Monday, 19 October 2009

FSB chief claims Georgia - al Qaeda cooperation

The Pankisi Gorge in Georgia, which borders Chechnya, has long provided a transit route for money, weapons and militants into and out of the Russian republic. It has been alleged that al Qaeda operates training camps in the region.

Alexander Bortnikov, head of Russia’s FSB, has gone further and claimed that his security organs have gathered audio evidence that Georgia has been actively involved in training and lending safe passage to terrorists operating in Chechnya and Dagestan.

Naturally the Georgian authorities have denied strenuously any cooperation with al Qaeda. Tbilisi can point to forces which it has contributed to struggles against Islamist terror, in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Bortinkov’s allegations might simply represent another front in the propaganda war between Russia and Georgia. However President Saakashvili has demonstrated a penchant for rash and underhand tactics, as well as pathological dishonesty.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Georgia has something to hide.

5 comments:

Alec said...

Does central government's writ extend that far?

>> Naturally the Georgian authorities have denied strenuously any cooperation with al Qaeda. Tbilisi can point to forces which it has contributed to struggles against Islamist terror, in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Not stopping the Italians.

Gaw said...

'It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Georgia has something to hide.'

Just as likely, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Russia is spreading baseless smears...

Chekov said...

Never said otherwise Gaw. it could be nonsense. But it's by no means certain.

yourcousin said...

Chekov,
The problem is of course that you did say otherwise, specifically you did not and continue to refrain from actually Saying that Russia could be lying. You pick your words carefully so as not to have to actually say anything like that. It's all semantics of course, but come on it does seem like a rather crude ploy when we have come to expect a higher level of discourse from this blog.

Chekov said...

Bortinkov’s allegations might simply represent another front in the propaganda war between Russia and Georgia.

That's pretty clear I'd've thought? I.e. the allegations might be groundless. The assumption will no doubt be that they're groundless in most quarters. I decided to stress what's different about my take on the story. I have my doubts, but I'm not discounting it out of hand.

Nothing more sinister than that.