Saturday, September 22, 2007
The News and Observer newspaper in North Carolina reports that U.S. federal prosecutors are investigating whether private U.S. security "contractor" firm Blackwater, which currently has thousands of armed mercenaries in Iraq under contract by the U.S. government and private companies, smuggled automatic weapons illegally into Iraq which have been sold on the black market. Two former Blackwater employees who pled guilty to stealing company property in Iraq are reportedly cooperating with federal investigators.
In July the Turkish government made a formal complaint to the U.S. government that it had captured American weapons from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the major separatist group involved in terrorist attacks in eastern Turkey.
After initially denying knowledge of any federal investigation Blackwater today denied allegations that its employees were involved in weapons smuggling into Iraq.
News and Observer article on Federal Investigation of Blackwater
Reuters (U.K.) article on Blackwater Denial