A former CIA official says when the spy agency revived a plan to kill or capture terrorists in 2004, it turned to North Carolina-based Blackwater USA.
Blackwater, which has since changed its name to Xe Services, offered the help of foreigners supposedly skilled at tracking terrorists in lawless regions. The company is based in Moyock, near the Virginia state line.
The former senior CIA official, however, says he had doubts during his tenure about whether Blackwater's foreign recruits had mastered the necessary skills to pull off such a high-stakes operation.
He says the U.S. tapped the private contractor for the death squad work because, in his words, "you wouldn't want to have American fingerprints on it."
He says it's unlikely that during his tenure the Blackwater recruits would have been involved directly in the mechanics of the killings. Instead, they were learning how to spy on targets and operate discreetly.