TBILISI, DFWatch–Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri was approved as new head of the State Security Service on Wednesday, as the ministry he has headed until now is split in two.
Facing questions from parliamentarians, Gomelauri said that one of the main priorities of the new agency will be to reveal and counter plans, intelligence abilities and operations of foreign special services. The counterintelligence service will focus its efforts on informing decision makers precisely and timely whenever there are threats against the country.
Meeting with the defense and security committee, Gomelauri said that the new body will also aim to protect persons and buildings that are exposed to high security risk in terms of state secrets.
Another priority for the new Security Service is to take measures to prevent terrorism, reveal it at an early stage and restrict terrorists’ access to financial and material recourses. Employees of the counter-terrorism department will be properly armed and trained.
“We should focus on eliminating radicalism to avoid our citizens from getting involved in terrorism and this requires preventing the spread of extremist rhetoric and ideology,” he said, most likely a reference to Pankisi Gorge, from where many young people have left for Syria to join ISIS.
Gomelauri said ISIS is as much of a threat for Georgia as it is for other states.
Speaking about terrorism, Gomelauri said that having occupied territories create a convenient environment for international terrorism and transnational organized crime.