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Monday, September 17, 2007

Blackwater Banned In Iraq; INTELWIRE Flashback

CNN is reporting that private contractor Blackwater USA has been banned from Iraq after an incident that ended in the death of eight Iraqi civilians and the wounding of 14 more.

Apropos of nothing (as far as this story goes), it seemed like a good time to reprint my August 2006 posting that revealed an unusual citation of the company...

Zacarias Mossaoui's notebook -- presented as an exhibit at his recently concluded trial -- contained a phone number for Blackwater USA, the private security contractor that last year provided a golden parachute for pre-9/11 CIA Counterterrorism Director Cofer Black.

The company has run security/paramilitary operations for the U.S. government in such locations as Afghanistan and Iraq.

The company became embroiled in controversy in Iraq, where four of its contractors met with a gory death in Fallujah around the same time that independent contractor Nick Berg met with a similarly gruesome fate. Adding to the strange congruences around Moussaoui, it has been reported that Berg and Moussaoui met at least once in Norman, Oklahoma.

The discovery may best be taken with the proverbial grain of salt, and a large one at that. The phone number is publicly available and connects to a Blackwater training center in North Carolina. Moussaoui was researching physical and combat training options while he was in the United States.

The simplest and most innocent explanation is quite possibly the correct one. Nevertheless, a glimpse of the controversial company's contact information nestled among Moussaoui's handwritten notes inspires the jaw to drop a not-entirely unreasonable manner.

For the full contents of the notebook, click here.

For more about Blackwater, click here, click here or click here.

For more about Mossaoui and Nick Berg, click here.


Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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