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Sat14Oct MOGADISHU Somalia bomb, 300 dead 500 injured

 
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:57 am    Post subject: Sat14Oct MOGADISHU Somalia bomb, 300 dead 500 injured Reply with quote

Mogadishu atrocity may provoke deeper US involvement in Somalia
President Trump had already approved use of US troops in Somalia before hundreds died in truck bomb blamed on al-Shabaab
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/15/mogadishu-atrocity-may-p rovoke-deeper-us-involvement-in-somalia

Jason Burke Africa correspondent
Sunday 15 October 2017 20.15 BST Last modified on Monday 16 October 2017 02.48 BST
For many years, Somalia was a forgotten front among the various campaigns against violent extremist Islamists around the world.

The massive bombing of the centre of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, will bring the international spotlight back on to the battered country – at least for a few days.

Al-Shabaab, the Islamist group based in the country, is almost certainly responsible for the huge truck bomb that killed as many as 300 people in Mogadishu on Saturday.

The attack proves once more it is among the most capable and tenacious militant organisations anywhere.

Al-Shabaab’s roots run back through a series of violent – and sometimes non-violent – revivalist Islamist movements in Somalia over the past 40 years. In the past decade, it has been fighting local, regional and international forces, and has survived significant strategic setbacks primarily by exploiting the weaknesses and failings of central government in the shattered state.

One reason for the relative lack of attention devoted to al-Shabaab in recent years in Washington, London and other western capitals is that the group has ruthlessly purged anyone who wanted to swear allegiance to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria from its ranks.

That al-Shabaab – the name means “the youth” – is not seen as particularly dangerous beyond its immediate region is another reason.

Though the group has been a formal affiliate of al-Qaida since 2011, it has not engaged in terrorist planning against European or US targets. Though it has attracted militants from the west, it has not sent many back the other way.

Al-Shabaab has, however, launched a series of bloody attacks in east Africa, such as the assault on an upscale shopping mall in Kenya in 2013 in which 67 people were killed.

It has been regional powers, including Kenya, that have done the heavy lifting in terms of military deployments in Somalia in recent years.

More than 20,000 troops have been deployed by the African Union there. But they have been much criticised, accused of being arrogant and sometimes brutal toward local populations, corruption and military incompetence.

A series of assaults by al-Shabaab on African Union bases have undermined political will to continue this commitment among regional states – as the extremist strategists intended it would.

The bombing in Mogadishu may now intensify a growing US commitment to pursuing a more active role in Somalia.

Earlier this year, the US president, Donald Trump, designated Somalia a “zone of active hostilities”, allowing commanders greater authority when launching airstrikes, broadening the range of possible targets and relaxing restrictions designed to prevent civilian casualties. He also authorised the deployment of regular US forces to Somalia for the first time since 1994.

The US in effect pulled out of Somalia after the “Black Hawk Down” episode of 1993, when two helicopters were shot down in Mogadishu and the bodies of American soldiers were dragged through the streets.

In May a US special forces soldier was killed in a skirmish with al-Shabaab, the first US casualty in Somalia since then.

Any deeper involvement in Somalia would come against a background of greater involvement across Africa. Earlier this month, four US servicemen were killed in a firefight in Niger with militants there.

Yet the same challenges experienced in conflict zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan face any counter-insurgency effort in Somalia.

Somalia is suffering its worst drought in 40 years, with the effects of climatic catastrophe compounded by war and poor governance. Al-Shabaab’s control over populations in rural areas in much of the south and central Somalia is such that the group was able to impose a ban on humanitarian assistance in areas they control, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to choose between death from starvation and disease or brutal punishment.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WHY IS TRUMP SILENT ABOUT SOMALIA? HUNDREDS WERE KILLED IN A TERRORIST ATTACK IN MOGADISHU
BY JOHN HALTIWANGER ON 10/16/17 AT 2:45 PM
http://www.newsweek.com/why-trump-silent-somalia-hundreds-killed-terro rist-686103

President Donald Trump, who's famous for his restless Twitter fingers, hasn't said a thing about Saturday's horrific terrorist attack in Somalia.

