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Posted by leveymg in September 11
Fri Aug 21st 2009, 01:55 PM
We learn today from NYT reporters James Risen and Mark Mazzetti that Blackwater (Xe) started receiving CIA contracts in early 2002 to provide support and security to CIA missions in Afghanistan. See, This follows reports that Blackwater was contracted by CIA to target and carry out assassinations worldwide as part of the Global War on Terrorism.

Blackwater Vice Chairman, Cofer Black, former Director of the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center from 1999-2002, again appears at the center of controversial CIA programs to assassinate, kidnap, and torture targeted figures. See, THE CIA OFFICER WHO OVERSAW TORTURE: Cofer Black , December 23, 2007,

After Black’s CIA retirement in May, 2002, he was appointed with Ambassadorial rank and diplomatic immunity to head the State Department’s counter-terrorism programs. Immediately upon the US occupation, Blackwater was given the primary contract for DOS security in Iraq. The NC-based company was then handed a no-bid contract to manage the Predator program in 2004. Black became Vice-Chairman of Blackwater International several months later.

Black was an early advocate for using drones to carry out targeted killings. He was in charge of CIA/CTC on February 4, 2002, when the armed Predator carried out its first lethal mission. That strike killed several Afghanis thought at the time to be Al-Qaeda figures, but allegations about the identities of the victims were disputed, and they may have been innocent villagers scavenging the remains of a battle field near Zawar Kili. (Boston Globe 02/15/2002)

First Confirmed Al-Qaeda Figure Killed by Predator was a U.S. Citizen

In November, 2002, a Predator attacked a vehicle in the desert of Yemen. That is the first successful confirmed targeted-killing of al-Qaeda using remotely controlled drone aircraft operated by the CIA. Among those known to be killed was an American citizen from upstate New York named Kamal Derwish. See,

In November 2002, the CIA used a Predator fitted with a five-foot-long Hellfire missile to kill a senior al Qaeda leader, Abu Ali al-Harithi, as he was riding in a car in the Yemeni desert. Also killed with Harithi, who was suspected of masterminding the October 2000 attack on the destroyer USS Cole, was a naturalized U.S. citizen, Kamal Derwish.

Derwish, it was determined later, was part of the Lackawanna, N.Y., group of Yemeni men who admitted to training in al Qaeda camps.

The CIA is permitted to operate the lethal Predator under presidential authority promulgated after the Sept. 11 attacks. Shortly after the attacks, Bush approved a "presidential finding" that allowed the CIA to write a set of highly classified rules describing which individuals could be killed by CIA officers. Such killings were defined as self-defense in a global war against al Qaeda terrorists.

The rules have been vetted by the White House, CIA and State Department lawyers. They allow CIA counterterrorism officials in the field to decide much more quickly when to fire, according to former intelligence officials involved in developing the rules.

Contradicts Claims that Blackwater Assassination Program Did Not Result in Casualties

Lethal attacks by the armed Predator program continued after Blackwater received its contract, most of these attacks taking place in Pakistan:

• On 13 May 2005, Haitham al-Yemeni, an al Qaeda explosives expert from Yemen, was killed in a village in northwest Pakistan near the Afghanistan border by a CIA-operated MQ-1 Predator aircraft firing a Hellfire missile.<30>
• On 3 December 2005, a US Predator UAV reportedly killed high-level Al Qaeda member Chief Abu Hamza Rabia in his sleep in Haisori, Pakistan. Four others were also killed.<31>
• On 13 January 2006, several US Predators conducted an airstrike on Damadola village in Pakistan where al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri was reportedly located. CIA Predators reportedly fired 10 missiles killing 18 civilians, including five women and five children. According to Pakistani authorities, the U.S. strike was based on faulty intelligence and al-Zawahiri was not present in the village. Pakistani officials nevertheless claimed that Midhat Mursi (Abu Khabab al-Masri) — al Qaeda's master bomb maker and chemical weapons expert, Khalid Habib — the al Qaeda operations chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Abdul Rehman al Magrabi — a senior operations commander for al Qaeda were all killed in the Damadola attack.<32><33> U.S. and Pakistani officials now say that none of those al Qaeda leaders perished in the strike and that only local villagers were killed.<34>
• On 30 October 2006, the Bajaur airstrike was conducted, targeting an alleged militant training camp and targeting al Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri. The strike hit a religious school where militants were believed to be present. Eyewitness reports said that two explosions were heard following a missile being fired from an MQ-1 Predator. Pakistani intelligence officials have told western media that Predators were used in the strike, which utilized Hellfire missiles. Although Zawahiri does not appear to have been caught in the strike, Pakistani officials have stated that between two and five senior al Qaeda fighters, including the mastermind of the airliners plot in the UK, were killed in the raid.<35> While some reports state that the school was a religious training center, Pakistani authorities, including President Musharraf, have stated that the school provided military training to al Qaeda militants. Casualty figures range from 80 to 85 people killed.<36>
• On 29 January 2008 an MQ-1B killed Abu Laith al-Libi in Mir Ali. Wiki - Predator

