Blackwater Plans New Mission: Fighting Pirates

The private security firm Blackwater is planning to offer a new service to make money: protection from the pirate-infested waters off the coast of East Africa. "Blackwater's push to land its first antipiracy contract is part of a strategy to build its business outside its State Department security work in Iraq, which brings in between $300 million and $400 million a year." The security company may be looking for new lucrative opportunities partly because the Iraqi government has now ratified a law stripping Blackwater contractors of immunity. Indeed, Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell noted the legal benefits of operating in the open sea: "We would be allowed to fire if fired upon; the right of self-defense is one that exists in international waters."

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