Monday, 7 December 2009

blackwater's erik prince: a cia asset

December 5, 2009

Erik Prince, head of US security firm Blackwater, ‘was CIA operative’

In public he was the lean and ruthless face of American military outsourcing in Iraq. Erik Prince, as founder of the Blackwater security company, packed a mobile phone on one hip and a handgun on the other as he flew in and out of the world’s troublespots co-ordinating protection teams for American VIPs — and handling the backlash when his employees were accused of shooting dead 17 Iraqi civilians at a Baghdad crossroads in 2007.

In private, he was a CIA operative, with his own file as a “vetted asset” at the agency’s headquarters, and a mission to build “a unilateral, unattributable capability” to hunt down and kill al-Qaeda militants for the US Government wherever they could be found.

These claims, made by Mr Prince and supported by others who knew of his activities, form part of a potentially explosive investigation into the life of America’s best-known mercenary.

Mr Prince, aside from his work in Iraq, set up America’s closest forward operating base to the Pakistani border in Afghanistan, and helped to train a CIA assassination team that hunted an alleged senior al-Qaeda financier in Germany, and included A. Q. Khan, a Pakistani nuclear scientist, on its list of targets, according to Vanity Fair magazine.

Mr Prince is a billionaire and former member of the US Navy Seal special forces, who avoided publicity during his long and lucrative period as a favoured security contractor for the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA. Between 2001 and 2009 his company won government contracts worth an estimated $1.5 billion (£900 million) and built a private air force of Black Hawk helicopters and troop-ferrying aircraft based at a 7,000-acre facility in North Carolina.

Despite the political uproar, and a 15-month investigation by the Department of Justice that followed the 2007 massacre in Baghdad, Mr Prince has to date made few public comments on his company’s work, and none on his own relationship with the CIA.

He now has more reason to go public: according to three sources who spoke to Vanity Fair, Mr Prince was recruited by the agency in 2004 and ran intelligence-gathering operations in an unnamed Axis of Evil country until only two months ago, but was partially “outed” by leaks that followed a closed-door briefing of congressional leaders by Leon Panetta, the CIA director, last summer.

Mr Prince regards those leaks as a betrayal: “When it became politically expedient to do so, someone threw me under a bus,” he said. He claims that his company is now paying $2 million a month in legal bills to defend itself against lawsuits in both Iraq and the US, and has been singled out because of who he is. “I’m an easy target,” he told the magazine. “I’m from a Republican family and I own this company outright. Our competitors have nameless, faceless management teams.”


Usa/ Il fondatore della Blackwater era un "operativo della Cia"


05 DIC 2009

Erik Prince incaricato di dare la caccia ai membri di al Qaida

Roma, 5 dic. (Apcom) - Erik Prince, il fondatore della Blackwater, l'agenzia di sicurezza privata impiegata dall'esercito americano in Iraq, era "un operativo della Cia". Lo riporta il Times, che cita quanto scritto dal magazine Vanity Fair. La Blackwater è salita alla ribalta delle cronache dopo che alcuni suoi agenti rimasero coinvolti nel 2007 in una sparatoria a Baghdad in cui persero la vita 17 civili iracheni. La missione affidata a Prince dall'agenzia di intelligence Usa era quella di dare la caccia ai membri di al Qaida, e secondo Vanity Fair nella lista dei suoi obiettivi c'erano un finanziatore del gruppo terroristico in Germania e anche lo scienziato pachistano Abdul Qadere Khan, il padre della bomba atomica pachistana. Ex membro dele forze speciali della marina Usa (Us Navy Seal), Prince con la sua attività è diventato miliardario. Tra il 2001 e il 2009 ha siglato contratti di lavoro con l'amministrazione Usa da un valore stimato di un miliardo e mezzo di dollari.

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