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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Iraq: Security Companies and Training Camps

by Sarah Meyer
Index Research
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This article originally published on 17/5/2006.
For Updates please see: here

Private US and UK security firms are closely allied to Mr. Bremer’s ‘Facilities Protection Service’ programme in Iraq. Newsweek (24.04.06) suggested 146,0001 belong to this ‘security’ force. The Interior Minister, Bayan Jabr, associated the FPS with the endemic ‘death squads’ operating inside the police forces, which are hastening the disintegration of Iraq2.

1. Facilities Protection Service: What is it?
2. Private Security Firms working in Iraq
3. Where is training for the FPS taking place in Iraq?
4. Appendix 1: Paul Bremer's 'order" establsihing FPS
6. Related Sites and Footnotes
7. Updates various security companies; new stories

What is the Facilities Protection Service?

The establishment of the ‘Facilities Protection Service’ was on 04.10.03, according to Paul Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 27 (see appendix one).

This document says that “The FPS may also consist of employees of private security firms3 who are engaged to perform services for the ministries or governorates through contracts, provided such private security firms and employees are licensed and authorized by the Ministry of Interior as provided in Section 7 herein.”

According to Global, “The Facilities Protection Service works for all ministries and governmental agencies, but its standards are set and enforced by the Ministry of the Interior. It can also be privately hired. The FPS is tasked with the fixed site protection of Ministerial, Governmental, or private buildings, facilities and personnel. The FPS includes Oil, Electricity Police and Port Security.

The majority of the FPS staff consists of former service members and former security guards. The FPS will now secure public facilities such as hospitals, banks, and power stations within their district. Once trained, the guards work with US military forces protecting critical sites like schools, hospitals and power plants.”

See Coalition Provisional Authority (sourcewatch).

Which private security firms are operating in Iraq?

There are about 30 known private security firms working in Iraq. These include:

Aegis PLC
Aegis is run by Lt. Col. Tim Spicer. A film recently showed Aegis members happily shooting Iraqi civilians. See the film here.

Sourcewatch information on Aegis: “Aegis Defence Services was initially awarded a $293 million contract by the Pentagon in May 2004 to act as the ‘coordination and management hub’ for the fifty-plus private security companies in Iraq. As of December, 2005, that contract was worth in excess of $430 million. They also contributed seventy-five teams of eight armed civilians each (= 600) to assist and protect the Project Management Office of the United States. They also provided protection for the Oil-for-Food Program inquiry.”

Blackwater USA.
Blackwater was the security firm hired to protect Paul Bremer in Iraq.

Sourcewatch on Blackwater. “Blackwater is one of two companies which make up The Prince Group, the other being Prince Manufacturing. … The Prince Group bought Aviation Worldwide Servies. AWS consists of STI Aviation, Inc., Air Quest, Inc., and Presidential Airways, Inc. These companies provide the logistical and air support for Blackwater operations. Blackwater itself consists of Blackwater Training Center, Blackwater Target Systems, Blackwater Security Consulting and Blackwater Canine."

Whose dogs were used at Abu Ghraib - and are now being used at some training camps? Were these dogs from Blackwater K9?

Blackwater vs. Fallujah
The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force took over Fallujah on 27.03.04. During a demonstration on the 28th, the US killed 18 Fallujah civilians. The Iraqi response to this was the murder and hanging of 4 Blackwater employees on 31.03.04. War crimes committed by the United States followed. See: Fallujah, the Hidden Nightmare (Rai/ICH)

Najaf was also affected. Sourcewatch says: “According to Russel Mokhiber and Robert Weissman, a few days after the Fallujah killings, "Blackwater Security Consulting engaged in full-scale battle in Najaf, with the company flying its own helicopters amidst an intense firefight to re-supply its own commandos. … The increased scrutiny of security firms led Blackwater to hire the Alexander Strategy Group (now involved in three “K Street” scandals) for crisis management, public and media relations.”

