Did Daesh militants plan major terrorist attack in Tbilisi?

Did Daesh militants plan major terrorist attack in Tbilisi?

Counterterrorist operation that lasted 20 hours ended in the Georgian capital: the first shots were heard at Gabriel Salos Street at about 23:00 on Tuesday, and the last at 6:00 on Wednesday. Three terrorists were killed and one was arrested before the beggining of special operation. The last terrorist died with a clear desire to die publicly. Realizing that there was no other way, but not wanting to give up, he ran out of the apartment building to the street, where he was killed by special forces. Three members of special forces were injured during the operation, one died on Wednesday night from a gunshot wound. 

Authorities didn't reveal the country terrorists came from. Their names are also unknown. This secrecy is explained by considerations for security and interests of the investigation. However, as Georgian expert on terrorism Nino Burchuladze told Vestnik Kavkaza, these terrorists were from the North Caucasus and they tried to return to Russia through Georgia, where they fought on the side of the "false caliphate". According to Burchuladze, Daesh is "practically destroyed" and its militants are trying to return to their countries. She recalled that most Daesh leaders, including "Defense Minister" Abu Omar al-Shishani (Tarkhan Batirashvili) and many others - came from Georgia's Pankisi Gorge, which has predominantly Chechen population. That's why expert is not surprised that many Chechens-natives of Pankisi Gorge may be involved in this unprecedented act of terrorism in the Georgian capital.

The biggest concern is caused by a huge arsenal of weapons, which was found in a rented apartment after liquidation of terrorists. Thanks to it they could resist the entire battalion of special forces for 20 hours. They had automatic weapons, machine guns and hand grenades, as well as explosives. How did they bring this arsenal to a peaceful Tbilisi quarter? What did terrorists prepare for? Obviously, they couldn't bring these weapons with them - no neighboring country would have allowed this, let alone Georgian border guards. That means they got these weapons in Georgia. But where? This fact clearly indicates that there are regions in Georgia with large stocks of lethal weapons.

Carrying such arsenal around would be unrealistic and unreasonable. That's why most experts are inclined to believe that killed terrorists were preparing to carry out terrorist attack in Georgia's capital Tbilisi. Why in Georgia? Expert on Caucasus Mamuka Areshidze discussed this question in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza. According to him, one of the Daesh leaders Ahmed Chataev recently threatened Georgian authorities, saying that "grave consequences" await them if they don't release preachers of "radical Islam" detained in the Pankisi Gorge for their relations with Daesh and recruitment of mercenaries for "army of fanatics."

In any case, Georgia and its capital have narrowly escaped perhaps the most terrible tragedy in its modern history. It happened due to vigilance of one of the residents of apartment building, who called the police when he thought the behavior of foreigners who lived near him was strange.



Vestnik Kavkaza

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