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Showing posts from August 20, 2009

BBC NEWS | Americas | Blackwater 'hired for CIA plan'

BBC NEWS | Americas | Blackwater 'hired for CIA plan': "The CIA hired contractors from the US private security firm Blackwater as part of a secret programme to track and kill top al-Qaeda figures, reports say.

The New York Times quotes current and ex-government officials as saying Blackwater helped the CIA with planning, training and surveillance.

Several million dollars were spent on the programme but no militants were caught or captured, the report says.

Blackwater staff were used to guard US government personnel in Iraq from 2003.

But they were accused of using excessive force on a number of occasions, including the killing of 17 civilians in Baghdad in 2007.

The North Carolina-based firm has not had its licence to operate in Iraq renewed.

The company, which was founded by Erik Prince, has since been re-named Xe.

Lethal authority'

The New York Times reports that the CIA did not have a formal contract with Blackwater for the programme to locate and kill senior members of al…