Blackwater in Pakistan

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by LETHALFORCE, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Blackwater in Pakistan: Is The Media Crying Wolf? | Pakistan Politics, Current Affairs, Business and Lifestyle | Chowrangi

    Blackwater in Pakistan: Is The Media Crying Wolf?


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    These days, media is rife with speculations on presence of the infamous Blackwater (now known as Xe Services LLC) in Pakistan. Every anchor, analyst and expert is turning the same stone, trying to find something new to sensationalize and sell to its audience.

    Reading and watching reports about “hundreds” of houses taken on rent in Islamabad and suspicious activities of foreigners (apparently Americans, supporting shades and “latest” automatic weapons) in Islamabad and Peshawar, one gets the impression that Pakistan is handed over to mercenaries and Soldiers of Fortune.

    Incidentally, this is the same media who once provoked the government and teased Lal Masjid administration to events that lead to the massacre. Role of media in Lawyer’s Movement for restoration of Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is no secret. Later, the lawyers were transformed from heroes to villains by the same media.

    Whether Blackwater is in Pakistan or not, recruiting locals, planning to assassinate Dr. A.Q. Khan or laying groundwork for US/NATO/Af-Pak forces, the question everybody should ask is the timing of this revelation.

    Pakistan is a hub of all sorts of spy agencies, mercenaries and “non-state actors” especially since the days of Afghan Jihad. During that time there were counter espionage activities in Pakistan and hundreds died in terrorist activities and ethnic/sectarian riots but nobody blamed the government or its allies for the destabilzation. Even now, while everybody whispers about the role of brotherly nations in insurgency across Balochistan and Tribal Areas, nobody has the guts to openly accuse them like USA. Not to mention the low profile media has kept on Marriott Hotel being a foreign spy-center and Shamsi Air Base used to lodge Drones that rapture Pakistanis. We don’t know for sure if mercenaries of Blackwater will roam the streets of Pakistan for sure, but Drones are a reality and the damage the do on almost daily basis is not as propagated as the hype of Blackwater.

    One should consider the timing of this revelation. Is it a coincidence that as soon as the stage was set for trial of Pervez Musharraf, a series of events have triggered to divert national attention from the issue. First it was Brigadier Billa, unfolding the dirty laundry of last decade and now, mother of all distractions, Blackwater to occupy Pakistan.

    Blackwater threat maybe for real, but the way it is being hyped and propagated on media, one wonder if this could be

    an attempt by the forces that do not want the trial of Pervez Musharraf.

    anti-government elements, trying to prove that the civilian government is incapable of managing the security, leading to dissolvement of current government or departure of Zardari. Marshall law is a distinct possibility so a Bangladesh style government can be formed, strings pulled by the Army.
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Blackwater suspected of being in Pakistan | Congress Check



