Private Guards Repel Attack on U.S. Headquarters
Tue Apr 6, 2004 13:49
Author's Note: This story was written for SOF Magazine (on their nickel). They
failed to publish it because of pressure from other facilities of this type.
CLICK FULL STORY:
Private Guards Repel Attack on U.S. Headquarters
By Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 6, 2004; Page A01
An attack by hundreds of Iraqi militia members on the U.S. government's
headquarters in Najaf on Sunday was repulsed not by the U.S. military, but by
eight commandos from a private security firm, according to sources familiar with
Before U.S. reinforcements could arrive, the firm, Blackwater Security
Consulting, sent in its own helicopters amid an intense firefight to resupply
its commandos with ammunition and to ferry out a wounded Marine, the sources
The role of Blackwater's commandos in Sunday's fighting in Najaf illuminates the
gray zone between their formal role as bodyguards and the realities of operating
in an active war zone. Thousands of armed private security contractors are
operating in Iraq in a wide variety of missions and exchanging fire with Iraqis
every day, according to informal after-action reports from several companies.
In Sunday's fighting, Shiite militia forces barraged the Blackwater commandos,
four MPs and a Marine gunner with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47 fire for
hours before U.S. Special Forces troops arrived. A sniper on a nearby roof
apparently wounded three men. U.S. troops faced heavy fighting in several Iraqi
cities that day.
The Blackwater commandos, most of whom are former Special Forces troops, are on
contract to provide security for the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority
(CPA) in Najaf.
With their ammunition nearly gone, a wounded and badly bleeding Marine on the
rooftop, and no reinforcement by the U.S. military in the immediate offing, the
company sent in helicopters to drop ammunition and pick up the Marine.
The identity of the Marine and two other wounded men could not be established,
but their blood was still fresh hours later, when the top U.S. commander in
Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, and spokesman Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt arrived to
survey the battle zone.
Without commenting at a news conference yesterday on the role of the Blackwater
guards, Kimmitt described what he saw after the fighting ended. "I know on a
rooftop yesterday in An Najaf, with a small group of American soldiers and
coalition soldiers . . . who had just been through about 3 1/2 hours of combat,
I looked in their eyes, there was no crisis.
"They knew what they were here for," he continued. "They'd lost three wounded.
We were sitting there among the bullet shells -- the bullet casings -- and,
frankly, the blood of their comrades, and they were absolutely confident."
During the defense of the authority headquarters, thousands of rounds were fired
and hundreds of 40mm grenades shot. Sources who asked not to be identified
because of the sensitivity of Blackwater's work in Iraq reported an unspecified
number of casualties among Iraqis.
A spokesman for Blackwater confirmed that the company has a contract to provide
security to the CPA but would not describe the incident that unfolded Sunday.
A Defense Department spokesman said that there were no military reports about
the opening hours of the siege on CPA headquarters in Najaf because there were
no military personnel on the scene. The Defense Department often does not have a
clear handle on the daily actions of security contractors because the
contractors work directly for the coalition authority, which coordinates and
communicates on a limited basis through the normal military chain of command.
The four men brutally slain Wednesday in Fallujah were also Blackwater employees
and were operating in the Sunni triangle area under more hazardous conditions --
unarmored cars with no apparent backup -- than the U.S. military or the CIA
One senior Blackwater manager has described those killings to U.S. government
officials as the result of a "high-quality" attack as skilled as one that can be
mounted by U.S. Special Forces, according to a copy of a report on the incident
obtained by The Washington Post.
The four victims of that attack, according to Blackwater spokesman Chris
Bertelli, were escorting trucks carrying either food or kitchen equipment for
Regency Hotel and Hospitality. Regency is a subcontractor to Eurest Support
Services (ESS), a division of the Compass Group, the world's largest food
ESS provides food services to more than a dozen U.S. military dining facilities
in Iraq, according to news accounts.
Blackwater, a security and training company based in Moyock, N.C., prides itself
on the high caliber of its personnel, many of whom are former U.S. Navy SEALs.
It has 450 employees in Iraq, many of them providing security to CPA employees,
including the U.S. administrator, L. Paul Bremer, and to VIPs visiting Iraq.
Blackwater has applied to occupy a former MIG air base near Baghdad as a
counterterrorism training facility for Iraqi forces. The training range will
mirror the 6,000-acre Moyock site, which is frequented by U.S. law enforcement
and military personnel.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
Aryan Nations link to Blackwater Security?
Edited on Sat Apr-03-04 11:28 AM by 9215
One of those killed in Fallujah was Michael Teague. There is also a Michael
Teague who was head of security for the White Supremacist group Aryan Nations.
Are these the same people?
If so what are the other links between these organizations?
Thursday, August 31, 2000
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Much of yesterday's testimony was by former Aryan Nations security chief Michael
Teague, also a defendant in the case. Butler, Yeager and former security guard
Edward Jesse Warfield are the other defendants.
Teague painted a picture of Aryan Nations security guards as ex-convicts, some
with drug problems, who often acted impulsively... But under examination from
Dees, Teague read from internal documents that suggested otherwise.
"Aryan Nations is a disciplined, coordinated monolithic hierarchy with all
authority emanating from leader-Pastor Richard Butler," Teague read from a
handbook approved by Butler.
Teague testified that he'd had a conflict with Warfield because he thought
Warfield used drugs and lacked the intelligence to be a security guard. But he
also admitted that he'd appointed Warfield to a security job.
After court ended, Teague walked out of the courtroom and was surrounded by an
honor guard of flag-carrying Aryans supporters. They sang a song as they
escorted him to his vehicle.
Here is the info on the slain workers:
......By Thursday night, three families had come forward to publicly acknowledge
the loss of their sons. The three men have been identified as Jerry Zovko of
Ohio, Michael Teague of Tennessee, and Scott Helvenston of Florida. Zovko and
Teague were with the Army’s airborne special forces before joining Blackwater.
Navy Veteran 1971-75 "The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with
a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists."--J. Edgar Hoover
MOYOCK, N.C. - The four civilians who were killed and dragged through the
streets of an Iraqi town Wednesday worked for a North Carolina subcontractor
that is providing security in a hostile area of Iraq (news - web sites).
Blackwater Security Consulting provides security training and guard services to
customers around the world. It is one of five subsidiaries of Blackwater USA,
based in northeastern North Carolina about a half-hour's drive from the world's
largest naval base in Norfolk, Va.
On a typical day, a Navy SEALs team practiced shooting in odd positions through
doors and windows and cadets from the U.S. Coast Guard (news - web sites)
Academy learned how to storm through doorways during a room-by-room search.
Plainclothes operatives practiced how to escape from a disabled sport-utility
vehicle while under fire from attackers
130 SOLDIERS KILLED IN IRAQ - REPORTS SKYNEWS, Wed Apr 7 00:17
Iraq on the brink of anarchy
Robert Fisk, Tue Apr 6 17:54
Oklahoma Bombing. ... Skinheads Mike Teague
RESEARCHER, Tue Apr 6 14:22
Michael Teague: killed in Fallujah Ian Demsky, Tue Apr 6 14:50
I think we have two different people with the same name. Kathryn Cramer, Tue Apr 6 15:15
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