Members of the Confidence Group, together with journalists and foreign diplomats, will travel to Pankisi on October 29 to assess the situation there first hand. Christian Democratic faction deputy head Nikoloz Laliashvili said that the group will start with Pankisi, and then methodically check any district Russian officials subsequently claim terrorists are using as a base.
Georgian Counterterrorism Center head Zurab Maisuradze told the Confidence Group on October 28 that there are no "terrorists" on Georgian territory. He said any claims to the contrary are "lies." Border police chief Zaza Gogava similarly said that not a single illegal border crossing between Georgia and Russia has been registered this year.
But Georgian intelligence service head Gela Bezhuashvili nonetheless warned on October 28 that there are grounds to suspect that Russia may be preparing "provocations" on its borders with Georgia, which the Georgian authorities will seek to avert. Georgian media had earlier published unsubstantiated reports that Russia plans to infiltrate fighters into Georgia, where they would then carry out acts of terrorism.
Alternatively, Russia would adduce the presence of those militants on Georgian territory as evidence that the Georgian leadership maintains links with Al-Qaeda. But security expert Irakli Sesiashvili pointed out that the only mountain paths by which fighters could enter Pankisi from Russia are already under several meters of snow.