Crime

U.S. State Department releases report on Terrorism for 2022

The United States Department of State has released a report on Terrorism for 2022. In the annual report, together with different countries, Georgia evaluates the measures taken by the government to fight Terrorism.

The document emphasizes that in 2022, Georgia continued its unwavering involvement in counterterrorism issues and remained a firm security partner of the United States.

The report states that the situation related to Terrorism in Georgia was calm and stable, and no terrorist incidents were reported. The document says that in 2022, no Georgian citizen has been identified for terrorist activities regarding departure to Syria or Iraq.

In the report, the U.S. State Department positively evaluates Georgia’s capabilities in the fight against Terrorism. In this context, the vital contribution of the State Security Service as the central anti-terrorism agency is highlighted:

“Georgia, in general, has to show the ability to detain and react to terrorist incidents. The State Security Service of Georgia has the authority to deal with terrorism-related incidents and investigations and, through the Counterterrorist Center, closely cooperates with other agencies, including the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Justice and Defense and the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, as well as with international partners.”

“The State Security Service of Georgia is, in general, well equipped and trained, and its counterterrorist unit continues to receive regular training and equipment from international partners and carries out internal exercises.”

A document published by the State Department emphasizes that Georgia has begun the implementation of its second National Counterterrorist Strategy and Action Plan for 2022-2026 after completing the Action Plan for 2019-2021.

The country has imposed stricter measures on false reporting of terrorist acts and stepped up efforts to combat money laundering, terrorist financing threats and weapons of mass destruction.

According to the report, Georgian criminal law legislation properly criminalizes terrorism-related crimes, including acts such as financing Terrorism, cyberterrorism, training, public incitement to Terrorism, transferring to join a terrorist organization, and moving foreign terrorist fighters.

The report lists counterterrorism measures the State Security Service carried out during the fiscal period, including the counterterrorist centre against the terrorist organization E. Y. The arrest of the brother of Cesar Tokhosashvili, Tsiskara Tokhosashville, on charges of joining the Islamic State and supporting terrorist activities in Syria and Iraq.

In addition, it is about the conviction of the five persons by the Tbilisi Civil Court who were sentenced to death in August 2021; Y. Detained for membership of the Islamic State and planning to leave to a terrorist camp in Syria.

The report highlights the fact that the State Security Service investigated the attempted assassination of an Israeli citizen.

According to the U.S. State Department, the country has continued to work to improve land, air-border and maritime security by participating in international drills and US-conducted training.

The document positively presents the development of the 2027 Integrated Border Management Strategy and close cooperation with air carriers, international partners and relevant government agencies regarding preliminary passenger data and passenger name recording system.

The report evaluated the capabilities of state border protection and maritime security agencies’ capabilities in conducting first responders at the country’s land and marine borders.

According to the U.S. State Department, agencies have stepped up security measures and strengthened border control. At the same time, the report says that the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) recognized the Coast Guard Aboarding Group of Georgia’s Border Police as an operational partner of the NATO-led naval anti-terrorist operation “Sea Guard”.

It is noted that Georgia regularly shares documents and passenger information within the framework of Interpol.

The document says that Georgia is a member of the Council of Europe’s Expert Committee to Evaluate Measures Against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (MONEYVAL) and, in the accounting period, became a member of the European Union Legal Cooperation Agency (Europe)’s Terrorism Financing Monitoring Program.

The Financial Intelligence Division of Georgia, Financial Monitoring Service, is a member of Egmont Group. The report highlights that Georgia has established a new commission aimed at preventing, exposing and suppressing the threat of money laundering terrorism financing and spreading weapons of mass destruction.

According to the report, in 2022, Georgia continued its efforts, including fighting against violent extremism, and focused on integrating minorities, education, media access, youth, and cultural diversity.

Finally, as the U.S. State Department points out, Georgia is actively involved in counterterrorist issues through international, regional and bilateral cooperation. The country works closely with NATO, the U.N., the Council of Europe, the European Union, E.U., Interpol, and other organizations.

In 2022, Georgia participated in U.N., E.U., USA and NATO training and conferences, including the eighth meeting of the Council of Europe Counterterrorism Committee. The country joined the counterterrorist joint ally group of Europe.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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