This report of Blackwater/Xe operating the Predator program does not square with the claim heard elsewhere in today's news that nobody was actually killed by Blackwater's assassination program. It's gotta be one or the other, unless Blackwater was running multiple wet ops. See,

C.I.A. Sought Blackwater’s Help in Plan to Kill Jihadists

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency in 2004 hired outside contractors from the private security contractor Blackwater USA as part of a secret program to locate and assassinate top operatives of Al Qaeda, according to current and former government officials.

Executives from Blackwater, which has generated controversy because of its aggressive tactics in Iraq, helped the spy agency with planning, training and surveillance. The C.I.A. spent several million dollars on the program, which did not capture or kill any terrorist suspects.

P.S. - Derwish has been identified as a possible double-agent who was in Afghanistan with bin Laden just weeks before the 9/11 attack. He was one of the first to be silenced. Derwish was a key figure in US intelligence surveillance of al-Qaeda cells inside the U.S., and provided a direct link between the bombings of the USS Cole and 9/11.

Derwish had trained in Afghanistan in 1992 and fought with the U.S.-backed Muslim Army in Bosnia. In the Spring of 2002, U.S. intelligence intercepted communications between him and two important al-Qaida figures, one of them involved in the USS Cole bombing. Derwish had been instrumental in organizing the the Lackawanna 6 into an al-Qaeda sleeper cell. Warrants were issued to conduct round-the-clock surveillance on members of the group.

The FBI monitored phone calls from Derwish in Yemen to some members of the group that appeared to be intended to assess their status or availability. It also intercepted e-mails from one of the group, Mukhtar al-Bakri, who was then in Bahrain. One of them appeared particularly suspicious. The e-mail was entitled "Big Meal" and read in English translation as follows:

"How are you my beloved, God willing you are fine. I would like to remind you of obeying God and keeping him in your heart because the next meal will be very huge. No one will be able to withstand it except those with faith. There are people here who had visions and their visions were explained that this thing will be very strong. No one will be able to bear it." 12

The phone calls and e-mails had the intense interest of the White House, the CIA and the FBI that the Lackawanna group was about to be activated for a major terrorist attack. At this point, the Buffalo FBI field office was required to send briefings on the results of their investigation to FBI Headquarters twice a day, and these were often passed on to the White House in the president's daily threat briefings.

At the request of the CIA, al-Bakri was detained by the Bahrain police, coincidentally on his wedding night. He admitted to having traveled to the Al Farooq camp in late spring and early summer and also gave the names of the rest of the Lackawanna group. Based on al-Bakri's testimony, the six Lackawanna men were arraigned in September, 2002, and charged with providing material support to Al-Qaeda. Somehow, despite the intense surveillance, Derwish was allowed to leave the U.S. and travelled to Yemen, where he was killed by a CIA Predator drone. See,

The problem here is that Blackwater is run by the same guys who let the 9/11 hijackers into the US

Former CIA Counter-terrorism Center (CTC) Director Cofer Black also directed the assassination targeting, along with rendition and torture programs that silenced the surviving al-Qaeda conspirators. Some targets, like Derwish, were done away with permanently, while others like KSM and Abu Zubyadeh - figures with long ties to US intelligence - were allowed to run around for a while before capture. The Al-Qaeda figures subjected to brainwahing and waterboarding that turned them into near-vegetables all had ties with the CIA during the 1990s in Bosnia and Chechnya.

Cofer Black was the Chief of CIA station in Khartoum when bin Laden and Abu Zubaydeh were there, running CIA-ISI-Saudi Jihadist operations against the Russians in Bosnia and Chechnya. Black admitted in testimony before Congress that he had contact with bin Laden in Sudan.

Basically, Cofer Black and some others got away with allowing the Flt. 77 hijackers (one of whom was also intimately involved with the Cole attack) into the country and these same CIA/CTC managers then were put in charge of the mopping-up operation.

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