For a shady story that gets progressively darker, see IRAQ: Blood is Thicker Than Blackwater

Erinys Iraq Ltd.
According to Global Security, “Erinys Iraq Ltd is the private security company hired to protect Iraq’s oil pipelines under a US$40 million contract awarded in August 2003. Erinys Iraq is an affiliate of Erinys International formed in 2001, landed the Iraq contract to supply and train 6,500 armed guards charged with protecting 140 Iraqi oil wells, 7,000 kilometers of pipelines and refineries, as well as power plants and the water supply for the Iraqi Ministry of Oil. A majority of Erinys’ workforce (15,000 Iraqi and 350 international staff) in Iraq are Kurdish peshmerga.”

Sourcewatch information on Erinys. “Erinys Iraq Ltd, which won an $80 million contract last August from the Coalition Provisional Authority to provide security for the oil infrastructure in Iraq, has had some powerful alliances in Iraq.

Erinys set up a Joint Venture with Nour USA Ltd.. Nour's founder is Abul Huda Farouki, a wealthy Jordanian-American who lives in northern Virginia and whose companies have done extensive construction work for the Pentagon.

Farouki's businesses established $12 million of loans from the Petra International Banking Corporation in the 1980s, which was managed at the time by Ahmed Chalabi’s nephew, Mohammed Chalabi. The Jordanian government says this was part of a massive embezzlement scheme involving Chalabi4 and a bank he owned in Jordan.

A founding partner and the director of Erinys Iraq is Faisal Dhaghistani. Faisal is the son of Tamara Daghistani, who played a large role in the development of Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress.

The firm's counsel in Baghdad has been Chalabi's nephew, Salem Chalabi.

Many among the 14,000 guards recruited by Erinys to protect the oil infrastructure came directly from the Iraqi Free Forces, a militia that had been loyal to Chalabi's movement.”

Following is an up-to-date State Department list 5 of 27 further known security firms working in Iraq:

AD Consultancy (which firm?) (UK)
AKE Ltd (UK)
ARMOR GROUP (in Mosul, Baghdad, Basra) (UK)
CUSTER BATTLES (now being investigated) (US)
GENRIC (outside Basra) (UK)
GLOBAL MIDDLE EAST RISK STRATEGIES (originally a firm based in UK, known as Global Risk Strategies) (Dubai,UAE)
ICP (employees are only either former British and US Special Forces or Elite Forces personnel. (UK)
ISI (Baghdad Conference Palace: (“the only security company to provide 24 hour Iraqi security guards to the CPA "Green Zone". All guards are trained by the U.S. army … ISI's senior management includes experienced military personnel mostly ex-special forces from both the US and UK.”) (IRAQ)
RAMOPS RISK MANAGEMENT GROUP (comprised of US special operations and military intelligence professionals.) (US)
TOR INTERNATIONAL (former SAS and Special Forces staff) (UK)
TRIPLE CANOPY (more than 20 years in the most elite military Special Operations units) (US)
UNITY RESOURCES GROUP (Middle East) LLC. (security professionals drawn from the Special Forces and Police SWAT communities of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. (Dubai, UAE)

Where is training for the Facilities Protection Service ("death squads"?) taking place?

Basra Palace (UK)

“19/5 Battery: “Maj. A. J. Layden is responsible for the Facilities Protection Service (FPS). The Battery oversees a wide range of activities; from working with the border guards away to the east of Basra, to running training courses for the FPS. Sgt Duncan’s multiple (sic) is one that has been tasked with this FPS training task. He and his team have already run four five-day courses which include foot drill, weapon handling, basic first aid and vehicle check point drills. The aim throughout each course is to raise confidence amongst the men of the FPS in basic standards and encourage good practice. At the end of each course, the top students have been selected to receive further instruction to educate them how to lead future courses. Sgt Duncan and his team are now reaping the rewards of their hard work with Iraqi FPS staff leading the most recent course under their guidance. “ (There is no date on this communication.)

