Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Blackwater founder sets up shop in Iraq 12 years after his company was kicked out for killing civilians
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Blackwater founder Erik Prince's new company is reportedly operating in Iraq, a country from which his former company was banned for killing civilians.
A subsidiary of Frontier Services Group (FSG), a security and logistics company Prince founded in Hong Kong, has set up shop in Basra, Iraq, BuzzFeed News reported Saturday, citing official documents. The subsidiary, the Dubai-based Frontier Logistics Consultancy DMCC, has officially registered as a foreign company with Iraq's Ministry of Trade, an official document from last year shows.
In March, Prince told Al Jazeera that he hoped to see FSG supporting oil operations in countries like Iraq. Their subsidiary is operating out of Basra, which is located in the oil-rich southern region.
Prince, a former Navy SEAL, founded FSG with Chinese funding in 2014 after resigning as the CEO of the infamous private military company Blackwater in 2009. Blackwater, which already had a bad reputation for suspected misconduct and fraud, was banned from Iraq in 2007 after contractors opened fire on unarmed civilians in Baghdad's Nisour Square. The team killed 14 Iraqi civilians.
With support from CITIC, a Chinese state-owned investment group, Prince founded FSG. And, like Blackwater, Prince's new company is no stranger to controversy.
Not only have critics targeted Prince for training Chinese security forces in support of Chinese strategic initiatives, but earlier this year, he was sharply criticized for FSG's decision to build a training base in Xinjiang Province, where Beijing has been accused of violating human rights in a sweeping crackdown on the local Muslim Uighur minority.
Xinjiang is a key stop on the China-centric trade initiative Washington has sought to throttle, perceiving it as a Chinese influence operation.
"I am a businessman, not a politician, but I am also a proud American who would never do anything against my country's national interest," Prince, brother of the Education Secretary Betsy Devos, previously told Bloomberg. He has also denied any involvement in FSG's plans for Xinjiang.
Prince stepped down as the chairman of FSG in December of last year to make way for new Chinese leadership, but the businessman maintains a position on the board. At this time, it is unclear to what degree he may or may not have been involved in FSG's decisions to operate in Iraq.
Either way, critics are concerned. "This should sound alarm bells for the Iraqi government, who expelled Blackwater from Iraq for deadly behavior," Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat and critic of Prince and his dealings, told BuzzFeed News.
FSG reportedly did not provide comment when questioned about its activities in Iraq. The company has not officially acknowledged operations in Iraq.
More from Business Insider:
- America's most notorious security contractor is quietly investing in privacy apps
- In wild interview, Trump associate Erik Prince acknowledges a 2nd Trump Tower meeting he may have forgotten to disclose under oath
- Blackwater founder Erik Prince is pushing to privatize America's costly war in Afghanistan — and going on cable TV to persuade Trump
Editor's note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia announced on Monday it would hold a large test of its Strategic Missile Forces that will see it fire ballistic and cruise missiles from the land, sea and air this week.
The exercise, from Oct. 15-17, will involve around 12,000 military personnel, as well as aircraft, including strategic nuclear bombers, surface ships and submarines, Russia's Ministry of Defense said in a statement.
WASHINGTON, DC — Textron Systems, its subsidiary Howe & Howe, and FLIR Systems, Inc. unveiled their bid for a new Army robotic combat vehicle Monday — the Ripsaw M5, a well-armed tracked vehicle equipped with high-end sensors that can deploy unmanned air and ground assets like a drone mothership.
This robotic combat vehicle design was on display Monday at the Association of the United States Army conference in Washington, DC.