At least 300 people were killed and roughly 300 more injured in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, by two devastating car bombs. The Somali government has blamed the incident—which represents the deadliest terrorist attack in the country's history—on Al-Shabab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate.

Trump is often among the first to publicly react to terrorist attacks in the Western world, in many cases without first having the full details (his recent speculatory tweets about an attack in London angered British leaders). Indeed, Trump seemingly goes out of his way to comment on such attacks. But after hundreds were killed by an attack that featured dual car bombings in the Horn of Africa, one could hear proverbial crickets chirping at the White House.

Perhaps this is simply because Trump is aware the Mogadishu attack will likely not matter to his electoral base, which is seemingly more likely to be enraged by black NFL players protesting systemic racism than an Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group murdering hundreds in a predominantly Muslim country. Or perhaps there is another reason. Newsweek reached out to the White House to give Trump an opportunity to respond, but didn't hear back by the time of publication.

The State Department did release a statement that offered America's condolences to the victims, and said the U.S. "will continue to stand with the Somali government." But America's apparent ambivalent stance toward Somalia, which is one of the countries on Trump's travel-ban list, makes it difficult to see these words as anything but a formulaic response.

U.S. says it “will continue to stand with the Somali government.”
Remember Somalia is on Trump’s travel ban list. https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/10/274803.htm

Meanwhile, the U.S. military remains quite active in Somalia, conducting drone strikes against Al-Shabab and advising the Somali military. A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in Somalia in May while on a mission advising Somali National Army forces.

Saturday's attack, which occurred just two days after the head of the United States Africa Command was in Mogadishu to visit Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, could potentially spark the U.S. to increase its military presence in the country.

Should the president comment on a terror attack reportedly conducted by a group that U.S. troops are currently risking their lives to help combat? It could be argued that he should. But the man currently inhabiting the White House apparently doesn't agree. Instead, Trump used his weekend tweeting time to attack the press and Democrats, and to brag about the supposed progress the U.S. economy has made since he entered the White House.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

.@ICRC under attack in #Mogadishu http://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/press-release/ifrc-somali-red-crescent-soci ety-mourn-volunteers-killed-yesterdays-blast-mogadishu/ & #Kabul http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/red-cross-drastically-reduces-pr esence-afghanistan-171009113546225.html
Anglo-Zionist bombings?

Link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xwq01q1ZBGw

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
http://media.ifrc.org/ifrc/press-release/ifrc-somali-red-crescent-soci ety-mourn-volunteers-killed-yesterdays-blast-mogadishu/
IFRC and Somali Red Crescent Society mourn volunteers killed in yesterday’s blast in Mogadishu
IFRC and Somali Red Crescent Society mourn volunteers killed in yesterday’s blast in Mogadishu
Mogadishu/Geneva, 15 October 2017 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Somali Red Crescent Society are mourning the deaths of five Red Crescent volunteers, killed in a large explosion in Mogadishu yesterday.

Several other volunteers and staff of the Somali Red Crescent Society have been injured and are currently receiving treatment at a hospital. The number of casualties may rise as some volunteers are still missing. SRCS First Action Teams responded immediately, providing first aid and transferring the wounded to nearby hospitals.

IFRC extends its deepest condolences to the Somali Red Crescent Society and to the families of the volunteers killed and injured. Humanitarian volunteers and staff must be protected. They are not a target.
Related content
Media contacts
In Nairobi:
Euloge Ishimwe
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William Babumba
+254 732 555 059
william.babumba@ifrc.org

In Geneva
Matthew Cochrane
+41 79 251 80 39
matthew.cochrane@ifrc.org

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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackwater in Somalia?
Reuters reports a spokesperson from the Islamist Al-Shabaab group in Somalia claiming that the US mercenary group Blackwater/Xe Services is in Somalia, is recruiting and is planning a series of spectacular terrorist attacks against civilians to discredit his movement in Mogadishu.
http://www.pravdareport.com/hotspots/conflicts/13-01-2010/111632-black water-0/#comments

The spokesperson is Sheikh Ali Mohammed Rage of the Al-Shabaab group (The Youth), an Islamist faction fighting government forces in southern and central Somalia. In an interview with Reuters, he claimed that mercenaries from Blackwater (now called Xe Services) have started planning bomb plots in Mogadishu to discredit Al-Shabaab.

