The State Security Service of Georgia (SSG) say they have foiled a plot by an Iranian citizen to kill an Israeli businessman in Georgia, and have detained the alleged hitman as well as others involved.
On Tuesday, the deputy head of the administration of Georgia’s State Security Service, Davit Kutateladze, said that a Pakistani citizen and persons with dual Iranian-Georgian citizenship were detained following an investigation.
The SSG did not specify the number of suspects, the identities of the attackers or intended victim, or the city in which the alleged attack was planned. However, they noted that the ‘alleged orderer of the murder is an Iranian citizen’. The agency stated that it had also identified organisers outside of Georgia, as well as other participants in the alleged crime.
The intended target has since been identified as Itsik Moshe, an Israeli citizen and president of the Israel-Georgia Chamber of Business.
According to Kutateladze, a Pakistani citizen ‘was sent to Georgia by a criminal group, who had been assigned to kill an Israeli citizen in Georgia’.
Before his arrival, he was reportedly given instructions and information and then travelled to Georgia through an unnamed third country.
On arriving in Georgia, the alleged hitman was reportedly provided with a flat and tasked with observing and studying the target. According to Kuteladze’s account, a group of Iranian-Georgian dual citizens were recruited to provide weapons, which were transferred through hiding places around the city, with the work of both parties coordinated from abroad.
According to the SSG, ‘firearms and ammunition, telephones, information showing the preparation of the murder and the location of the hideouts, as well as other revealing evidence’ were seized.
Kutateladze said that they were still working to identify others involved in the plot.
Moshe expressed his gratitude to the SSG for 'exposing and thwarting a terrorist attack'.
A representative of the Israeli embassy in Tbilisi told OC Media that they could not yet comment.
The article was updated on 16 November to include the identity of the Israeli citizen.