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Friday, October 17, 2008

Somalia: Private pirate fighters? Blackwater says it's ready

Reported as Blackwater offering to protect ships from pirates near Somalia:
"We have the capability to assist" shipping companies, said Bill Mathews, Blackwater executive vice president. He and other company leaders are former Navy SEALs. Ship security "is kind of what we did for a living" before joining Blackwater, he said.

Blackwater is offering the MV MacArthur, a 183-foot vessel with a crew of 14 and a helicopter pad, as an escort for ships through the Gulf of Aden. The helicopters and MacArthur won't be armed, although workers will carry guns, Mathews said.

The company will need a State Department license to sell its services to a foreign government or business, said Anne Tyrrell, a Blackwater spokeswoman.
Blackwater offers up a press release announcement (pdf) here.

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