By Wayne Madsen
September 4-7, 2009 — Increased private military contractor activity in Pakistan
WMR has received additional confirming information of a build-up in foreign private military contractors in Pakistan. Following published reports of Blackwater personnel sightings in Peshawar and other parts of the country, WMR has learned that American and British private military contractors are now seeking rental facilities throughout Pakistan for the housing of mercenaries. Local advertisments are being placed in local newspapers requesting walled compounds for lease.
In addition, lucrative salaries are being offered for Pakistan duty, with $20,000 per month a standard rate of pay. The planned private security operations in Pakistan are being staged out of both Afghanistan, including the city of Jalalabad, where recruiters are on the lookout for Pashtun-speaking agents, and India, where a CIA agent has started up operations aimed at supporting the Pakistan private military incursion with $600,000 in start-up funds from Langley.
One ex-British SAS commander, who now runs a private security company and is nicknamed "Harry the Bastard," is running advertisements in local Pakistani newspapers looking for walled compounds to rent. The word is on the street where many private military contractors are "between contracts," including Thailand and the Philippines, that contracts will soon be let that will see thousands of private military contractors enter Pakistan.
Especially lucrative for the private contractors are targeted assassination contracts. One paid assassin hired by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office — MI6 — was paid $800,000 for assassinating a target in Saudi Arabia.
WMR has ben told by a knowledgeable source that Erik Prince's Blackwater, now XE Services LLC, has very close connections to the Knights of Malta, a secretive order that believes they are the heirs of the original Knights Templar Crusaders against Islam. And in what may connect the current trial of CIA agents in absentia in Italy for the kidnapping of an Egyptian imam from Milan, Blackwater is reportedly closely connected to Italy's Northern League, a major component of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's coalition government.
September 18-20, 2009 — SPECIAL REPORT. Bush official pushed for creation of a Turkish "Blackwater"
WMR has learned from a knowledgeable U.S. intelligence source that in 2004, a top official of the Bush State Department encouraged his Turkish "client" and the Turkish intelligence infrastructure in the United States to establish a private security company modeled after Blackwater USA, now known as Xe.
WMR has learned that the primary function of the Turkish-owned and U.S.-registered security company, Black Hawk Security, Inc., was to provide for U.S. Department of Defense security in northern Iraq and central Asia. On-libe business directory information reveals that Black Hawk Security, Inc is "a private company categorized under Security systems services and located in Gaithersburg, MD. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of $4,000,000 and employs a staff of approximately 100."
WMR's source stated that Black Hawk's chairman is Huseyin Atkin, a Turkish citizen and U.S. green card holder. The vice president of the firm is Gunay Evinch, a native of Turkey and a U.S. citizen who lives in Maryland.
Black Hawk maintains a training facility at Silopi on the Turkish border with Iraq from where its armored vehicles travel almost unimpeded across the Turkish into northern Iraq, also known as Kurdistan. The firm, according to our source, employs a number of former Turkish special forces and police officers, some of whom are linked to the shadowy Turkish "deep state" organization Ergenekon and individuals associated with Turkey's Gladio "stay behind" network. WMR's source claims that retired Turkish General Köksal Karabay, a former member of the Turkish General Staff, is a key official in Black Hawk. In addition, a former deputy head of the Turkish MIT intelligence service, Senkal Atasagun, consults with the firm.
The law firm that represents Black Hawk, Saltzman & Evinch [the Evinch also of Black Hawk] of Washington, DC, also reportedly represents the Turkish embassy in Washington and has provided legal advice to the Turkish Forign and National Defense Ministries. Evinch once worked for the late Representative Tom Lantos, who, according to former FBI Turkish translator Sibel Edmonds, accepted bribes from the Turkish lobby in the United States.
The website of Saltzman & Evinch states the firm provides pro bono legal assistance to a number of non-profit Turkish-American organizations, including the Atatürk Society of America, the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (where Evinch has served as vice president), the Anatolia FC soccer club, American and Turkish Veterans Association, and the Turkish American Community Center, in addition to the Congress of North American Bosniaks, United Macedonian Diaspora, and HasNa, a group representing the interests of the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Saltzman & Evinch also represented Representative Jean Schmidt (R-OH), who Edmonds charged in her testimony in the Ohio Election Commission complaint of Schmidt against her 2008 opponent David Krikorian, with receiving bribes from Turkish lobbyists.
