The road that carries death
by Joseph “Soso” Zaalishvili
By the end of the First Jihad (1994-96) in the Chechen Republic, the Islamic authorities and the leaders of the Chechen Mujahedeen actively began to talk about the construction of a so-called “Road of Life,” which was to unite Chechnya and Georgia.
At that time (the beginning of 1996), no one thought that the road construction would begin in 1997. In summer 1996, Russia signed the Khasavyurt agreement with the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Wealthy sponsors of Jihad began to prepare their sinister plans for the Islamization of the Caucasus region.
Fate has granted me the chance to meet and interview many prominent emirs and Chechen mujahedeen. Many of them occupy the highest positions in the government of Ichkeria.
Aslan Maskhadov told me about the plan to build a “Road of Life,” which was to provide a corridor for the receipt of ammunition and mujahedeen in case of a continuation of the Jihad in the northern Caucasus.
I had personal meetings with the emirs who had personally engaged in the construction of this road, such as Shamil Basayev, Turpal Ali Atgiriev, and Ruslan Gelayev, who at various times oversaw this project. I learned that the construction of this road was funded by a “High Arab,” who has incredible authority among the Chechen Mujahedeen, and is a close friend of Amir Khattab: Osama bin Laden.
Before the second Jihad in the Northern Caucasus in 1999, Chechens finished the road’s journey to the borders of Georgia, but the Georgian government and President Shevardnadze, under pressure from Georgian society, froze plans to build the road from the Georgian side.
In meetings with me, Chechen emirs repeatedly talked about their plans for the Islamization of the Caucasus. In their view, this road would help not only Chechens, but after the victory of Jihad in the Caucasus, it would serve as a corridor for the mujahedeen in Turkey and Iran.
In their view, the real enemy of Islam is not Russia and the citizens of this country, but Israel and the Zionists. And the goal? To create a single Islamic state — a Caliphate.
In 1998, a source told me that a “High Arab” (Osama Bin Laden) came to the Urus-Martan (Chechnya region) and took 10 Stingers to local jihadists as a gift.
I was kidnapped by Mujahedeen because of an article published in the Georgian newspaper about their plans in the Caucasus.
I carefully observed the actions of supporters of Jihad in the Caucasus. Many of them were destroyed in the fighting. There were new Emirs and representatives of al-Qaida.
In 2011, Georgia’s new president, Mikhail Saakashvili, began a visa-free policy with the North Caucasus, Iran and Turkey. I immediately thought of the so-called “Road of Life” and what the Mujahedeen had told me about the Jihad against Israel.
In addition, over the last year, Georgia’s relations with its longtime ally of Israel have very much soured. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili openly invited Ahmadinejad for an official visit to Tbilisi.
The visa-free policy allows the Mujahedeen to move through the territory of Georgia and into Turkey and Iran without problems. For example, before the introduction of visa-free travel, I met with several Pakistanis who had Pakistani passports issued in the Pakistani consulate in Kazakhstan, where the personal numbers were recorded by hand. It is interesting that on their passports, they were born January 1, 1972, 1973 and 1974. They had a used car dealership 50 meters from the main entrance to the American Embassy in Georgia. A bomb exploded near the embassy. Fortunately, only a fence collapsed and no one was hurt. One year after the incident, Georgian authorities have announced that it was a terrorist attack, arranged by Russian special services. Recently, I accidentally met one of these Pakistanis. He has already become a citizen of Georgia.
Since 2010, Georgia has sold Iran more than a million sheep. I understand that it is very profitable to sell a sheep, which in Georgia is worth about 50 dollars but can be sold to Iran for 350-400 dollars, but it is not clear why the Iranians are paying the price, when Iran itself is a major exporter of sheep meat.
Georgia has supported “Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.” Most of the household and agricultural products imported to Georgia come from Turkey and Iran.
In conclusion, I can say that the plan for the Caucasus and the international jihadists’s intention to use Georgia as a corridor, or a “road that carries death,” is already in progress at present, and worse yet, nearing completion.