    Blackwater suspected of being in Pakistan



    Wayne Madsen
    Online Journal
    Tuesday, Sept 8th, 2009
    The mercenary private security contractor once known as Blackwater and now called Xe Services LLC is being reported in the Pakistani press as being seen with “other suspicious foreigners” in Peshawar and other parts of Pakistan.
    A report last Thursday in Pakistan’s International News, states that foreigners have been seen in the area around University Town in Peshawar and have been renting residences in the area. One local resident stated, “What we have been hearing about the presence of Blackwater or other suspicious foreigners in Peshawar and Pakistan is alarming.”
    The report of Blackwater in Pakistan follows reports by Spiegel and WMR about the firm’s presence in the Philippines at the former U.S. naval base at Subic Bay. A report in last Thursday’s Philippines Inquirer states that the issue of Blackwater/Xe has now become a major political headache for the Philippine government. The report states: “Party list lawmakers want an investigation into reports US military contractor Blackwater (now Xe Services LLC) is training mercenaries at the Subic Bay free port in Olongapo City. In filing House Resolution 1380, Bayan Muna party list Representatives Satur Ocampo, Teodoro Casiño and Neri Colmenares asked the committee on national defense and security to lead the inquiry.”
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has extended Xe’s (Blackwater’s) aviation services contract, through its Presidential Airways subsidiary, in Iraq.
    After lurid tales of a “man camp” and women and child prostitution in Iraq were revealed by two ex-Blackwater employees in a federal court deposition in the United States, another private security firm, Armor Group North America, owned by Wackenhut, has been tainted by allegations of bizarre sexual practices among its security force assigned to guard the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. The practices, according to the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) in a story broken by Gawker.com, included U.S. private mercenaries urinating on one another, drinking shots of vodka poured down the ass cheeks of other men, eating potato chips from the ass cracks of other men, and engaging in simulated anal sex. The use of prostitutes was also reported at the Armor Group residential compound in Kabul. WMR previously reported that private security companies in Kabul were regularly using prostitutes from China.
    On June 12, 2009, WMR reported that one security firm was involved in hiring Chinese prostitutes who doubled as unwilling Chinese intelligence agents: “The Chinese prostitute agents are only given food, a small room, clothes, and cosmetics. Women who decide to leave the employment of the restaurants often simply ‘disappear’ with a cover story in Kabul that they returned to China. There are suspicions among those who have tried to help the women that they are killed by the local Kabul mafia, which is made up of Afghan police and foreign civilian contractors. One young Chinese woman who worked at the Shanghai restaurant in Kabul turned up missing after she took a job at the British army base at Camp Sutra on Jalalabad Road in Kabul. The British embassy refused to get involved in tracking down the woman on behalf of her distraught family in Shanghai.”
    One of the attractions that has possibly lured Blackwater/Xe into the Philippines and, particularly Olongapo City, the site of the old Subic Bay naval base, is the long history that the town has in “servicing” American military personnel with prostitutes. Previous attempts to lure Taiwanese, Russians, South Koreans, and others to the port complex were met with disdain by the local population, because they were considered “too cheap” when compared to the heyday of the American military presence.
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Xe Worldwide (Blackwater) spreads tentacles to Karachi | Pakistan | News | Newspaper | Daily | English | Online

    Blackwater spreads tentacles to Karachi

    Islamabad - US private security outfit Blackwater has begun to expand its presence in Karachi port city in the backdrop of the Peshawar debacle last month when Craig Davis a suspected operative of the US company was caught red handed involved in objectionable activities.
    Well-placed sources told The Nation on Monday that Blackwater, which has been operating in the region including in Afghanistan and Pakistan under different names, is believed to have hired on rent at least seven private houses in posh Defence area of Karachi port city.
    Sources were not sure whether the move to hire houses was part of any long-term strategy or as a stopgap arrangement because plans were afoot to hire services of retired personnel of Pakistani law enforcement agencies to oversea various operations including logistical support to handle consignments of the US private security company.
    It was further learnt from knowledgeable sources that Blackwater had acquired hundreds of acres of land near Pataro in Sindh in order to launch a supposedly Agriculture Research Institute.
    Craig Davis along with some other US citizens came into spotlight in Peshawar after their Pakistani neighbours wrote a letter to the Interior Ministry demanding a thorough probe into their dubious activities.
    Later Craig Davis was identified as operative of Creative Associates International Inc; a Washington- based US firm believed to be one the wings of Blackwater, now renamed Xe Worldwide. Davis, who had to leave Pakistan, is learnt to have returned again and resumed his “official” activities.
    However, despite frequent attempts, it was not immediately possible to contact the US Embassy to confirm the status of Craig Davis.
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.haqeeqat.org/2009/09/16/...g-agents-fluent-in-urdu-punjabi-for-pakistan/

    Blackwater Recruiting Agents Fluent in Urdu & Punjabi For Pakistan


    Blackwater USA is looking for mercenaries fluent in Urdu, Pakistan’s national language, and Punjabi, the language spoken by natives of Pakistan’s largest populated province. The US military already deploys officers and commando units manned by people fluent in Pashto, spoken in most of western Pakistan and southern Afghanistan. Keeping in view the denials of the US embassy in Islamabad and the expanding American presence on Pakistani soil, these recruitments are obviously not meant for running call centers. Since Washington has unilaterally decided that Pakistan is now a ‘war theater’ after Iraq and Afghanistan, it is only natural that American terrorism will also be unleashed in Pakistan. Blackwater is in Pakistan.

