13 Stories

Blackwater Guards Get Hefty Sentences

Nicholas Slatten gets life; 3 others get 30 years each

(Newser) - A federal judge sentenced former Blackwater security guard Nicholas Slatten to life in prison and three others to 30-year terms for their roles in a 2007 shooting that killed 14 Iraqi civilians and wounded 17 others. The carnage in Baghdad's Nisoor Square caused an international uproar over the use... More »

Secret Scads of Cash Bankroll Gadhafi's Fight

Libyan leader likely has access to 'tens of billions'

(Newser) - The US alone has frozen nearly $32 billion of Libya’s assets, so how can Moammar Gadhafi afford to keep fighting? Easy: piles of cash amounting to “tens of billions,” officials tell the New York Times . Gadhafi has been hoarding cash in Tripoli, keeping it out of the... More »

Blackwater Founder Training Somali Mercenaries

Erik Prince joins forces with controversial South African firm

(Newser) - Lawless, chaotic Somalia appears to be a land of opportunity for controversial Blackwater security company founder Erik Prince. The ex Blackwater honcho—who has left the security company he created and set up shop in the United Arab Emirates—is involved in a project to recruit and train thousands of... More »

Karzai to Kick Contractors Out of Afghanistan

Catches NATO unprepared with tough 4-month deadline

(Newser) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai enraged the US and his other NATO allies today by ordering all private security contractors to leave the country within four months. Though NATO had been working on its own plan to register and regulate the mercenaries, they weren’t prepared for the move, or the... More »

Blackwater Boss Lobbies for Private Assassin Teams

Prince: Contractors best way to fight Iran influence

(Newser) - Blackwater wants the US government to hire teams of mercenaries to combat Iranian influence around the world, according to the Nation , which has obtained a tape of a talk boss Erik Prince gave to a friendly audience. Prince—who generally bans the media from his talks—said private soldiers from... More »

Blackwater Waging 'Secret War' in Pakistan

Mercenaries doing CIA dirty work, plotting killings

(Newser) - An elite team of Blackwater operatives have been doing the CIA's dirty work in Pakistan, a Nation investigation finds. The team plans operations, including "snatch-and-grab" assassinations and drone strikes from a secret base in Karachi run by US Joint Special Operations Command, according to a senior source with direct... More »

Zelaya: Israeli Mercenaries Trying to Kill, Irradiate Me

Witnesses report strange apparatus

(Newser) - Manuel Zelaya says “Israeli mercenaries” are planning to assassinate him, and in the meantime are torturing him by pumping toxic gases and high-frequency radiation into the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa. “We are being threatened with death,” he tells the Miami Herald, but “I prefer to march... More »

Blackwater Guards Keeping Iraq Jobs

Loss of contract means many guards will just change uniforms

(Newser) - Blackwater is getting kicked out of Iraq but not all of its workers will be leaving with the shamed company, the New York Times reports. The Iraq government refused to renew the security firm's license after its guards were repeatedly accused of using excessive force but many, if not most,... More »

US Can Turn 70% of Afghan Taliban: Biden

Largest group of insurgents just hired mercenaries, VP says

(Newser) - A majority of the Taliban fighters in Afghanistan are just hired guns whose loyalties could be bought by the US, Joe Biden said today. “Five percent of the Taliban is incorrigible, not susceptible to anything other than being defeated,” the vice president said. “Another 25% or so... More »

Blackwater Ditches Name, Attempts to Change Image

Firm renames itself Xe; will focus on training and logistics support

(Newser) - Private security firm Blackwater Worldwide is hoping to shed some of the controversy that has dogged it since its bloody tenure in Iraq by renaming itself Xe (pronounced “Zee”), the AP reports. Besides the name change, the firm has altered the focus of its business from contracting out... More »

A-Team Bound for Theaters

Joe Carnahan tapped to direct

(Newser) - The A-Team is coming back! Fox has tapped director Joe Carnahan, of Smokin’ Aces fame, to direct a big-budget update of the hugely popular '80s action show, Radar Online reports. Few plot details have emerged, except that it will keep the core story of veterans—now of Iraq, not Vietnam—... More »

Africa Crushes Comoros Coup

20th time unlucky for Indian Ocean rebels

(Newser) - The latest renegades to seize power in the Comoros Islands have been defeated, reports the Independent. Government and African Union troops regained control in an amphibious assault at sunrise yesterday. The island nation in the Indian Ocean has been rocked by more than 20 coups or coup attempts, many involving... More »

Blackwater Guards on Steroids: Suit

Shooting victim's kin accuse security firm of fostering lawless culture

(Newser) - Private security contractor Blackwater fosters a "culture of lawlessness" among its guards, who are revved up on steroids and other "judgment-altering substances," claims a lawsuit filed by families of Iraqis killed by the guards. Plaintiffs include two survivors of a September shooting when the guards opened fire... More »

13 Stories