Islamic State terrorist organisation member arrested in Tbilisi

Tsiskara Tokhosashvili was arrested at Tbilisi International Airport. Photo: State Security Service press office, 08 Dec 2022 - 12:44, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian State Security Service on Thursday announced the arrest of a member of the Islamic State terrorist organisation at Tbilisi International Airport by its Counter-Terrorism Centre.

Tsiskara Tokhosashvili has been charged with joining a foreign terrorist organisation and aiding in terrorist activities, with the state body calling him an “influential figure” in the jihadist militant group seeking to establish an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

Video by the Georgian State Security Service. 

The Service said Tokhosashvili had left Georgia in 2015 to join ISIS in the Middle East, and “actively participated” in combat operations in the territory of Syria and Iraq under the name of Emir Isa.

The body said the detainee headed an ISIS unit for some time. Photo: State Security Service press office. 

It also added he had led an ISIS unit “for some time” and maintained “close ties with various influential leaders” of the terrorist group. He is now facing 10 to 17 years in prison if found guilty.

His younger brother Tsezar Tokhosashvili, known as Al-bara Shishani, was arrested in a joint special operation in Kyiv, Ukraine in November 2019 and was extradited to Georgia the following year. Wanted through an Interpol red notice on terrorism charges, he also joined ISIS in 2015. 

The brothers are from Georgia’s Mulsim-populated Pankisi Gorge in the north-east of the country.