    By Ahmed Quraishi

    September 15, 2009



    Previously on Haqeeqat.Org: US Embassy Caught Recruiting Spies In Islamabad





    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—Blackwater USA has concealed its Web presence. If you type Untitled Document , you will be redirected to the website of an organization called U.S. Training Center , which offers military and personal security courses. The website does not overtly say or indicate it is linked to Blackwater, but on Sept. 12 a media release was posted on the homepage defending Blackwater against accusations the private ‘army’ overbilled the US government for work in Iraq in 2006 and 2007.

    The bigger news, however, is that ‘Blackwater USA’ is hiring in Pakistan. While BlackwaterUSA.com does not exist on the Web any longer, I 3an employment form on a secured page of the private security firm’s website that clearly indicates the private mercenary army is hiring Urdu- and Punjabi-speaking agents. This would complement the existing Pashto-speaking agents that both Blackwater private mercenary army and its employer, the US military, have on the ground in Afghanistan and – as reports increasingly indicate – in Pakistan.
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    BlackWater started its operations in 2007 in Pakistan | Geo Tau Aisay

    BlackWater started its operations in 2007 in Pakistan


    BlackWater started its operations in 2007 in Pakistan. Since then, it has been involved in many under cover operations and establishment of offices in Pakistan. After changing its name to XE Worldwide, the mercenary army has penetrated in Peshawar, Islamabad and Karachi. This report reveals the covert operations that Blackwater is performing in Pakistan.
     
  7. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    black water in Pak... thats a good move.
    but they dont have rights to cut the throat of terrorists, do they have?
     
  8. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    -> Appear as if you're anti-establishment in Pakistan, beknownst to the establishment
    -> Terrorize the masses there (use the media's help)
    -> Carry out covert operations against neighbour India in the states of Punjab and Rajasthan
    -> Use "we're ourselves facing the problem and are unable to solve it" as a blatant excuse to the international community and India

    ...the way I see it. They've done it with amateurish militia in the form of terrorist cells, there's every possibility of them doing it with professional militia now.
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.jihadica.com/blackwater-in-pakistan/

    Blackwater in Pakistan
    Qandeel Siddique
    September 11th, 2009 | Pakistan

    A growing number of news reports from Pakistan are voicing concern over the alleged presence of the controversial security contractor Blackwater (or Xe) in Pakistan. The latest online edition of banned Urdu newspaper Zarb-e-Momin (linked to the outlawed al-Rasheed Trust) also issued an article on this topic.

    After briefly outlining Blackwater’s history, columnist Aurya Maqbool Jan argues that the most shocking aspect of the firm is that it operates under the cover of NGOs and charity organizations in areas where Americans wish to carry military operations:

    “It asks a few educated individuals to engage in welfare activities in the area; while this facade is being maintained guerrilla-like soldiers sneak their way in.”

    In Pakistan, Jan claims, Blackwater headquarters are situated in the University Town area of Peshawar, and the NGO cover used by the firm is that of “Creative Associates,” an organization involved in development work in the tribal areas.

    “Driving dark colored armed vehicles, wearing even darker shades, carrying heavy weapons, they come out of their cars only during traffic jams in order to protect the important personalities sitting in it. [...] Under the pretext of providing protection to NGOs and its American staff members they enter their target area, and soon thereafter envelop entire regions under their influence.”

    Jan suggests that retired army officials, bureaucrats, journalists and workers of human rights organizations in Pakistan may already have been hired to realize Blackwater aims in Pakistan.

    Jan reminds his readers that Blackwater has been accused of “murder, kidnapping, (and) sexual violence.” He draws a comparison with Iraq whose people are “very familiar” with Blackwater activities; because NGOs were spying for Blackwater in “all Iraqi cities”, and “killed Iraqis everyday.”

    The writer warns that if the Pakistani people does not turn away these “unwelcome guests”, Pakistan could turn into another “Falluja or Najaf”
     
  10. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    http://www.haqeeqat.org/2009/09/16/...-ambassador-to-usa-hussain-haqqani-tells-isi/

    LET BLACKWATER IN: Pakistan’s Ambassador to USA Hussain Haqqani Tells ISI

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009
    By OmEr Jamil

    Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani has written to the foreign secretary and ISI Cheif, warning them that harassing Americans or denying them visas hurts the country’s image and can have severe consequences, CNN-IBN reported on Saturday.

