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Interior Minister Comments on Probe into 'Jihad Threat' Video
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 19 Jun.'13 / 23:09

One of those several lines of inquiry pursued by investigation to find those behind “jihad threat” video suggests that it could have been uploaded on internet by someone with insider’s knowledge of Georgian police capabilities in tackling cyber crimes, Interior Minister Irakli Garibashvili said on June 19.

In a video titled “Taliban Jihad Against Georgian Troops in Afghanistan”, which emerged on the internet earlier this month, voiceover in English threatens Georgian troops in Afghanistan, their family members, mentions President Saakashvili for several times and warns of bringing jihad into Georgia; but there have always been huge suspicions that the video was in fact a meager attempt to imitate Taliban. Interior Minister Garibashvili said on June 11 that the video was uploaded from Georgia and IP address and location from where it was uploaded were identified.

Asked about the investigation into this video, Garibashvili said in an interview with Rustavi 2 television station on June 19 that identifying IP address was not enough for resolving the case and added that it was “a very difficult process” because “we are facing a cyber crime.” 

“One should not assume that if an IP address was identified it will now be very easy to apprehend culprits,” he said.

“One of the lines of inquiry is that it is not ruled out that it might have been done by a person who is very well aware of the Interior Ministry’s technical-operative capabilities and resources,” Garibashvili said and added that this person “worked very skillfully” to avoid being tracked.

“But as I have already said the United States, in particular FBI is actively assisting us in the investigation and I hope very much that we will resolve this case,” the Interior Minister added.

Since the video emerged, President Saakashvili’s UNM party has accused the Interior Ministry for number of times of deliberately delaying the probe. UNM representatives have been suggesting that the delay was caused by the Interior Ministry’s attempt to paper over the case. UNM MP Givi Targamadze and some other UNM lawmakers alluded that head of the government’s PR department, Koka Kandiashvili, was possibly behind the video and called for setting up of a parliamentary investigation commission to carry out a separate, independent probe into the case. Kandiashvili responded that he would not even comment on this “delirium” by UNM lawmakers and by citing reports in Georgian tabloid press he pointed the finger at unspecified employee of the president’s administration, as well as at former head of Imedi TV and Saakashvili’s long-time ally Giorgi Arveladze, whom Kandiashvili referred to as a producer of fake news on war which was aired in March 2010 by Imedi TV, when it was ran by Arveladze.

President Saakashvili, who demanded from the Interior Minister to immediately resolve the case, convened on June 11 National Security Council session to discuss the issue. PM Ivanishvili, who did not attend session, said on June 11, that making such videos was more characteristic to UNM rather than to his team and mentioned in this context Imedi TV’s 2010 fake war news report.

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