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Georgian trace in the terrorist attack in Boston

04.06.2013 11:33

Victor Koltsov

Not so long ago the Russian and Georgian media reported that Tamerlan Tsarnayev, one of two brothers Tsarnayev who had organized the attack during the annual Boston Marathon, for some time studied at the seminars conducted by the Georgian special services in conjunction with U.S. instructors.

To be more specific, the organization that conducted the same is called "the Caucasian fund" and collaborated with some of the American non-profit organization "Jamestown".

According to the reports of Colonel Chief Directorate Counterintelligence Department Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia Gregory Chanturia (it emerged that it "does not exist" - more on that later), which fell into the hands of journalists of "Izvestia", the Caucasian Fund in conjunction with the Jamestown Foundation in the summer of 2012 in Georgia conducted workshops and seminars for residents of the Caucasus, including its Russian part. They were mostly young men. Some of these seminars were also attended by Tamerlan Tsarnayev, who stayed in Russia from January to July 2012.

Judging from Chanturia's report, the major task of the fund was to recruit young people and intellectuals from the North Caucasus to increase instability and extremist attitudes in the southern regions of Russia.

This information, of course, has not gone unnoticed and instantly became popular in the blogosphere over the world, and journalists rushed to look for "Georgian trace" in the investigation of the terrorist attack in Boston. It seems rather logical, especially given the fact that U.S. law-enforcement agencies try not to disclose information, even indirectly relevant to the case. After all, the explosion at the Boston Marathon was for the first time since 9/11 officially named the "terrorist attack" that the current U.S. government, according to media reports, simply frittered away. And besides the Russian special services had warned their U.S. counterparts about possible links of the Tsarnayevs with the terrorist underground.

Hence the hard questions to the head of the Georgian government Bidzina Ivanishvili, who had to re-initiate an investigation into the special-forces raid against a raiding party formed by residents of the Pankisi Gorge and alien militants in the valley of the river Lopota in August 2012. Then, near the Dagestan border three Georgian commandos and 11 members of this formation were killed. According to Ivanishvili, "it is possible that the terrorists were trained in Georgia, or used its territory for transit." However, the Georgian politician believes that it is necessary to wait for the completion of the Pankisi Gorge investigation.

It should be emphasized that the Pankisi special operation, as well as seminars of the Caucasian fund under the auspices of Jamestown does not refer to that period of time when the current Prime Minister Ivanishvili was in power as well as people of his Georgian Dream coalition. He, as the head of the current government, just has to be answerable to the public. At the same time, having full authority, President Saakashvili ran the country and the head of all intelligence agencies, including the Ministry of Internal Affairs and others, were headed by his people. Formally, Saakashvili even now "leads" the nation, but his powers as president were severely limited after the victory of the Georgian Dream in the parliamentary elections, and the official presidential term of office comes to an end. So, if heads will roll after investigation, they will be primarily of people from the environment of Saakashvili. Although, who knows, maybe of himself. Now enough criminal cases have been instituted against the president, so no one will be surprised if one more is added to this "pack".

The Georgian authorities themselves poured oil on the flame. Georgia's Interior Ministry in response to the publication of Izvestia stated that, according to this agency, "Tamerlan Tsarnayev has never been to Georgia, and Colonel Gregory Chanturia mentioned in the publication, has never worked in the counterintelligence division of the Interior Ministry." But the Caucasian fund, according to Georgian media, was recently closed after all. So, they are covering their tracks?

By the way, as far back as a few years ago, the then disgraced former defense minister and a Saakashvili's former associate Irakli Okruashvili, made some rather startling statements in an interview to the Russian First Channel's correspondents who filmed a movie called "Caucasus Plan-2": Metastases". As stated in the annotation of the film on a web site, http://www.1tv.ru, this film is "a continuation of Anton Vernitsky's documentary, filmed in 2008, and telling of the events in the North Caucasus in the early 1990s, as well as of Western intelligence agencies' plans (and attempts) to separate Russia."

In the film Okruashvili gives a detailed account of planning the war in South Ossetia in August 2008, and who in the West instigated Georgia to do so, through which corridors militants cross the Georgian-Russian border, how they get to the Pankisi Gorge and how they contact with Georgia's Interior Ministry.

In particular, Okruashvili said that Tbilisi has repeatedly provided the "corridor" through the Pankisi Gorge to militants, including Achemez Gochiyaev, who according to the FSB of Russia was one of the managers and executives of apartment building explosions in Moscow and Volgodonsk in September 1999.

However, at that time these statements seemed rather a newspaper hoax, as there was no official proof of Okruashvili's statement, and several criminal cases were filed against the most disgraced politician in Georgia. But that was then. Okruashvili is now at home in Georgia, being justified on all counts for which he was accused under the ruling of Saakashvili. And now his words no longer seem so fabulous. Just as the end of Saakashvili's and his team's ruling does not seem fantastic. As the saying goes: there is nothing kept secret that will not come to light. Sooner or later.