According to Federal Election Commission records, Evinch has made political donations to the campaigns of Hillary Clinton, unsuccessful Maryland Democratic US House candidate Oz Bengur, Representative Robert Wexler (D-FL), Kansas Democratic US Senate candidate Jim Slattery, Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and California Republican US House candidate Charles Hahn, as well as to the Turkish Coalition USA political action committee. Saltzman has also donated to the Turkish Coalition USA PAC. Saltzman also represents ONACOR USA LLC, a trading company that is the U.S. agent for the Turkish arms manufacturing firm MKEK. He has also represented Red Star Aviation of Istanbul and Innovative Emergency Management (IEM) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Republican-owned firm that had a contract to develop a hurricane emergency plan for southeastern Louisiana before hurricane Katrina, a plan that never materialized.
ONACOR USA and Saltzman & Evinch also apparently share the same phone number — 202-637-9877. ONACOR's CEO is Cihan Sinani. This following bold interchange was found online:
Question: Want to bid for AK-47 7.62x39mm. Qtty will be advised shortly but will be impressive for a long term contract. We, as Onacor USA, represent various ammo manufacturers as well.
Please advise at your earliest cause it is a state tender.
Answer: I have no idea where you saw an order form for large quantites of AK-47 rifles for sale on our website. But it wasn't here. Wew don't sell rifles at all in fact.
Although Black Hawk has offices in Ankara, Amman, Kirkuk, Baghdad, and Kabul, as well as its large training facility at Silopi, its American headquarters is located in a small office unit at 27 Booth Street in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Like Blackwater, which started its contract work courtesy of a sweetheart $200,000 Navy Seal training contract in the late 1990s and jumped to over $1 billion after the Iraq war, Black Hawk as reportedly garnered $100 million in Pentagon security contracts in Iraq and central Asia, including Afghanistan.
There have also been reported links between Black Hawk officials and officials of the CIA-supported Uighur secessionist movement in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China.
WMR has been informed by knowledgeable sources that since it has received a relatively small degree of publicity in the media, Black Hawk, like Blackwater, has decided on a name change. It is now apparently using the name NET International Group, the name of a construction company that is affiliated with the firm's chairman.
October 9-11, 2009 — Mercenary boots on the ground increasing in Pakistan
The United States in becoming increasingly involved in Pakistan through the use of private military personnel. The roles of U.S. ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson and Charge d'affaires ad interim Gerald Feierstein in the recent importation of illegal assault weapons into Pakistan by a local U.S. embassy security contractor, Inter-Risk (Pvt) Ltd., are now being highlighted in the Pakistani press as a result of a correspondence being released between Patterson and Interior Minister Rehman Malik. The importation of the weapons by the United States was never cleared with either Pakistani intelligence or the Foreign Ministry, according to published accounts in Pakistan.
It has also been discovered that Inter-Risk was acting as a sub-contractor to the large U.S. private military contractor Dycorp International, a firm that has been involved in a series of scandals in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Colombia, the latter where Patterson once served as ambassador.
On September 4, 2009, WMR reported the increasing presence of foreign private military contractors in Pakistan: "WMR has received additional confirming information of a build-up in foreign private military contractors in Pakistan. Following published reports of Blackwater [Xe] personnel sightings in Peshawar and other parts of the country, WMR has learned that American and British private military contractors are now seeking rental facilities throughout Pakistan for the housing of mercenaries. Local advertisements are being placed in local newspapers requesting walled compounds for lease."
On September 21, 2009, WMR reported: "Islamabad police raided the offices of a Pakistani private security firm that is under contract to provide security for the expanding U.S. embassy in the Pakistani capital, as well as for the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi and Consulates in Lahore and Peshawar. Police arrested two employees of Inter-Risk Security Company and seized 61 assault rifles and nine pistols that were imported illegally and lacked licenses, according to the Pakistani newspaper Dawn . . . Inter-Risk is headed by a retired Pakistani Army captain Syed Jaffer Zaidi, who, according to the firm's website, has longstanding links to the U.S. military. Pakistani police reportedly arrested Zaidi after raiding his home but released him after protests from high U.S. embassy officials and senior Pakistani government officials."