    September 13, 2009

    According to the channel, Haqqani’s letter, dated July 28, 2009, reveals that Pakistan has a blacklist of US journalists and non-government organizations (NGO) that are critical of Islamabad. The ambassador has warned that Pakistan risked hearings in the US Congress and potential restrictions on aid and military sales if US citizens were harassed or intimidated. The letter mentioned instances where US institutions or journalists were denied visas, harassed or put under surveillance. Haqqani has demanded explanations for these actions and a copy of the blacklist.

    Mr. Haqqani’s plea to the Pakistani Intelligence agencies comes at a time when there is effectively a quiet occupation of Pakistan taking place by Americans arriving in one form or the other. There have been confirmed reports of over 200 houses being rented and barricaded all over Islamabad, 300 plus ‘military trainers’ setting up shop in Tarbela, new facilities being granted to the notorious ‘Blackwater’ – now with a new name, Xe Worldwide – in parts of Sindh, and the rather obvious CIA front, Create Associates International Inc (CAII) operating not only in Peshawar but also in Islamabad.

    This is what renowned Scholar and Defence Analyst Dr. Shireen Mazari revealed a few days back in her column ‘Our Leaders’ Voluntary Submission to American Colonialism‘:

    “Ordinary officials at Pakistani airports have also been muttering their concerns over chartered flights flying in Americans whose entry is not recorded – even the flight crews are not checked for visas and so there is now no record-keeping of exactly how many Americans are coming into or going out of Pakistan. Incidentally the CAII’s (CIA/Blackwater) Craig Davis who was deported has now returned to Peshawar! And let us not be fooled by the cry that numbers reflect friendship since we know what numbers meant to Soviet satellites.”

    Since these reports first surfaced last month, the chartered flights have stopped. For the last few weeks, a number of suspected CIA and XE (XE Worldwide; Blackwater’s new name) employees – posing as ‘journalists’, aid workers and employees of certain NGOs – have been denied visas and entry into Pakistan, under ISI’s recommendation. Existing US consulate personnel and employees of CAII as well as a number of other US citizens have been under surveillance for suspected involvement in anti-state activity.

    It is the duty of Inter-Services Intelligence to defend Pakistan’s borders and block any covert attempts to trample Pakistan’s sovereignty. Mr. Haqqani’s assertion that ejecting Americans found involved in suspicious activity and denying them entry is hurting Pakistan’s image, is idiotic at best and treason at worst.

    PKKH requests the Pakistan Army and the Inter-Services Intelligence to take note of Mr. Haqqani’s attempt to undermine Pakistan’s national security – and at the very least, immediately put him under surveillance if not on a lamp-post in Islamabad.

    To learn more about Blackwater (XE Worldwide)’s operations in Pakistan, click here
     
  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    CIA hires Blackwater in Pakistan to track down Al-Qaeda - International Business Times -

    CIA hires Blackwater in Pakistan to track down Al-Qaeda

    The CIA has reportedly hired the infamous US security firm Blackwater on the Pakistan borders to help track down Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants.

    The New York Times first reported Blackwater’s involvement late Wednesday on its Web site.

    The report said Blackwater executives helped with planning, training and surveillance for a secret program to kill top-level members of Al-Qaida.

    "This is a huge threat for our national security," Hamid Mir, an Islamabad-based defense and security analyst.

    Defense and security analysts argue that the presence of Blackwater would rather complicate the security situation in Pakistan.

    "They are trying to establish their feet. They are hiding themselves under the diplomatic and FBI covers," an intelligence official said in anonymity for not being authorized to discuss the sensitive issue.

    He said Blackwater has hired the services of some local security agencies to work for them.

    The North Carolina-based security firm, established ten years ago by Erik Prince, a former Navy SEAL and a right-wing son of a multi-millionaire, gained world notoriety over involvement in dozens of unprovoked civilian killings in Iraq.

    A recent US congressional report discovered Blackwater has been involved in 195 shooting incidents since 2005, mostly unprovoked.

    The New York Times reported that the CIA did not have a formal contract with Blackwater for this program but instead had individual agreements with top company officials, including founder Erik D. Prince.
     
