A screengrab from the Islamic State group’s Georgian-language propaganda video.
A video, circulated on November 23 on pro-Islamic State (IS) group’s social media accounts and website, shows Georgian-speaking men calling on Muslims in Georgia to join the “caliphate”, slamming Muslim clerics in Adjara and threatening to behead “infidels” in Georgia.
The twelve and a half minute-long video with Russian subtitles and a logo of IS group’s Russian-language media arm Furat shows four young men with Kalashnikov assault rifles and RPG grenade launcher.
One of them, who speaks in the video, has been identified by the Georgian media sources as Khvicha Gobadze from Adjara region. His father, Ilia Gobadze, told journalists in Batumi, port and resort city in Adjara, after the video emerged that his son went to Turkey about two months ago.
Three other men in the video have been identified by Tbilisi-based Rustavi 2 TV, which reported that they were from Guria region, where their families were resettled as eco-migrants from Adjara region. Father of one of those three men told the TV station that his son left Georgia in late August.
The video, titled “message to the Georgian people”, appeared on IS group’s Russian-language media arm Furat’s social media accounts on November 23, and was also posted a Georgian-language pro-IS website, which uses WordPress platform and which describes itself as “Caliphate’s Georgian Information Channel.” The Georgian State Security Service said last week that it was investigating this and several other Georgian-language pro-IS group websites.
After calling on Muslims in Georgia to join the “Islamic caliphate”, one of the men in the video also addresses, as he puts it, “so called muftis” in Adjara and calls them “slaves of kafirs” (non-believers), who “mislead” local Muslims in Adjara.
Other man in the video (two of the four men speak in the video) addresses “Georgia’s infidels, who have been fighting against Islam for a long time… be it in Iraq or Afghanistan” and tells them to “stop persecution of Muslims.”
“None of your actions taken against Islam will remain unresponded… Time for cutting off your heads will come very soon,” he says, adding that those who think “the caliphate is too far from Georgia and that it won’t be able to reach Georgia” are wrong.
The Georgian State Security Service said that the investigation was launched in connection to this video. It also “called and requested” media outlets not to circulate this “video footage, containing threats.”