WASHINGTON: Blackwater, a notorious private security firm, which also had agents in Pakistan, threatened to kill a US State Department investigator for examining the company’s performance, the US media reported on Monday.
The news, reported first by The New York Times, cited an internal State Department memo, claiming that the threat was made just weeks before Blackwater guards shot and killed 17 civilians on Sept 16, 2007 in Baghdad’s Nisour Square.
US embassy officials in Baghdad, however, sided with Blackwater, forcing the State Department investigators to leave.
Four former Blackwater employees are currently on trial in a US court for the Nisour Square deaths.
The killing, seen as an example of the impunity enjoyed by private security firms on the US payroll in Iraq, exacerbated Iraqi resentment towards Americans.
The lead State Department investigator, Jean Richter, warned in the memo dated Aug. 31, 2007, that the firm had created “an environment full of liability and negligence”.