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

August 20, 2009
NY Times
8/19/2009

The Central Intelligence Agency in 2004 hired outside contractors mercenaries from the private security contractor Blackwater USA as part of a secret program to locate and assassinate [alleged] 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. The fact that the C.I.A. used an outside company for the program was a major reason that Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A.’s director, became alarmed and called an emergency meeting in June to tell Congress that the agency had withheld details of the program for seven years, the officials said.

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