Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Davis Arrest Throws US Undercover Campaign in Pakistan Into Disarray

by: Dave Lindorff   |  This Can’t Be Happening | Op-Ed  At Truthout

The ongoing case of Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor facing murder charges in Lahore for the execution-style slaying of two apparent agents of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, is apparently leading to a roll-back of America’s espionage and Special Operations activities in Pakistan.

A few days ago, Pakistan’s Interior Department, which is reportedly conducting a careful review of the hundreds of private US contractors who flooded into Pakistan over the last two years, many with “diplomatic passports,” and many others, like Davis, linked to shady “security” firms, arrested an American security contractor named Aaron DeHaven, a Virginia native who claims to work for a company called Catalyst Services LLC.

The Catalyst Services LLC website describes the company, with offices in Afghanistan, Dubai, the US and Pakistan, as having experience in “logistics, operations, security and finance,” and as having a staff led by “individuals who have been involved in some of the most significant events of the last 20 years,” including “the break-up of the Soviet Union, the US effort in Somalia, and the Global War on Terror.”

DeHaven is being held on a 14-day remand, charged with overstaying his visa and with living in an unauthorized area.

Meanwhile, the English-language Express Tribune in Pakistan reports that according to ISI sources, 30 “suspected US operatives” in Pakistan have “suspended” their operations in the country, while 12 have fled the country.

The paper quotes the Pakistan Foreign Office as saying that 851 Americans claiming diplomatic immunity are currently in Pakistan, 297 of whom are “not working in any diplomatic capacity.

The paper says that the country’s Interior Department claims that 414 of the total are “non-diplomats.” The majority of these American operatives, the paper says, are located in Islamabad (where the US is building a huge fortress-like embassy reminiscent of the one in Baghdad), with the others in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. Most are suspected of being involved in covert missions that report to the US Joint Special Operations Command, with many suspected of being active-duty Special Forces personnel from the Army’s Delta Force. (The website of the JSOC says its responsibility is “synchronizing Department of Defense plans against global terrorist networks and, as directed, conducting global operations  Please read the entire Op Ed piece at Truthout

March 2, 2011 Posted by | CIA, Civilian Contractors, Government Contractor, Pakistan, Private Security Contractor, State Department | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Court in Peshawar rejects bail for Aaron DeHaven US Contractor

Kaleej Times

PESHAWAR — A court in northwest Pakistan Monday rejected the bail application of an American said to have been working for a private security company who is accused of overstaying his visa.

“The bail application of Aaron Mark DeHaven has been rejected because he had no legal documents,” public prosecutor Javed Ali said in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

Relations between Pakistan and the United States are already strained over the arrest last month of a CIA contractor identified as Raymond Davis, who has been charged with murder for shooting dead two men in Lahore.

The United States, insisting that Davis has diplomatic immunity, is demanding his release.

DeHaven was taken into custody on Friday from the Falcon Complex, a residential area in Peshawar, close to the lawless tribal belt near the Afghan border.

Police say his Pakistani visa had expired in October, and that he was working for security contractor Catalyst Services, providing security and accommodation to foreigners working on development projects in the region.

Read the entire story here

February 28, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Legal Jurisdictions, Pakistan, State Department | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aaron Dehaven Held in Pakistan over visa

February 26, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Pakistan, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor | , , , , | Leave a comment

Pakistan arrests US security contractor, Aaron Dehaven, as rift with CIA deepens

ISI tells American agency to unmask all its covert operatives after arrest of Aaron DeHaven in Peshawar, over visa expiry
UTV News February 25, 2011

Peshawar police arrested Aaron DeHaven, a contractor who recently worked for the US embassy in Islamabad, saying that his visa had expired.

Little was known about DeHaven except that his firm, which also has offices in Afghanistan and Dubai, is staffed by retired US military and defence personnel who boast of direct experience in the “global war on terror”.

The furore has also triggered the most serious crisis between the ISI and the CIA since the 9/11 attacks. A senior ISI official told the Guardian that the CIA must “ensure there are no more Raymond Davises or his ilk” if it is to repair the tattered relationship of trust.

“They need to come clean, tell us who they are and what they are doing. They need to stop doing things behind our back,” he said. There are “two or three score” covert US operatives roaming Pakistan, “if not more”, he said.

DeHaven runs a company named Catalyst Services which, according to its website, is staffed by retired military and defence department personnel who have “played some role in major world events” including the collapse of the Soviet Union, the military mission to Somalia and the “global war on terror”. Services offered include “full-service secure residences”, protective surveillance and armed security.

One prospective customer who met DeHaven last year described him as a small, slightly-built man, who wore glasses and had broad knowledge of Pakistani politics. DeHaven said he had lived in Kandahar, Afghanistan, for one year, had married a Pakistani woman from Khyber Pakthunkhwa province along the border with Afghanistan, and spoke Urdu fluently.

He said he moved his base from Peshawar to Islamabad last year over suspicions that he worked for Blackwater, the controversial US military contracting firm.

His business partner is listed on company documents as Hunter Obrikat with an address in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Guardian was unable to contact either men at listed numbers in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the US and Dubai.

US embassy spokeswoman Courtney Beale said DeHaven was “not a direct employee of the US government” but added that details could not be confirmed until a consular officer had met him. The arrest is another sign of brittle relations between the two countries.

The Guardian

Islamabad authorities have arrested a US government security contractor amid a worsening spy agency row between the countries, with Pakistani intelligence calling on the Americans to “come clean” about its network of covert operatives in the country.

The arrest came at the start of the murder trial of another American held in Pakistan, the CIA agent Raymond Davis.

Peshawar police arrested Aaron DeHaven, a contractor who recently worked for the US embassy in Islamabad, saying that his visa had expired.

Little was known about DeHaven except that his firm, Catalyst Services, which also has offices in Afghanistan and Dubai, is staffed by retired US military and defence personnel who boast of direct experience in the “global war on terror”.

Please read the entire article here

It was unclear whether his arrest was linked to escalating tensions between the Inter-Services Intelligence and the CIA, triggered by the trial of Davis, who appeared in handcuffs at a brief court hearing in a Lahore jail.

February 25, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, CIA, Civilian Contractors, Legal Jurisdictions, Pakistan, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , | 3 Comments