Copies of the letters between Patterson and Malik, dated March 30, 2009, and Feierstein and State Minister for the Interior Tasneem Ahmed Qureshi before the weapons seizure and arrests on Inter-Risk employees have been published in the October 4 edition of the Pakistani newspaper, The News. Patterson also held a meeting with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who reportedly approved the weapons importation.
Patterson wrote: "Recognizing that the responsibility of your Ministry and provincial law enforcement is not limited to the Consulate but remains confronting the miscreant elements directly and everywhere, the US government has entered into a commercial contract with Dyncorp International and their Pakistani subcontractors Inter-Risk (Pvt) Ltd, and Speed Flo Filter Industries to provide specialized security support for our consulate in Peshawar. I feel this contractual arrangement will allow your security forces to focus on their priorities and at the same time allow us the ability to continue consulate operations with an appropriate level of security support. Our security plan will incorporate both the commercial security personnel and the NWFP police contingent already dedicated to supporting the consulate. To accomplish the goals of our commercial contract, I am requesting your approval for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for Dyncorp International, Inter-Risk (Pvt) Ltd, and Speed Flo Filter Industries to provide security services for the US government. More urgently, we request your intervention to facilitate granting Inter-Risk (Pvt) the requisite prohibited bore arms licenses to operate in the territorial limits of Pakistan and as soon as possible.”
US embassy spokesman Richard Snelisry has denied the authenticity of Patterson's letter to Malik.
The letter clearly identified Dyncorp as the prime contractor in a deal that saw the illegal weapons being "gifted" to Inter-Risk by the Americans. Another US embassy official, Michael Eicher, is also named in Feierstein's letter to Qureshi as a participant in the affair, "I would like to thank you for meeting with my representative Michael Eicher on May 7 to discuss certain security matters that affect the US Embassy. As Mr Eicher conveyed, the United States and Pakistan share a deep commitment to improving the lives and future of the Pakistani people. However, security concerns have greatly diminished out ability to administer and expand the programmes we would like to support in partnership with the government of Pakistan. I order for the Embassy to mitigate the risk associated with some of these security concerns, the US Embassy has engaged with Inter-Risk (Pvt) Ltd to provide armed guards to protect our US diplomatic personnel assigned to Islamabad and Peshawar. Therefore, I would like to request the issuance of 134 prohibited bore (pb) licenses on behalf to Inter-Risk (Pvt) Ltd to accomplish this security goal. 50 pb licenses are needed as quickly as possible and an additional 50 pb licenses will be needed in June 2009. The remaining 34 licenses will be needed in July 2009. I would like to thank you for your personal attention to this matter offer the renewed assurances of my highest considerations."
While ambassador to Colombia, Patterson was an advocate of lifting the congressionally-set ceiling of 300 private military contractors, established in 2000, who could be assigned to Colombia. U.S. military personnel assigned to Colombia were capped at 500. Patterson was also a champion of U.S. counter-insurgency military operations conducted in Colombia under the aegis of the U.S. Southern Command. In February 2001, it was none other than President George W. Bush who cautioned against any increased U.S. military presence in Colombia, an apparent rebuke to the wishes of Patterson and her Southern Command and Dyncorp/Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI) puppet masters.
One of the more ardent critics of Patterson and private military operations in Colombia in 2001 was Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), whose anti-private military contractor fervor has died down since she became a member of the House Intelligence Committee's oversight subcommittee and was identified as a target of a Turkish intelligence lesbian "honey trap" blackmail operation that was uncovered by the FBI.
After her tenure in Bogota, Patterson became the assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, where she continued to champion Dyncorp and others involved in Plan Colombia and trans-Andean counter-narcotics operations. She now serves in a part of the world where opium production is at an all-time high.
While she was ambassador in Bogota, Dyncorp was discovered by the Colombian police to be shipping heroin in a packet contained in two vials of engine oil being shipped via express mail from its Bogota office to Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. The previous year, the wife of U.S. Army Colonel James Hiett, the chief of the U.S. counter-narcotics operations in Colombia, was sentenced to five years for shipping heroin out of Colombia through the U.S. embassy's diplomatic mail.