TBILISI, DFWatch–Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili on Tuesday provided details about a several month long investigation into two jihad videos posted on Youtube a few months ago with threats against Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan.
His comments were a response to Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, who said in a TV interview that it is unfortunate that the Interior Minister hasn’t managed to investigate the case of the so-called jihad videos until now.
“If there is not progress in the investigation conducted by the Interior Ministry, naturally, we will engage our international partners and the intelligence resources of the Defense Ministry,” Alasania said on Monday.
He epmhasized the importance of investigating the video threats, as shortly after they were uploaded to Youtube there was an attack on Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan.
June 6, 2013 a video was posted on Youtube under the name ‘Jihad against Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan’. It contained threats against Georgian soldiers participating in NATO’s ISAF operations. A second video, also uploaded June 6, was titled ‘The great jihad’, and also contained threats.
A few days later there was an attack against the Georgian base in Afghanistan. Seven soldiers died, several others were wounded.
Both videos are now deleted.
The government’s opponents said the goal of such videos is to scare the Georgian public in order to weaken the country’s western foreign policy course. The public is pushing to get to the bottom of the case, and the opposition as well as ordinary citizens have repeatedly demanded to know the results of the investigation and how it is progressing, but the only response they received was that the investigation is in progress and that people will be informed as soon as it is brought to a conclusion.
That conclusion was reached one month ago, Interior Minister Gharibashvili said Tuesday, and the results will be revealed at a press conference Thursday.
“There is huge public interest in this investigation, and we only heard that the investigation was in progress. If it was finished one month ago, why didn’t anyone know about it? Of course this raises more questions,” National Movement member of parliament Giorgi Gabashvili told DF Watch.
Defense Minister Alasania congratulated the Interior Ministry on wrapping up the investigation.
He told journalists on Tuesday that he hopes to see every question answered soon.
Gharibashvili didn’t mention Alasania’s statement, but his and the ministry’s statements followed Alasania’s recent complaint about the lack of results from the investigation.
Nino Giorgobiani, spokesperson for the MIA, said at a briefing Tuesday that it would be better if Alasania checked this information with his fellow minister before making such a statement.
Giorgobiani added that the person who posted the jihad video is in pre-trial detention.
“It has been determined who did this and the person is in detention by a court decision,” she said, adding that more details will be forthcoming on Thursday.
She said that out of concerns for the investigation, details have not been published until now.