Re: Grenade thrown near President!
Hand Grenade Thrown
At Bush Was Live - FBI
By Nick Paton Walsh
The Guardian - UK
A hand grenade thrown at George Bush in Georgia last week was live and could have exploded, the FBI said yesterday.
Georgian officials insisted the explosive device found by police during the pro-democracy speech which President Bush gave in the capital, Tbilisi, was an "engineering grenade" which would have had to be very close to the president to cause any damage.
But yesterday Bryan Paarmann, the FBI attache to the US embassy in Tbilisi, told the Interfax news agency that the hand grenade only failed to explode because of a chance malfunction in its detonator.
Article continues He said the grenade, wrapped in a dark tartan handkerchief, had been thrown towards the podium where Mr Bush was speaking but hit a girl in the crowd. This cushioned its impact and stopped it detonating.
He said an initial inspection had shown that "this hand grenade appears to be a live device that simply failed to function due to a light strike on the blasting cap induced by a slow deployment of the spoon activation device".
No arrests have been made. He appealed to Georgians with private video or camera footage of the incident to come forward, and offered a reward of 20,000 laris (about £6,000).
"We consider this act to be a threat against the health and welfare of the president of the United States and the president of Georgia as well as the welfare of the multitudes of Georgian people who had turned out for this event," Mr Paarmann said.
The grenade, said by Georgian officials to be a Soviet RGD-5, would have blasted shrapnel into the crowd. Mr Bush was speaking from behind a bulletproof glass shield, which might have protected him.
Mr Paarmann said Georgian and FBI officials would continue to investigate the incident.
Mr Bush's speech praised the rose revolution that removed the corrupt post-Soviet government of Eduard Shevardnadze in the country in November 2003.
To chants of "Bushi, Bushi", he called Georgia a "beacon of liberty" in the region and added: "You gathered here armed with nothing but roses and the power of your convictions, and you claimed your liberty." He said: "You've got a solid friend in America."
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005
Email This Article
This Site Served by TheHostPros
“...I realized I had to gain more knowledge to protect against evil and to protect myself from not becoming evil myself. This is our major goal in life...\" Terry Lee