing to find other people possible connected with the suspected terrorists.