Baghdad, Al Rashid district

Col. Jon Brockman said (21.01.04) “that those achievements include recruiting, training, equipping and employing 2,900 Iraqis as Facility Protection Services guards.”

MEK Compound / FOB Mercury / Camp Mercury

A photo tour of Camp Mercury can be seen here. The photo of the prisoner compound has been deleted.

Global Security says: “Forward Operating Base [FOB] Mercury is an abandoned Iraqi military base and a former Iranian terrorist training camp, located midway between Baghdad and Fallujah.”

“TF 1-504 operates out of FOB Mercury. They are responsible for several towns west of Baghdad, including the external security of the largest prison and detention facility in Iraq. TF 1-504 recently started training Iraqi Facility Protection Service guards. This is a program to train and equip Iraqis so they can begin guarding their own critical facilities, such as police stations, food warehouses, oil storage depots, etc. … A class of twenty-five Iraqis completed the Facilities Protection Force (FPS) program 11 October 2003 at Forward Operating Base Mercury. The group of students is the first to participate in the three-day course. Upon their graduation, they became an integral part of the Iraq rehabilitation process. …”

“There have been allegations made that between 2003-2004 at Camp Mercury U.S. military personnel engaged in routine and widespread physical punishment towards Iraqi detainees. It is alleged that enlisted men conducted beatings of prisoners prior to questioning, forced strenuous exercises to the point of unconsciousness and exposed detainees to extremes of heat and cold. These alleged methods were employed to produce greater cooperation with interrogators some of whom were apparently members of the CIA. As of September 2005 the U.S. Army was conducting an investigation on what exactly happened at Camp Mercury. Some military personnel also claim that these actions were also used as a form of stress relief from the war.”

An Najaf

An Najaf area: "two hundred one facility protection service guards graduated from security training on 03 July 2003. Sixty-seven guards will work at oil and gas facilities and 134 will work at hospitals." On 29.08.03, the mosque in Najaf was bombed.

The 11th MEU commander declared Nov. 30 (04) that Iraqi security forces have formally assumed local control of An Najaf province. Col. Anthony Haslam said, "In the past three months, they have demonstrated their ability to keep this province and its citizens safe and secure." As of 09.12.05, The Iraqi army had the primary responsibility for security in Najaf and Karbala, but full control had not yet been handed over.

06.14.06. Car bombing. 10 people killed near Shi’ite Muslim shrine.

Further Najaf security matters can be seen here.


There is no further detailed information about where the FPS members are being trained. There is, however, further information about Training Camps for Iraqis. For example, see the description of Camp David, where Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), emergency response, and dignitary protection, similar to functions carried out by the U.S. Secret service, take place. Black masks are ‘de rigour’ (see photo). These camps will be detailed in my research on US bases in North/South/East/West Iraq.



… The FPS is an organization of trained, armed, uniformed entities charged with providing security for ministry and governorate offices, government infrastructure, and fixed sites under the direction and control of governmental ministries and governorate administrations.

Section 2: Organization of the FPS

1) Governmental employees employed by the ministries or governorates are eligible to serve in the FPS. The FPS may also consist of employees of private security firms who are engaged to perform services for the ministries or governorates through contracts, provided such private security firms and employees are licensed and authorized by the Ministry of Interior as provided in Section 7 herein. Persons who have participated in Ba`ath Party activity within the leadership tiers described in CPA Order Number 1, De-Ba`athification of Iraqi Society (CPA/ORD/16 May 2003/01) may not serve in the FPS in any capacity except by the express grant of an exception by the Coalition Provisional Authority.

2) Ministers and heads of governorate administrations shall determine the need for FPS members at locations under their supervision. Each ministry or governorate administration is responsible for ensuring the FPS branch under its supervision is sufficient to protect key sites for which it is responsible, with the additional support of police or other forces in times of emergency.

