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Wednesday, June 9, 2004
Bush-Linked Private Contractor Targeted In Saudi Attack
An American citizen shot to death in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday worked for a controversial private contractor that trains the Saudi National Guard. (external link)
Vinnell Arabia Corp. is a contractor that provides training services to the Saudi Guard, which acts as a personal bodyguard and militia for the Saudi Royal family.
Vinnell was the target of a May 2003 car bombing in the kingdom that killed nine of its employees. It was also targeted in a 1995 bombing that killed seven people.
Vinnell is a subsidiary of Northrop-Grumman. Through much of the 1990s, it was owned by the Carlyle Group, an investment firm with extensive ties to both Bush Administrations. George Bush Sr. and James Baker have both served as paid advisers to Carlyle. Baker later helped the current Bush administration coordinate its response to the Florida recount.
According to the Center for Public Integrity, Vinnell also had more than $200 million in joint venture contracts with Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, from 1998 to 2002.
Vinnell employs more than 1,000 people in Saudi Arabia, and the company is currently filling a $48 million contract to train the new Iraqi Army, according to CPI.
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