“US agencies are going to launch suicide bombings in public places in Mogadishu. They have tried it in Algeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan”. He added that the target will be the market of Bakara. The source apparently warned a meeting of tribal elders that Xe Services (formerly Blackwater) has entered Somalia and has already started recruiting operationals to carry out its attacks.

Blackwater massacres

5 mercenaries from Blackwater were accused of murdering 17 Iraqi civilians in a massacre in Nisour Square, Baghdad in September 2007. The decision by US Federal judge Ricardo Urbina this month to set the accused free on the grounds that their constitutional rights had been violated (a former agreement by the Bush regime with the Iraqi Government, since revoked, had exempted US security personnel from prosecution) has caused outrage in Iraq, where Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki answered the news by claiming that Baghdad “rejects the decision by the US court to absolve the firm from the crime of murdering several citizens”. Labelling the decision as “unacceptable and unfair”, the Iraqi Government has stated that it will aid the families of the victims to bring other actions in US courts.

The five mercenaries were accused of 17 counts of murder, 20 counts of attempted murder and one count of violation of arms carrying laws. A sixth mercenary had pleaded guilty and had agreed to cooperate with the authorities.

In Afghanistan, 2 mercenaries employed by Blackwater have been formally accused of the murder of two Afghan civilians in 2009 in Kabul. Justin Cannon (27) from Texas and Christopher Drotleff, from Virginia are accused of 13 counts, including homicide, for which they could be sentenced to death.

UN Human Rights experts demand justice

Human Rights experts from the UNO have requested that the United States of America bring the Blackwater mercenaries accused of the Baghdad massacre to justice, claiming that Baghdad and Washington should work together to solve the question.

Shaista Shameen, Chair of the independent group of experts in human rights from the UNO declared “We respect the independence of the US Justice system and its requirements for due process but we are concerned that the recent decision to reject the case against the Blackwater guards will lead to a situation in which nobody is held responsible for the serious human rights violations”.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY

PRAVDA.Ru
http://www.pravdareport.com/hotspots/conflicts/13-01-2010/111632-black water-0/

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How very neat and tidy
The man who warned of Blackwater blowing up Mogadishu is dead


Al Shabaab confirm its spokesman Ali Dheere dead, Kenya Defense Forces May Have Killed Al-Shabaab Spokesman, Ali Dheere
http://terrorfreesomalia.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/kenya-defense-forces-m ay-have-killed-al.html

It Is Official,spokesman of Al-Shabaab Ali Dheere Bites the Dust (Hammertime)
BREAKING: Al Shabaab confirm its spokesman Ali Dheere dead, according to this Somali website

Coordinated airstrikes, commando operations and joint task force
raids led by Kenya Army in Somalia have led to the killing of 37 Al-Shabaab terror group commanders.

In one of the raids, an airstrike launched by the Kenya air force, the overall leader of Al-Shabaab, Muktar Abdirahman Godane (Muktar Robow) escaped two minutes before the first bomb destroyed a camp in Birta Dheere area of Somalia.

The airstrike killed more than 30 Al-Shabaab leaders who had assembled for a strategic meeting on leadership and militant deployment.

Others sustained serious injuries and later succumbed to those injuries.

One of the top commanders killed in the airstrike was Ali Rage also known as Ali Dheere.

Another of the senior commanders killed was a Kenyan from Garissa known only as Gamadhere.

Others killed in the airstrike are Zakur Bin Khalid, an experienced militant, Abdi Malik and Ubeyda.

