Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Blackwater founder questions FBI work

In the deposition, released by the lawyer who is suing Prince and the company, the Blackwater founder placed much of the responsibility of warzone activity on the government. He said contractors the company provided were screened and approved to the State Department’s standards. He said State Department officials set and enforced the rules of engagement.

AP NewsBreak

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The founder of the security firm once known as Blackwater questioned in a sworn deposition how federal authorities handled their investigation of an infamous Baghdad shooting that left 17 Iraqis dead, according to documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

Erik Prince said during the seven-hour testimony that he didn’t believe the FBI fully investigated the sources of all the used bullets in Nisoor Square, arguing that it would have been helpful for the defense to have a complete ballistics report.

“It seems the ballistics analysis was done to prove the guilt of the Americans, not to just try to identify what happened there,” Prince said. His comments about the case and throughout the deposition underscore how tensions between the government and one of its go-to contractors have lingered for years.

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April 1, 2011 Posted by | Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Iraq, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Security Contractor, State Department, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , | 1 Comment

US Baghdad embassy will double in size

A private security force some 5,500 strong will protect the large US diplomatic presence in Iraq, Jeffrey told the lawmakers

AFP  April 1, 2011

BAGHDAD — The US Embassy in Baghdad, already the largest in the world, is expected to double its staff after American forces pull out of the country later this year, Washington’s envoy said on Friday.

“We’ll be doubling our size if all of our plans go through and if we receive the money from Congress in 2011 and then again in 2012,” James Jeffrey, the US ambassador in Iraq, told reporters.

He said the staff would increase “from 8,000 plus personnel that we have now to roughly double that by 2012,” adding that US forces would make up only a very small part of that number.

“This will be an extraordinarily large embassy with many different functions. Some we took over from USFI (United States Forces in Iraq) and some of them continuation of the work we are doing now.”

Jeffrey said that US military advisers and trainers would stay or be added to support the Iraqi military with US-made equipment such as M1A1 tanks and other weaponry. He said the added personnel would not include combat troops.

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April 1, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Private Security Contractor, State Department | , , , , | Leave a comment

Eight U.N. staff killed in Mazar-e Sharif, two beheaded

Reuters)

Eight foreign employees of the United Nations were killed on Friday in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif after protesters over-ran their compound, police said, in what looks to be the deadliest ever assault on the U.N. in Afghanistan.

Two of the dead were beheaded by attackers who also burned parts of the compound and climbed up blast walls to topple a guard tower, said Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a police spokesman for the northern region.

The chief of the mission in the city was wounded but survived, and the dead included employees of Norwegian, Romanian and Swedish nationalities, he added.

Four Nepalese Guards were reported killed

Global Post Asia Pacific April 1, 2011   12.10

At least eight foreign United Nations workers were killed Friday, two of them beheaded, in an attack on a U.N. compound in the northern Afghanistan by demonstrators protesting a Quran burning by a U.S. pastor.

Protests against the burning of a Quran by Florida Pastor Wayne Sapp of a Quran on March 20 were held in several Afghan cities on Friday, Afghanistan’s Noor TV channel reported.

The Quran burning took place in the presence of Terry Jones, another U.S. pastor who last year drew condemnation over his aborted plan to burn the Quran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The U.N. workers — including five guards working for U.N. and two other people employed at the complex, the AP reported — were killed in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif when the protest there suddenly turned violent.

Afghanistan Crossroads CNN April 1, 2011  11:00

Eight workers for the U.N. and four Afghans were killed, said Abdul Rauof Taj, security director of Bulkh province. At least 24 people were injured, he said.

The attack followed a demonstration against the reported burning of a Quran this month by Florida pastor Terry Jones, who gained international attention last year with his plans to burn a Quran, the U.N. source with knowledge of events said.

Jones is the pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida. He canceled plans to burn a Quran last year, on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Last month, however, with far less attention than he attracted last year, Jones reportedly burned Islam’s holy book.

The church says on its website that it “put the Koran on trial. The event is over, the Koran was found guilty and a copy was burned inside the building.”

The attack on Friday happened at the operations center of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan in Mazar-e Sharif, said Dan McNorton, a U.N. spokesman.

“The situation is still confusing and we are currently working to ascertain all the facts and take care of all our staff,” he said.

Initial indications are that knives and small arms were used in the attack, according to a U.N. spokesman who declined to be named.

April 1, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Casualties, Civilian Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues, United Nations | , , , , , , | Leave a comment