The Counter-terrorism Department of the State Security Service, Georgia’s domestic intelligence agency, detained a man identified as Malkhaz T. on charges of joining a foreign terrorist organization and assisting terror-related activities.
The State Security Service said it found illegally obtained firearms in suspect’s house and work place, as well as the flags and other insignia of the Islamic State group. The agency declined to provide additional details on the matter.
Tbilisi-based Reginfo.ge identified the suspect as Malkhaz Tokhosashvili. The outlet said the detainee hails from village Birkiani in Georgias’s Muslim-majority Pankisi gorge, but has lived in Tbilisi, where he reportedly worked for a property protection agency.
Also on August 6, Tbilisi-based Palitra News published a propaganda video threatening the Georgian authorities with “revenge” over the death of “brothers.”
The three minute-long video with Georgian subtitles and ISIS music in the background shows a compilation of footage from the 2012 Lopota gorge clash in Kakheti region and the 2017 anti-terrorist operation in Tbilisi. It is yet unclear whether the two developments are related.
Tokhosashvili’s detention comes less than two weeks after Tbilisi court found Shoaif Borziev, a member of the group of militants led by senior ISIS member Ahmed Chatayev, guilty of plotting terrorist acts in Georgia and has sentenced him to thirteen years in prison.