2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Georgia
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||5 August 2010|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Georgia, 5 August 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c63b645c.html [accessed 30 August 2015]|
Georgia continued to support U.S. efforts in the fight against terrorism, increasing its role by providing a battalion of Georgian soldiers, approximately 750 troops, to be trained by the United States in preparation for a deployment as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. This is in addition to 173 Georgian troops already serving as part of ISAF with the French and one service member serving with Turkish forces. Additionally, Georgia has granted blanket flight clearance for all U.S. military aircraft engaged in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Russian claims of Georgian support for Chechen terrorists and harboring of such individuals in the Pankisi Gorge were unsubstantiated, and the Georgian government has transparent efforts to prove this to the international community.
Border security operations and anti-corruption efforts at border checkpoints remained high priorities for the Georgian government, with its continued focus on countering the smuggling of contraband such as laundered money, drugs, and weaponry that could support terrorism. Significant improvements to infrastructure at border crossing points and employment of the Department of Energy's Second Line of Defense Program to detect radiation continued. The new border crossing facility at Kazbegi/Larsi between Georgia and Russia was finished in September 2009, although due to the state of relations between Georgia and Russia, the border remained closed at the end of 2009.
Additionally, seven remote border posts were completed in 2009, enhancing the security of the Georgian- Azerbaijani border and further limiting illegal crossings. The fifth and final radar station on the Black Sea coast was also completed, which will enhance Georgian capabilities to secure its maritime border and interdict potential smugglers and counter any terrorist threats from this direction. The Georgian Border Police's capabilities significantly improved, including its ability to monitor, patrol, and interdict criminals along the green borders. This was accomplished by the development of additional enforcement tools such as new communications equipment.
The situation in the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia remained largely unchanged, and the Georgian government does not control its international borders located between these regions and Russia. This lack of control allowed for unrestricted and unidentified flow of people, goods, and other potentially dangerous items from Russia into Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The administrative boundary lines between Georgia and the conflict zones were furthered militarized in 2009 when Russia tasked its Federal Security Service (FSB) border guards to take over control from de facto authorities in both territories. Movement over these boundary lines was strictly controlled, although formal customs checks, security inspections, or other counterterrorism procedures did not exist.