The National Security Service (NSS) on Wednesday denied media claims that a group of radical Islamic militants might have entered Armenia to carry out terrorist attacks following violent protests outside U.S. diplomatic missions in several Muslim nations.
The pro-opposition daily “Haykakan Zhamanak” said on Tuesday that the NSS and police forces were put on high alert over the weekend after the U.S. officials warned the Armenian authorities that Islamist terrorists might target Armenia. It claimed that law-enforcement bodies have in turn alerted state institutions and large private firms about such possibility.
The paper stood by these claims in its Wednesday edition, saying that the presumed “terrorists” from Afghanistan may already be in the country. It quoted NSS spokesman Artsvin Baghramian as not denying this.
Baghramian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am), however, that the “Haykakan Zhamanak” information is “untrue and does not correspond to reality.”
The U.S. Embassy in Armenia was among American diplomatic missions around the world that issued security alerts for U.S. citizens last week following violent protests in Libya and Egypt against a privately made film that ridicules the Prophet Mohammed. The embassy stressed at the same time that it has “no specific information to indicate that these events will affect security in Armenia.”