All three are of Arab origin.

Another commander killed by the Kenyan forces was Abdirahman Halane, a man of Somali origin who coordinated the militant activities in Birta Dheere.

Two commanders of British origin besides four others of different nationalities were killed in the attack.

Intelligence gathered by, ASWJ in Gedo, Kenyan intelligence and its military intelligence wing facilitated the attack.

Kenya military ranks as 46th in the world as most powerful and disciplined.

Intelligence reports from Strategic Intelligence Resources in Somalia hint Kenya Defense Forces have killed Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Dheeere.If Al-Dheere is dead, then this is worst and most lethal blow to the Al-Shabaab leadership.

He was not only their spokesperson, but a key player in the command chain of the militants.

Kenya Defense Forces have been carrying out preemptive airstrikes and commando raids in Somalia targeting Al-Shabaab bases and leadership.
The killing of Al-Dheere is the most lethal blow to Al-Shabaab leadership.It shows Kenya forces can anytime infiltrate and kill the top leadership of the militant-terror group that has destabilized Somalia.

In the past two months, Kenya Defense Forces have successfully destroyed bases, killed hundreds of militants, and pushed the terror network out of its key forward bases.

Ali Dheere has been on the wanted list of terror operatives.


TonyGosling wrote:
Blackwater in Somalia?
Reuters reports a spokesperson from the Islamist Al-Shabaab group in Somalia claiming that the US mercenary group Blackwater/Xe Services is in Somalia, is recruiting and is planning a series of spectacular terrorist attacks against civilians to discredit his movement in Mogadishu.
http://www.pravdareport.com/hotspots/conflicts/13-01-2010/111632-black water-0/#comments

The spokesperson is Sheikh Ali Mohammed Rage of the Al-Shabaab group (The Youth), an Islamist faction fighting government forces in southern and central Somalia. In an interview with Reuters, he claimed that mercenaries from Blackwater (now called Xe Services) have started planning bomb plots in Mogadishu to discredit Al-Shabaab.

“US agencies are going to launch suicide bombings in public places in Mogadishu. They have tried it in Algeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan”. He added that the target will be the market of Bakara. The source apparently warned a meeting of tribal elders that Xe Services (formerly Blackwater) has entered Somalia and has already started recruiting operationals to carry out its attacks.

Blackwater massacres

5 mercenaries from Blackwater were accused of murdering 17 Iraqi civilians in a massacre in Nisour Square, Baghdad in September 2007. The decision by US Federal judge Ricardo Urbina this month to set the accused free on the grounds that their constitutional rights had been violated (a former agreement by the Bush regime with the Iraqi Government, since revoked, had exempted US security personnel from prosecution) has caused outrage in Iraq, where Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki answered the news by claiming that Baghdad “rejects the decision by the US court to absolve the firm from the crime of murdering several citizens”. Labelling the decision as “unacceptable and unfair”, the Iraqi Government has stated that it will aid the families of the victims to bring other actions in US courts.

The five mercenaries were accused of 17 counts of murder, 20 counts of attempted murder and one count of violation of arms carrying laws. A sixth mercenary had pleaded guilty and had agreed to cooperate with the authorities.

In Afghanistan, 2 mercenaries employed by Blackwater have been formally accused of the murder of two Afghan civilians in 2009 in Kabul. Justin Cannon (27) from Texas and Christopher Drotleff, from Virginia are accused of 13 counts, including homicide, for which they could be sentenced to death.

UN Human Rights experts demand justice

Human Rights experts from the UNO have requested that the United States of America bring the Blackwater mercenaries accused of the Baghdad massacre to justice, claiming that Baghdad and Washington should work together to solve the question.