  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    US refuses to discuss Blackwater mission in Pakistan

    US refuses to discuss Blackwater mission in Pakistan

    Thursday, August 27, 2009
    Expert says Washington does not need private security personnel for domination

    By Ansar Abbasi

    ISLAMABAD: While in Pakistan there are growing reports of the presence of Blackwater personnel, at home in America the US security agency’s founder and former owner is alleged to have used the company as “merchants of death” as he views himself as a “Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe”.

    Defence analysts and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf Information Secretary Dr Shireen M Mazari in her article in The News, published on Wednesday, claimed that after Peshawar now Islamabad has Blackwater (now hiding under the new label, Xe Worldwide) and the rather obvious CIA front-company Creative Associates International Inc (CAII). She cited the last week sealing off of the road in Super Market in front of a school as the endorsement of her information.

    US embassy spokesman Richard W Snelsire, however, when asked about the presence of Blackwater personnel in Pakistan, said, “We don’t discuss security, issues related to the security that include the contractors, who are assigned the security tasks.” Snelsire or Rick, as he is commonly known, said that making public such details would endanger lives. He said that 95% of the security personnel doing security work with the US embassy and its officials are from the Pakistani security companies. Regarding Marines, he said that presently the US embassy has only eight Marines and when the expansion project of the embassy would complete in years to come, this strength would go up to 15-20 maximum.

    Rick though did not want to discuss anything about the American security contractors assigned security task here, there are many here who talk of the presence of Blackwater personnel here. A senior lady anchorperson was heard sharing her information about Blackwaters with a senior PML-N leader during Nawaz Sharif’s recent interaction with a group of newspaper and electronic media journalists.

    She insisted that the Blackwater operators are in Peshawar, Quetta and Islamabad. She also said that in the recent Pearl Continental terrorist attack in Peshawar, amongst other two Blackwater men were also killed. Blackwater is a US security company that has track record in Iraq where they killed innocents.

    Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit was not in Pakistan to confirm if the foreign security contractor hired by the US embassy is Blackwater.

    Meanwhile at home in US, the Blackwater is facing a district court in Alexandria, which will decide whether one of the darkest chapters of the Bush era, the relationship between the administration and the private security company Blackwater, should be re-examined?

    According to SPIEGEL ONLINE, a German publication, some of Blackwater’s former employees want to shine light on the company’s shadowy activities. In just one incident, according to the report, 17 people including women and children were killed on Sept 16, 2007 at Nisoor Square in Baghdad by mercenaries working for Blackwater.

    Erik Prince, Blackwater’s founder and former owner, is referred in the suit, filed by one Susan Burke as a “modern-day merchant of death,” and she alleged that the 40-year-old created a “culture of lawlessness and unaccountability” at Blackwater, where the “excessive and unnecessary use of deadly force” was commonplace. In her motion, Burke also accuses Blackwater of war crimes.

    The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, in Alexandria, Virginia, will now decide whether to take on Burke’s civil suit. Burke now plans to call 40 witnesses to testify against Prince. If the court agrees to hear her suit on Friday, eyewitnesses to the various killings will be summoned from Baghdad.

    Meanwhile, a Pakistani expert on Pak-US relations deplored that the Pakistanis used to indulge in politics of blame games. On condition of not being named, he said in the presence of its army in Iraq, the US did not need security personnel of its private companies to fight civilians or dominate the host country. He said when the US missions or buildings came under attack in Iraq, several innocent women and children of US citizens are also killed. Similarly, he said it is possible that in retaliatory attack by the security personnel civilians including women and children are killed. He said such casualties do occur in the situation of war and they are always unintentional. He said such killings should not be portrayed as campaign to kill innocent Muslims.
     
  13. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Somehow the lines between "US Security Company" and "US based terrorist organization" are blurring.
     
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    a private company can get away with a lot more than an military serving under a government who have to answer to things.
     
  15. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Aye, terrorist organisations are just as 'private'. Each time these people perpetrate war-crimes/acts-of-terror, their government isn't fully answerable/responsible. In essence this mercenary warfare is the closest it gets to state-sponsored terrorism. I really hope as little innocents as possible have to fall prey to these decorated animals.

    It's just like how the Pakistani establishment uses 'private security companies' to fight for Kashmiri 'freedom'.
     
  16. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Blackwater is reported to have been sent by US government not hired by pakistan's government.
     
  17. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    That's whom I was referring to as the sponsor.
     
