Blackwater May Have Smuggled Weapons in Iraq

Prosecutors think the company gave equipment to terrorists
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2007 1:17 PM CDT
A private security helicopter flies over Ibn Taimiyah Mosque in Baghdad Wednesday Nov. 24 2004, after a car bomb exploded nearby. A top aide to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki conceded it may prove difficult...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Controversy-magnet Blackwater USA may have smuggled weapons into Iraq, the BBC reports. Federal prosecutors are investigating charges that employees of the private security firm shipped unlicensed weapons to terrorist groups. Blackwater, blamed for  civilian deaths in a Baghdad gunfight last week, confirmed that it fired two employees  for stealing company property, but it called the smuggling allegations "baseless."

In July, Turkey seized American weapons and equipment from the outlaw Kurdish Workers Party, which the White House has labeled a terrorist group. Investigators think those supplies came from Blackwater. A pair of former Blackwater employees pleaded guilty to weapons charges in January, according to the News and Observer, and are now cooperating with federal investigators.