Shaista Shameen, Chair of the independent group of experts in human rights from the UNO declared “We respect the independence of the US Justice system and its requirements for due process but we are concerned that the recent decision to reject the case against the Blackwater guards will lead to a situation in which nobody is held responsible for the serious human rights violations”.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY

PRAVDA.Ru
http://www.pravdareport.com/hotspots/conflicts/13-01-2010/111632-black water-0/

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackwater founder's FSG signs security deal with Somali region
George Obulutsa
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-myanmar-rohingya-repatriation-exclus i/exclusive-returning-rohingya-may-lose-land-crops-under-myanmar-plans -idUSKBN1CR0AS

NAIROBI, June 22(Reuters) - Frontier Services Group (FSG) , co-founded by Erik Prince who created the U.S. security firm Blackwater, said on Thursday it would provide logistics, aviation and security services for a regional development project in Somalia.

Hong Kong-listed FSG said the deal was signed with the Free Zone Investment Authority of the South West State of Somalia, one of the federal regions set up under efforts in the Horn of Africa nation to rebuild its political structures and economy.

The president of the South West State region, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, said in a statement that the project was part of the region’s move to attract local and foreign investors.

Some investment has started returning to Somalia as it recovers from two decades of conflict, but much has come from Somali expatriates and most has focused on Mogadishu. Some Turkish and other foreign firms are among the new investors.

“The project will include an integrated solution of air-land-sea logistics capabilities and advanced security management,” FSG said in a statement about the deal.

South West State’s plans include building a seaport, airport, residential areas and setting up agricultural zones, FSG said in its statement.

“We have brought together strong international business leaders to team-up with talented Somali entrepreneurs to make development in South West Somalia a reality,” the regional president said, according to the FSG statement.

He did not give details about costs or timelines.

The Free Zone Authority’s website offered no further information. The regional president’s office could not be reached for comment.

Many rural areas and small settlements in South West State, which lies south of Mogadishu, are controlled by al Shabaab, an al Qaeda-linked group which regularly launches attacks in its bid to oust the nation’s Western-backed, federal government.

The Lower Shabelle region, which also lies in South West state, has also suffered clashes between two big, rival clans.

Prince, a former U.S. Navy Seal who is FSG’s executive chairman, founded U.S. military contractor Blackwater which drew international criticism for its actions in Iraq. He later sold Blackwater, which then changed its name. (Additional reporting by Feisal Omar in Mogadishu; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al-Shabaab-CIA Connection
Title: Blackwater/Xe Mercs Arrive In Somalia, Al-Shabab Says
Date: January 12, 2010
https://sites.google.com/site/trutherswitzerland/AL-SHABAAB-TERROR/Al- Shabaab-CIA-Connection

Abstract: At least 18 people have been killed in clashes between rival factions in southern and central Somalia, and there are reports that Blackwater/Xe mercenaries have entered the country.

A battle broke out between the pro-government Ahlu Sunnah militia and Hizbul Islam fighters in the town of Baladwayne on Sunday and went well into Monday, during which at least 13 people lost their lives, witnesses said.

In addition, five people were killed when Hizbul Islam fighters engaged Al-Shabab fighters in the town of Dhobley near the Kenyan border, Reuters reported.

There are also allegations of US-sponsored bomb plots in the capital.

The bombings will be carried out in order to create a pretext to launch a campaign against Al-Shabab, a spokesman of the group, Sheikh Ali Mohammed Rage, told Reuters.

"We have discovered that US agencies are going to launch suicide bombings in public places in Mogadishu," he told reporters. "They have tried it in Algeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan… We warn of these disasters. They want to target Bakara Market and mosques, then use that to malign us."

At a meeting with tribal elders in Mogadishu on Monday, the Al-Shabab spokesman said that mercenaries of the Xe private security firm — formerly known as Blackwater — have arrived in the Somali capital, the Press TV correspondent in Mogadishu reported on Monday.

Blackwater/Xe mercenaries plan to carry out bombings in Mogadishu in order to accuse Al-Shabab of being the culprits in the attacks, the Al-Shabab spokesman added.

He went on to say that the Blackwater/Xe mercenaries have already recruited many lackeys to help them carry out bombings targeting prominent individuals and innocent civilians.

