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Unsealed FBI Affidavit Provides More Gruesome Details in Blackwater Guard Killings in Iraq

By Allan Lengel
Ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – An FBI affidavit unsealed Monday provides a few new details of gruesome allegations against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards charged in the 2007  shootings in Baghdad that left at least 14 Iraqi civilians dead and 20 wounded.
Washington FBI agent John M. Patarini , in a 3-page affidavit, wrote that witnesses reported that a convoy of four “heavily armored Blackwater vehicles entered the Nisur Square traffic circle just outside the International Zone in western Baghdad around noon on Sept. 16, 2007 and positioned their vehicles in a manner to stop the flow of civilian traffic from all directions.” The four vehicles were occupied by a total of 19 Blackwater Independent contractors.
While at the circle, according to witnesses, “one or more of the turret gunners in the Blackwater vehicles opened fire into a small white Kia sedan that had approached the intersection from the south, fatally wounding the driver,” the affidavit said.
“Heavy machine gunfire continued from the Blackwater convoy directed at the white Kia Sedan and other vehicles in the traffic lanes south of the circle and eventually toward unarmed civilians attempting to run to safety.”
“The witnesses also observed the convoy fired several grenades into civilian vehicles and over the fences of a nearby middle school. The white Kia sedan burst into flames and the two occupants of the vehicles were killed,” the affidavit said.
“As the convoy departed from the intersection, the witnesses observed the Blackwater independent contractors continue to fire at pedestrians to the east of the traffic circle, and at a red bus and unarmed civilians to the west of the circle. As the convoy proceeded back to the International Zone on a road to the north of the circle, other eyewitnesses observed members o f the convoy open fire again into the rooftops, windshields, and trunks of three vehicles, wounded at least three other civilians,” the affidavit said.
The affidavit was used in the government’s case against a sixth Blackwater guard Jeremy P. Ridgeway, who has pleaded guilty.
The five  Blackwater Worldwide security guards facing trial on Tuesday entered not guilty pleas to multiple manslaughter and attempted manslaughter charges and a firearms chargeand a firearms charge before U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina  in Washington. The judge set jury selection for Jan. 29, 2010 and trial for Feb. 1.
The defendants included: former Marines Donald Ball of West Valley City, Utah; Dustin Heard of Knoxville, Tenn.; Evan Liberty of Rochester, N.H.; and Army veterans Nick Slatten of Sparta, Tenn., and Paul Slough of Keller, Texas.
The guards have contended they  were ambushed and fired in self defense after coming under attack while escorting a State Department convoy.
After the the indictment was announced in December defense attorney David Schertler was quoted in the Washington Post as saying: “We are confident that none of these five men committed any crime. We are confident that we will be able to prove that.”

The Associated Press reported that a  defense attorney in the case provided Blackwater radio logs last month, which the wire service said “raised questions about prosecutors’ claims that the guards’ shooting was unprovoked. The log transcripts describe a hectic eight minutes in which the guards repeatedly reported incoming gunfire from insurgents and Iraqi police.”


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Pingback from Blackwater’s Alleged Crusade: Eliminating Muslims and Islam from the Globe « The Islamic Workplace
Time August 8, 2009 at 10:49 pm

[…] While at the circle, according to witnesses, “one or more of the turret gunners in the Blackwater vehicles opened fire into a small white Kia sedan that had approached the intersection from the south, fatally wounding the driver,” the affidavit said. “Heavy machine gunfire continued from the Blackwater convoy directed at the white Kia Sedan and other vehicles in the traffic lanes south of the circle and eventually toward unarmed civilians attempting to run to safety.” [more] […]

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