Interior Minister says suspects of terrorism allegedly entered Georgia illegally

Minister Gakharia answered the journalists’ questions over the counter-terrorism operation. Photo by Interior Ministry press office., 01 Dec 2017 - 13:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Gakharia says that based on preliminary information, the suspects of a large-scale anti-terrorist operation in Tbilisi allegedly arrived illegally in Georgia.

The minister referred to the three killed and one detained suspects who claimed the life of a Georgian special unit serviceman and wounded four others, in a large-scale counter-terrorism operation in the outskirts of Tbilisi on November 22.

All details are being specified now and all questions will be answered in the coming days. I can say that based on the preliminary information, the suspects used an illegal route to enter Georgia,” Gakharia said.

The minister stated that Georgian law enforcers are coping with all existing challenges and no special security activities are planned for the New Year holiday.

We have already hosted very important international events, with the heads of several states, and law enforcers provided a high-level of security,” Gakharia said.

Georgian and Turkish media speculate that one out of the three killed suspects is Ahmed Chataev, a Russian citizen of Chechen origin connected with the terrorist organization Islamic State (IS).

The man was named as a mastermind of a terrorist attack in the Ataturk Airport in Turkey in 2016, claiming 48 lives, three perpetrators among them.

The only detained suspect is a Russian citizen. His lawyer says he denies any links with terrorists.