Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Georgia
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||31 July 2012|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Georgia, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbcb722.html [accessed 22 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Overview: In 2011, the Georgian government supported global counterterrorism efforts through a comprehensive strategy aimed at disrupting both internal and external terrorism threats. Over the course of the year, the Georgian government prevented several terrorist-related bomb plots, which appeared to originate in the break-away regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Georgian government alleged Russian ties to the bombings. The Georgian government's lack of control of Abkhazia and South Ossetia limited its ability to counter terrorism in these regions and secure its border with Russia.
The Georgian government continued to work closely and coordinate its counterterrorism activities with a variety of U.S. agencies on both the tactical and strategic level. The U.S. and Georgian governments continued to work together to improve border security. The U.S. government funded programs that focused on identification, investigation, and detention of criminals at the Georgian border; the detection of nuclear or radioactive materials; the targeting and inspection of high-risk conveyances, cargo, and travelers; detecting contraband; and surveillance techniques. In addition, the U.S. Coast Guard provided training to Georgian officials in maritime law enforcement and the use of the Incident Command System.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: A series of bomb plots were discovered and ultimately foiled by the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA). The attempted bombings occurred over a four-month period from March to June. No injuries were reported and several arrests were made in connection with these incidents. In February, two individuals were arrested for attempting to smuggle Iridium-192, a radioactive material, through Georgia with the intent of selling it in a third country.
Legislation and Law Enforcement: The Georgian government passed several amendments aimed at strengthening its counterterrorism legislation and fulfilling its obligations under relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs). In October, the Georgian Parliament amended the Criminal Code, expanding the definition of who can perpetrate a terrorist act to include both international organizations and foreign authorities. The amendment went into force in November. The Georgian government also expanded the scope of what is considered a terrorist attack to include attacks against a person or institution under international protection.
The Georgian government continued to take steps to create a Permanent National Interagency Antiterrorist Commission (PNIAC) through the introduction of legislation establishing the PNIAC. Under the legislation, the minister of justice chairs the commission with the National Security Council as the deputy chair. The Commission will be responsible for enforcing UNSCRs and coordinating all counterterrorism activity in Georgia.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Georgia is a member of the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, a Financial Action Task Force style-regional body. In July, the Georgian Parliament amended the Criminal Code, expanding the scope of what was considered terrorist financing to the civil aviation field and hostage taking.
Georgia has designated an Anti-Money Laundering Counterterrorist Financing (AML/CTF) unit within the Ministry of Justice, which works directly with the MOIA to investigate and prosecute AML/CTF. Georgia has limited and unevenly applied oversight to nongovernmental organizations. Additionally, the licensing requirement for money and value transfer systems was eliminated in 2006.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Georgia is a party to the Council of Europe Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism. At the regional level, Georgia actively participated in counterterrorism activities as a member of the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation and the GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova) Organization for Democracy and Economic Development. At the bilateral level, Georgia has signed agreements that includ counterterrorism cooperation with 20 countries.