The Al-Shabab spokesman also told the tribal elders that a system based on Islam should be established in Somalia (Press TV, 2010).

Title: Somali 'Cleric Spying For CIA' Is Killed By Al-Shabab
Date: January 31, 2011
Source: BBC

Abstract: A Somali man accused of spying for the CIA has been killed by firing squad in the capital, Mogadishu.
Ahmed Ali Hussein, 44, was also accused of belonging to a sect opposed to Islamist group al-Shabab, which runs much of southern and central Somalia.

An al-Shabab judge said Mr Hussein had admitted helping the US for the past 16 months.

Correspondents say those who criticise al-Shabab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, are often accused of spying and killed.

Meanwhile, at least six people have been killed in fighting in Mogadishu between pro-government forces loyal to different commanders.

Journalist Mohamed Sheikh Nor says Mr Hussein was chained and riddled with bullets as hundreds of people were forced to watch the execution.

Al-Shabab said Mr Hussein was a cleric with the Ictizam sect which opposes al-Shabab policies but the group did not confirm this.

Judge Sheikh Omar said Mr Hussein had admitted helping the CIA find information about those behind the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, which killed 224 people.

US officials have long accused al-Shabab of links to those behind the twin attacks.

Last week, Tanzanian Ahmed Ghailani, 36, was sentenced to life for conspiracy over the bombings.

Somalia has not had a functioning national government for 20 years - al-Shabab is battling the UN-backed administration for control of Mogadishu (BBC, 2011).

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NOTORIOUS MERCENARY AND $$ DONOR ERIK PRINCE IS ADVISING TRUMP FROM THE SHADOWS
Jeremy Scahill
January 17 2017, 8:42 p.m.
https://theintercept.com/2017/01/17/notorious-mercenary-erik-prince-is -advising-trump-from-the-shadows

ERIK PRINCE, AMERICA’S most notorious mercenary, is lurking in the shadows of the incoming Trump administration. A former senior U.S. official who has advised the Trump transition told The Intercept that Prince has been advising the team on matters related to intelligence and defense, including weighing in on candidates for the Defense and State departments. The official asked not to be identified because of a transition policy prohibiting discussion of confidential deliberations.

On election night, Prince’s latest wife, Stacy DeLuke, posted pictures from inside Trump’s campaign headquarters as Donald Trump and Mike Pence watched the returns come in, including a close shot of Pence and Trump with their families. “We know some people who worked closely with [Trump] on his campaign,” DeLuke wrote. “Waiting for the numbers to come in last night. It was well worth the wait!!!! #PresidentTrump2016.” Prince’s sister, billionaire Betsy DeVos, is Trump’s nominee for education secretary and Prince (and his mother) gave large sums of money to a Trump Super PAC.

In July, Prince told Trump’s senior adviser and white supremacist Steve Bannon, at the time head of Breitbart News, that the Trump administration should recreate a version of the Phoenix Program, the CIA assassination ring that operated during the Vietnam War, to fight ISIS. Such a program, Prince said, could kill or capture “the funders of Islamic terror and that would even be the wealthy radical Islamist billionaires funding it from the Middle East, and any of the other illicit activities they’re in.”

Prince also said that Trump would be the best force to confront “Islamic fascism.” “As for the world looking to the United States for leadership, unfortunately, I think they’re going to have to wait till January and hope Mr. Trump is elected because, clearly, our generals don’t have a stomach for a fight,” Prince said. “Our president doesn’t have a stomach for a fight and the terrorists, the fascists, are winning.”

Prince founded the notorious private security firm Blackwater, which rose to infamy in September 2007 after its operatives gunned down 17 Iraqi civilians, including a 9-year-old boy in Baghdad’s Nisour Square. Whistleblowers also alleged that Prince encouraged an environment in which Iraqis were killed for sport. At the height of the Blackwater scandals in 2007, another prominent Trump backer, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, praised Prince, who once worked in his congressional office. “Prince,’’ Rohrabacher said, “is on his way to being an American hero just like Ollie North was.’’

