Political News

Troubled contractor gets Afghanistan security deal

Posted June 27, 2010 11:12 a.m. EDT

— CIA Director Leon Panetta says the agency has hired Xe Services – the company once known as Blackwater – for a $100 million contract to provide security in Afghanistan.

He said the  Moyock, N.C.-based company underbid others by $26 million and that a CIA review concludes that the contractor has cleaned up its act.

Panetta said Xe does not engage in actual CIA operations but instead helps secure agency bases in war zones. Seven CIA employees, including security contractors, were killed in a suicide bombing in Khost, Afghanistan, in December.

Blackwater guards allegedly opened fire on unarmed civilians in Baghdad in 2007, killing 17 people. A federal grand jury has indicted five Blackwater officials on conspiracy weapons and obstruction of justice charges.