3) Ministries and governorate administrations are responsible for the funding of FPS members assigned to their agency. Ministries and governorate administrations are responsible for the supervision and control of the FPS force assigned to their governmental agency, consistent with the standards and regulations established by the Ministry of Interior.

4) Governorates will establish Regional Operations Centers to coordinate the operations of FPS guards and to ensure their proper integration with police and other emergency services.

5) The Ministry of Interior will establish standards and training for the FPS including standards and training for private security firms performing FPS duties pursuant to contracts.

Pursuant to this Order, the Ministry of Interior will issue FPS
Administrative Instructions defining the standards for dress, training, certification, and deportment. All members of the FPS whether contracted or employed directly by the governmental agency are required to comply with the Administrative Instructions issued by the Ministry of Interior.

6) FPS organizations may be known by different names including, for example "Electricity Police," "Diplomatic Protective Services," or "Oil Police" but each will have only the specific powers and authorities granted in this Order.

7) Members of the FPS may not participate in any manner in organizations or activities that advocate racial, gender or ethnic hatred or intolerance; advocate, create, or engage in illegal discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, or regional origin; or use, or advocate the use of, force or violence or other unlawful means to achieve internal political goals. Violations may result in the removal of the member from employment in the FPS or the withdrawal of the authorization for the member to perform FPS responsibilities as a member of a private security firm.

Section 3: Authority of the FPS

1) Members of the FPS may, while performing their official duties, apprehend persons who (i) they witness committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense, (ii) have escaped after being lawfully arrested, or (iii) otherwise interfere with their lawful activities. Persons apprehended by the FPS must be turned over to the Iraqi police or Coalition Forces within twelve hours of apprehension or be released.

2) Members of the FPS may, while performing their official duties, conduct reasonable searches for weapons or other dangerous or prohibited items of persons entering or within the governmental property or offices they are securing, criminal suspects in their custody, or vehicles entering or within the governmental property or offices they are securing.

3) Members of the FPS may, while performing official duties, use force against persons or things as is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances. However, the use of force that may be likely to cause death or serious bodily injury is not permitted unless the member reasonably believes that using such force is necessary to: (i) protect himself or others from the imminent use of deadly force or force likely to cause serious bodily injury, (ii) prevent the escape of a person suspected of committing murder or assault resulting in serious bodily injury, or (iii) defend ministry or governorate offices, government or state-owned infrastructure, and fixed sites under the direction and control of governmental ministries and governorate administrations, to prevent their destruction or incapacitation.

Section 4: Jurisdiction

1) Members of the FPS will be subject to Iraqi law at all times, and the courts of Iraq shall have jurisdiction over offenses alleged to have been committed by members of the FPS. The Administrator of the CPA may determine that offenses alleged to have been committed by members of the FPS while on duty may be submitted to the Central Criminal Court of Iraq in accordance with CPA Order Number 13 (Revised), The Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CPA/ORD/13 July 2003/13).

2) Members of the FPS shall enjoy immunity from civil liability for acts or omissions arising within the scope of their duties and in the conduct of authorized operations to the same degree as other governmental officials under the law of Iraq.

Section 5: Weapons
The possession of weapons by members of the FPS is regulated by CPA Order Number 3, Weapons Control Order (CPA/ORD/23 May 2003/03).

CPA/ORD/4 September 2003 / 27


The UK was criticized for starting the Basra turmoil in 10.05. Two SAS, part of a 24-member team, were discovered with explosives in the back of their car. They were dressed in Arab clothing. See Basra Shadowlands.

“Majid al-Sari, an adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, describing the situation in Basra to the daily al-Zaman, said that on average one person (in Basra) was being assassinated every hour … The governor of Basra, Mohammed Misbahal-Wa'ili, is trying to sack the city's police chief, claiming that the police have not carried out a single investigation into hundreds of recent assassinations,” according to Patrick Cockburn (17.05.06) in The Independent

On March, 06, a security contractor in Tikrit was arrested with a “Do It Yourself Car Bomb Kit” in his BMW. What was he going to blow up? Was this going to be a “suicide bombing?” How many ‘suicide bombings’ are actually caused by ‘security’ mercenaries, ordered to do so by the US/UK government?