  18. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Controversial US firm Blackwater expanding network in Pakistan

    Controversial US firm Blackwater expanding network in Pakistan

    September 15th, 2009 - 5:44 pm ICT by ANI Tell a Friend -

    Islamabad, Sep.15 (ANI): Amid strong reactions from different quarters, US’ controversial private security company, Blackwater has increased its presence in Pakistan.

    According to sources, the company has hired at least seven houses in Karachi’s posh Defence area.

    It also been learnt that Blackwater has acquired hundreds of acres of land near Pataro in Sindh in order to launch a supposed Agriculture Research Institute.

    It may be noted that security officials had apprehended an alleged agent of Blackwater, Craig Davis, from Peshawar.

    Davis, who was forced to return back then has reportedly returned again and resumed his activities, The Nation reports.

    However, the US embassy has maintained complete silence regarding Blackwater hiring homes in Karachi.

    The United States has already made it clear that it is in contact with several US security agency regarding providing security cover to its various establishments in Pakistan, but has never admitted it openly that it has hired the services of Blackwater.

    “As far as security agencies are concerned, we are in contact with local security agencies, and similarly the discussions are underway with the US agencies as well,” US Deputy Ambassador to Pakistan, Gerald Festine had said. (ANI)
     
  19. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    DAWN.COM | Pakistan | NA body seeks explanation over ?Black Water?

    NA body seeks explanation over ‘Black Water’


    ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior has expressed concern over the alleged activities of US security agency ‘Black Water’ in Pakistan, negligence of senior officers in recently made promotions and formation of tribal lashkar against Taliban in tribal areas including Swat and Punjab. The committee observed that such steps by the government would further aggravate the law and order situation of the country.

    The committee has sought explanation over the alleged activities of Black Water in Pakistan and the formation of a lashkar by an MPA in Dera Ghazi Khan from Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Inspector General Punjab respectively.

    The committee’s Chairman Abdul Qadir Patel chaired the committee meeting held at Parliament House on Tuesday in which affairs of the corporate societies in Islamabad were also discussed in length.

    Expressing concern over the harassment of people by personnel of a US security agency, the committee has asked the federal interior minister to explain the government’s position in this respect.

    Earlier, committee member MNA Bushra Gohar told the committee that ‘Black Water’ personnel were harassing residents of Peshawar university town, causing panic among them.

    The meeting took notice of recently made promotions in the police department in which seniors were neglected. The committee expressed annoyance and said that such steps could further aggregative the law and order situation in the country.

    Additional secretary interior admitted that senior officers were neglected in recently made promotions in the police department and pointed towards the cabinet division or the Prime Minister’s Secretariat for an explanation in this regard.

    The committee has also expressed concern over the formation of a local lashkar by an MPA against anti state elements in Dera Ghazi Khan and sought explanation from IG Punjab in this regard.

    The committee’s chairman said that police, rangers and security agencies should be deployed as there was no need to form a lashkar.

    Earlier, Chief Commissioner Islamabad Faisal Asghar briefed the committee about corporate housing societies in Islamabad. The committee has expressed annoyance over violation of rules and regulations of corporate housing societies as well as non-allotment of plots to members and no refund of money despite the lapse of many years and sought record of such housing societies.

    The committee while terming the construction of bungalow type houses at agriculture farm houses in Islamabad as illegal has sought explanation from CDA. The committee has also asked Chairman CDA to tell the committee in next meeting that what action has been taken against former President Gen. (retd) Pervez Musharraf for constructing a bungalow type house at his agriculture farm.—Online
     
  20. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    US Blackwater mercenaries spread fear in Pakistan Pak Alert Press

    US Blackwater mercenaries spread fear in Pakistan


    [​IMG]


    Fear is spreading across University Town, an upmarket residential area in Pakistan’s north-western city of Peshawar, due to the overt presence of the controversial US private security contractor Blackwater.

    Sporting the customary dark glasses and carrying assault rifles, the mercenaries zoom around the neighborhood in their black-colored armored Chevy Suburbans, and shout at motorists when occasionally stranded in a traffic jam.

    The residents are mainly concerned about Blackwater’s reputation as a ruthless, unbridled private army whose employees face multiple charges of murder, child prostitution and weapons smuggling in Iraq.



