Ex-Blackwater guards kept working in Iraq: US cable

Last Updated: Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 22:09

Baghdad: A leaked US diplomatic cable
says that "hundreds" of former employees of Blackwater, which
was barred from Iraq over a deadly 2007 shooting, later worked
with other firms guarding US diplomats here.

Iraq announced in January 2009 that it would not renew
Blackwater`s operating licence due to a September 16, 2007
incident in which guards protecting a US diplomatic convoy
opened fire in Baghdad`s busy Nisur Square, killing at least
14 civilians.

After that announcement, the US State Department did
not renew its contract with Blackwater, which has renamed
itself Xe, for security services in Iraq.

But US diplomatic cables released by whistleblower
website WikiLeaks confirm that ex-Blackwater employees kept
working in Iraq with other security firms.

"There are many former Blackwater employees at other
private security companies in Iraq, most notably Triple Canopy
and DynCorp, providing security services to us," said a
January 4, 2010 cable from the US embassy in Baghdad, which
was released on August 30.

Another cable from January 11, 2010 also expressed
concern over Iraqi efforts to oust former Blackwater employees
from the country, noting that it could reduce the capacity of
Triple Canopy to provide embassy security.

"The embassy understands that Triple Canopy currently
employs several hundred former Blackwater employees," said the
cable, which was also released by WikiLeaks on August 30.

The cable said that Dyncorp, which provides aircraft
support, also "employs dozens of ex-Blackwater employees."


First Published: Sunday, September 4, 2011 - 22:02
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