October 28, 2010 |
President Hamid Karzai agreed Wednesday to push back a deadline for the shutdown of private security contractors operating in Afghanistan, but the issue still looms as a potentially serious point of contention with donor governments. The dispute, which began in August when Karzai abruptly announced a ban on all private firms providing security in the country, has spotlighted the increasingly fragile and tumultuous relationship between Karzai and his Western patrons. Without private protection, major donors have said they would have no choice but to shut down development projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 3, 2009 |
A veteran Los Angeles police officer who owns a private security company in Belize surrendered to federal authorities Monday after being indicted on a weapons charge. Johnny Augustus Baltazar, 50, is accused of illegally shipping 10 handguns and 1,500 rounds of ammunition to the Central American nation, where he owns a company called Elite Security, according to authorities. Prosecutors suspect the guns were intended for use by employees of the company. Baltazar did not have the required license to export the firearms, officials allege.
August 20, 2009 |
The secret CIA program to assassinate top Al Qaeda leaders was outsourced in 2004 to Blackwater USA, the private security contractor whose operations in Iraq prompted intense scrutiny, according to two former intelligence officials familiar with the events. The North Carolina-based company was given operational responsibility for targeting suspected terrorist commanders and was awarded millions of dollars for training and weaponry, but the program was canceled before any missions were conducted, the two officials said.
August 13, 2009 |
Mirza Mohammed Dost stood at the foot of his son's grave, near a headstone that read, "Raheb Dost, martyred by Americans." His son was no insurgent, Dost said. He was walking home from prayers on the night of May 5 when he was shot and killed on a busy Kabul street by U.S. security contractors. "The Americans must answer for my son's death," Dost said as a large crowd of young men murmured in approval. The shooting deaths of Raheb Dost, 24, and another Afghan civilian by four gunmen with the company once known as Blackwater have turned an entire neighborhood against the U.S. presence here.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2009 |
One Sunday in March, a man strode down the aisle of the First Baptist Church in Maryville, Ill., pulled out a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol and fired at the pastor. The Rev. Fred Winters deflected the first bullet with his Bible, sending bits of it into the air like confetti. But the next three rounds hit Winters, killing him.
May 17, 2009 |
Four U.S. private security guards are being held against their will in Afghanistan by the company Xe, formerly known as Blackwater, after their involvement in a deadly shooting, their lawyer said. A spokeswoman for the company denied the allegation. The shooting and allegations of forced confinement highlights the murky legal world in which private security companies operate in Afghanistan and elsewhere. An Afghan died and two were wounded in the May 5 incident in the capital, Kabul, said Lt. Col. Chris Kubik, a U.S. military spokesman.