    ‘Sometimes, these guys stand in the streets and behave rudely with the passers-by, sometimes they point guns at people without provocation’ said Imtiaz Gul, an engineer, whose home is a few hundred meters from the US contractor’s base on Chanar Road in University Town.

    ‘Who rules our streets, the Pakistani government or the Americans? They have created a state within the state,’ he added.

    Repeated complaints to the authorities have been to no avail since, according to residents.

    Blackwater provides security to the employees of Creative Associates International Inc. (CAII), an American company carrying out multi-million-dollar development projects in the country’s Islamic militancy-plagued Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

    Founded in 1997 by Erik Prince, a former US Navy SEAL officer and a major contributor to Republican Party candidates, Blackwater has hired thousands of former military personnel from Western countries as well as other mercenaries from the Third World.

    It emerged as the largest of the US Department of State’s private security companies, winning multi-million-dollar contracts globally, but attracted a lot of media attention in September 2007 when its personnel killed 17 civilians in an unprovoked shooting while escorting a convoy of US State Department vehicles to a meeting in Baghdad.

    blackwater2-300x200The firm is now facing a civil lawsuit filed in the US state of Virginia by those who were injured and who lost family members in the massacre.

    The company faces charges of human rights violations, child prostitution and possible supply of weapons to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, an Iraqi group designated by United Nations, European Union and NATO as a terrorist organization. It has been declared persona non grata in Iraq.

    To conceal its bad reputation, the shadowy company renamed itself Xe Worldwide in February 2009 and Prince resigned as its chief executive officer the following month.

    In Pakistan, the Interior Ministry asked the regional governments of all four provinces to keep an eye on the activities of Blackwater in early 2008, immediately after it was believed to have been hired by CAII, according to a media report.

    CAII works locally under the name of FATA Development Programme Government to Community (FDPGC).

    Lou Fintor, a spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad, said that Blackwater-Xe was not in any way associated with its missions in Pakistan. But the denial does not include the possibility that the security firm was working for a private US company.

    Blackwater has recruited dozens of retired commandos from Pakistan’s army and elite police force through its local sub-contractors, said an intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Some Pakistani security officials suggested that besides providing security to the aid workers, Blackwater was carrying out covert operations.

    Among these were buying the loyalties of influential tribal elders and tracking the money flowing to al-Qaeda and Taliban through the national and international banks, something which perhaps goes far beyond the mandate of a private security firm.

    blackwater3-300x200Taliban and al-Qaeda militants who use the tribal regions to attack civilian and government targets inside Pakistan and NATO-led international forces in Afghanistan are also watching Blackwater’s moves.

    On June 9, suicide bombers drove an explosive-laden vehicle into Peshawar’s sole five-star hotel, the Pearl Continental, after shooting the security guards, and detonated it at the side of the building where some Blackwater guards were staying.

    Sixteen people died including four of the security firm’s personnel – two Westerners and the same number of locals. Four more guards were injured.

    The dead bodies and injured were moved quietly. Neither the Pakistani government nor any foreign official admitted these deaths, apparently at the request of US officials.

    ‘Absolutely no comments,’ Qazi Jamil, the senior superintendent of police in Peshawar said abruptly when German Press Agency DPA asked him about the Blackwater deaths.

    But a minister in the North-West Frontier Province government, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he knew that some US private guards died but did not know how many and which firm they were from.

    ‘The provincial government was not directly dealing with the issue. It’s the federal intelligence agencies that handled it,’ said the minister.

    The possibility that Islamist militants might be plotting more attacks on the contractors is also a source of concern for many residents in University Town.

    ‘In the first week of July we requested the interior minister in a letter that targets like Blackwater should be kept away from the residential areas,’ said Ihsan Toro, a trader and member of council of citizens in University Town.

    ‘Al-Qaeda and the Taliban must be after them,’ added Toro.

    This is a report by the German news agency DPA.
     
  21. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    DAWN.COM | World | Blackwater arming US drones for CIA: NYT

    Blackwater arming US drones for CIA


    According to a New York Times report, the Blackwater private security firm (now known as Xe) has taken up a role in America’s most important and contentious counterterrorism program: the use of unmanned drones to kill al-Qaeda leaders.

    These operations are being executed from hidden basis inside Pakistan and Afghanistan where Blackwater’s contractors gather and load Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs on remotely operated Predator aircraft, the NYT quotes company and government officials as saying.