Ultimately, Prince sold Blackwater and now heads up a Hong Kong-based company known as Frontier Services Group. The Intercept has previously reported on Prince’s efforts to build a private air force for hire and his close ties to Chinese intelligence. One of his latest schemes is a proposal to deploy private contractors to work with Libyan security forces to stop the flow of refugees to Europe.

Prince has long fantasized that he is the rightful heir to the legacy of “Wild Bill” Donovan and his Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA. After 9/11, Prince worked with the CIA on a secret assassination program, in addition to offering former SEALs and other retired special operators to the State Department and other agencies for personal security.

Blaming leftists and some congressional Democrats for destroying his Blackwater empire, Prince clearly views Trump’s vow to bring back torture, CIA-sponsored kidnapping, and enhanced interrogations, as well as his commitment to fill Guantánamo with prisoners, as a golden opportunity to ascend to his rightful place as a covert private warrior for the U.S. national security state. As we reported last year, “Prince — who portrays himself as a mix between Indiana Jones, Rambo, Captain America, and Pope Benedict — is now working with the Chinese government through his latest ‘private security’ firm.” The Trump presidency could result in Prince working for both Beijing and the White House.

The Blackwater founder has also endorsed some of Trump’s overtures to Russia, saying: “Think about it: If FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, can deal with Stalin to defeat German fascism in World War II, certainly the United States of America could work with Putin to defeat Islamic fascism. We don’t have to agree with the Russians on everything, or even on a lot, but we can at least agree that crushing ISIS in the Middle East is a very good idea.” Prince described Democrats as “anti-Catholic, anti-Evangelical,” saying the DNC hacks and leaks revealed “the disregard, the disdain they have for the average American voter and citizen.”

Prince has a close relationship with Breitbart News and Steve Bannon, Trump’s senior counselor and chief strategist. Prince has appeared frequently — and almost exclusively — on Breitbart Radio. In August, Prince offered praise for Trump’s candidacy, telling Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos: “I even like some of his projects that have gone bankrupt, because people that do things, and build things, and try things, sometimes fail at doing it, and that’s the strength of the American capitalist system.” Prince added: “We have kind of turned our back on the fact that hard work, sacrifice, risk-taking, innovation, is what made America great. Washington did not make America great.”

In September, Prince backed Trump’s proposal to commandeer Iraq’s 2 million barrels of daily oil output. “For Mr. Trump to say, ‘We’re going to take their oil — certainly we’re not going to lift it out of there and take it somewhere else, but putting it into production, and putting a tolling arrangement into place, to repay the American taxpayers for their efforts to remove Saddam and to stabilize the area, is doable, and very plausible,” Prince said on Breitbart Radio.

Prince’s sister, Betsy DeVos, is Trump’s nominee for education secretary and she has all but vowed to embark on a crusade to push a privatization and religious agenda in education that mirrors her brother’s in military and CIA affairs. Prince has long been a contributor to the campaign of fellow Christian warrior Mike Pence, and he contributed $100,000 to the pro-Trump Super PAC Make America Number 1. Prince’s mother, Elsa, pitched in another $50,000. That organization, run by Rebekah Mercer, daughter of billionaire hedge funder Robert Mercer, was one of the strongest bankrollers of Trump’s campaign.

According to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, in December Prince attended the annual “Villains and Heroes” costume ball hosted by Mercer. Dowd wrote that Palantir founder Peter Thiel showed her “a picture on his phone of him posing with Erik Prince, who founded the private military company Blackwater, and Mr. Trump — who had no costume — but joke[d] that it was ‘N.S.F.I.’ (Not Safe for the Internet).”

Not even Trump is brazen enough to give Prince a public post in his administration. But Prince is operating in the shadows, where he has always been most at home.

Top Photo: Erik Prince listens during an interview in Washington on Jan. 31, 2014.

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CONTACT THE AUTHOR:
Jeremy Scahill
jeremy.scahill@​theintercept.com
@jeremyscahill

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