Headline (05.06). “Baghdad: American security contractors shot dead an Iraqi ambulance crewman on Tuesday when they opened fire on his vehicle after a roadside bomb blasted their convoy.” Which security firm did this? According to the Geneva Convention, it is a war crime to kill ambulance crew members.

Hospitals, as well as ambulances, have been bombed (also against the Geneva Convention). The excuse given is that they ‘harbour terrorists.’

Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt defended raiding al Tabul mosque in 01.04 because, he said, “Iraqi citizens had identified it as a hub of insurgency operations.” One has to extend this excuse, and ask, ‘Are mosques also bombed by security forces because they ‘harbour terrorists?’ Such charges have been made.

The Khadamiya shrine, according to Newsweek (24.04.06) is guarded by the FPS. “Not one ministry contacted by Newsweek would accept overall responsibility for the FPS.” If Bremer created the FPS, then isn’t the coalition responsible for the FPS?

No prosecution? Bremer’s Order 27 exempts security contractors as well as the Facilities Protection Service: “Members of the FPS shall enjoy immunity from civil liability for acts or omissions arising within the scope of their duties.”

How many Security (sic) people are there in total? How many of these belong now, or have belonged in the past, to the Special Forces / SAS? How many of these have put Car Bomb Kits in the back of their car? How many have carried out assassinations? How many ‘Kill For Fun’ (like Aegis)?

Are any of these ‘security’ people responsible for the 190 academic and 225 health worker assassinations? See for details of these assassinations.

Is the increase in number of security companies / FPS directly related to / causing the increase of violence in Iraq?

Related Sites:

Negroponte supports FPS.

Wolfovitz supports FPS.

Rumsfeld (22.10.03) supports the FPS.

President Bush, in a 07.09.03 speech in which he talks about an Iraq “free of assassins, and torturers, and secret police,” supports the FPS.

The most important articles, with excellent links, are by Max Fuller:
For Iraq, “The Salvador Option” Becomes Reality
Crying Wolf: Media Disinformation and Death Squads in Occupied Iraq.

Video with annotated scene selection and selected links: Crying Wolf: Who is behind the death squads in Iraq?

And, additionally, articles by William Bowles:
Private Military Contractors – A $300 Billion Dollar Business (18.05.03)

Corporate Media Discovers Private Military Contractors (29.03.04)

The Curious Case of Tim Spicer (18.08.04), Tony Blair's Pet Bulldog


[1] Throughout this article you will notice a variation of given numbers, dependent on the source. However, these numbers are not unbearably far apart.
[2] The jumping off point for this research was E. Knickmeyer's Washington Post story Iraq Nears Consolidation of Paramilitary Unit (11.05.06) and Iraq Begins to Rein In Paramilitary Force (14.05.06)
[3] All italics in this article are the author's.
[4] Chalabi was one of the 1998 PNAC signatories to a letter to President Clinton, calling for regime change in Iraq.
[5] The Embassy of the United States – Iraq also has a website for Security Companies in Iraq, with websites, emails, details.


Please see: Security Company Death Squads Timeline by Dirk Adriaensens and Sarah Meyer (25.09.07) .

US investigators unable to account for $1.2B in Iraqi police training funds
23.10.07. Jurist. The US State Department cannot account for most of the $1.2 billion that it paid to a private contractor hired to train Iraqi police forces, according to an interim review report [PDF text; US State Department press briefing] from the US Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) [official website] released Tuesday. DynCorp International [corporate website] was contracted by the Department of State's Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) [official website] in February 2004 to provide housing, security, and training support systems for the Iraqi civilian police training program.

This article originally appeared at:

The url to Iraq:Security Companies and Training Camps is:

This article originally published on 17/5/2006.

Sarah Meyer is a researcher living in Sussex, UK.

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