    Previously this was done by CIA employees. Now, Blackwater employees also provide security at these bases, the officials said.

    Blackwater’s role in the program shows the extent to which the CIA now depends on independent, private contractors to carry out some of the agency’s most crucial assignments.

    A CIA spokesman declined comment.

    On Thursday, the NYT reported that the CIA has hired Blackwater in 2004 as part of a secret program to local and assassinate top al-Qaeda leaders.

    Later on Thursday, current and former government officials provided new information regarding Blackwater’s links with the assassination program which began in 2004. Soon after, Porter Goss took over the CIA.

    The officials however said the CIA did not dispatch Blackwater operatives with a ‘license to kill’. Instead, the CIA ordered the contractors to start collecting information on the leaders’ whereabouts, carry out surveillance and train for missions that may be likely.

    ‘The actual pulling of a trigger in some ways is the easiest part, and the part that requires the least expertise,’ said one government official familiar with the cancelled CIA program. ‘It’s everything that leads up to it that’s the meat of the issue.’

    Any such measure of capturing or killing militants was to be approved by the CIA director and presented to the White House before being carried out, officials told the New York Times.

    The program was however cancelled by the agency’s current director Leon Panetta who had also informed the Congress of the program’s existence in a meeting in June.

    The details of the business between CIA and Blackwater have largely been hidden, but its contract with the State Department to provide security to US officials in Iraq has been intensely scrutinised.

    Blackwater lost its job in Iraq this year after five of its employees were involved in shootings in 2007 that left more than a dozen Iraqis dead. However, Blackwater still has other, less prominent State Department work.

    Five former Blackwater guards have already been indicted on charges regarding the 2007 Iraq shootings.

    A Blackwater (Xe) spokeswoman declined to comment over the role of the company with regard to these cases.

    The company’s intelligence work is carried out by Blackwater Select, a special division of Blackwater.

    Blackwater’s first principal contract with the CIA was signed in 2002. It entailed providing security for the agency’s Kabul station.

    Blackwater operatives assigned to the Predator bases are trained at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. They are taught how to load Hellfire missiles and laser-guided smart bombs on the drones, current and former employees say.

    The agency has for many years operated Predator drones out of a remote base in Shamsi, Pakistan. However, a second site at an air base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan has been secretly added, company and US government officials said.

    The existence of the Predator base in Jalalabad has not previously been reported, the New York Times said.

    Meanwhile, now the CIA conducts most of its Predator drone strikes on targets in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region from the Jalalabad base, with drones landing or taking off almost hourly. The base in Pakistan is still in use.

    Officials say the US decided to open the Afghanistan operation partly because of the possibility that the Pakistani government, facing growing anti-US sentiment at home, might force the CIA to close the one in Pakistan.

    Blackwater is not involved in selecting targets or actual strikes, the NYT says. Targets are selected by the CIA. However, only a handful of the agency’s operatives actually work at the Predator bases in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Blackwater’s current and former employees say the company’s direct role in these operations has occasionally led to disputes with the agency. When a drone misses a target, CIA operatives accuse Blackwater of poor bomb assembly, they say. In one instance in 2008 a 500-pound bomb dropped off a drone before hitting the target. That lead to a frantic search for the unexploded bomb in the Pak-Afghan border region. The bomb was eventually found about 100 yards from the actual target.

    The role of contractors in intelligence operations expanded after September 11 as intelligence agencies had to fill gaps created by reduced work forces during the 1990s.

    At this point, more than a quarter of the intelligence community’s work force constitutes of contractors who carry out tasks of intelligence gathering and analysis, and until recently, terrorist suspects’ interrogation.

    ‘There are skills we don’t have in government that we may have an immediate requirement for,’ Michael Hayden, who ran the CIA from 2006 until early this year, said.

    Hayden, who succeeded Goss at the agency, recognised that the CIA program continued under his watch. He said the program was never ‘prominent’, which was one reason he did not notify Congress. He said it did not engage private contractors by the time he came in.

    Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who presides over the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the agency should have notified Congress in any event.

    ‘Every single intelligence operation and covert action must be briefed to the Congress,’ she said. ‘If they are not, that is a violation of the law.’
     

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