MOGADISHU — An attempt by CIA-connected trainers to create a sophisticated counter-piracy force in Somalia turned into hundreds of half-trained and well-armed Somali mercenaries being left to their own devices in the desert, Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt of The New York Times report.

The Puntland Maritime Police Force, trained by dozens of South African mercenaries from sometime in 2010 to June 2012, was run by a Dubai-based company called Sterling Corporate Services that seems to be connected to the CIA.

The Times reports that in July a United Nations investigative group uncovered that the force shared some facilities with the Puntland Intelligence Service, a spy organization that answers to the president of the semi-autonomous Somali region of Puntland and has been trained by the CIA for more than a decade.

Michael Shanklin, a former C.I.A. station chief in Mogadishu, was reportedly hired to work his contacts both in Washington and East Africa to build support for the force while Erik Prince, the founder of the private security firm Blackwater, made several trips to the Puntland camp to oversee the training of the counter-piracy force.

The Times notes that Prince, a former U.S. Navy Seal who had become an informal adviser to the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, was simultaneously “involved in a project to train Colombian mercenaries at a desert camp in the emirates to carry out missions at the behest of the Emirati government.”

(Sidenote: According to leaked emails from the private U.S. security firm Stratfor, during this time period the former director of Blackwater, former CIA officer Jamie F. Smith, was aiding the Libyan opposition and subsequently sent to contact Syrian rebels in Turkey at the request of a U.S. Government committee.)

The South African trainers bailed in June 2012 after one was shot by a Somali trainee, and recently about 500 former trainees—unpaid for weeks—were seen wandering the Puntland Maritime Police Force desert compound with two-years worth of weapons.

The Times notes that the options for the armed and semi-trained mercenaries included joining up “with the pirates or Qaeda-linked militants or to sell themselves to the highest bidder in Somalia’s clan wars.”

Business Insider

Michael Kelley

Republished: Sunday, October 07, 2012


  1. OSAMA BIN LINING and AL-CIA comes to mind!

    Tomorrow when the Pirate Hijack an Oil Tanker and Blow it up the world will scream TERRORIST and totally forget who created it and funded it.

    I believe this 1000Unit PutuLaan Marine Terrorists should all be rounded up while there is time and before they become mercenaries for HIRE if that is not already the case.

    Sheikh Hassan should deploy them to guard the BORDERs with KENYA to prevent Deforestation and Poaching. All 1000 Men should where an electronic Tag and have their DNA, finger prints and other relevant data held on file.

    Putulaan is breaking up and these Men will soon have neither an income nor a Justice system to prevent them becoming WARLORDS or agents of WARLORDS.

    Action needs to be taken to contain them. Jan2013 PutuLaan is heading for an implosion and amidst that chaos these men will merge in the back drop to resurface with deadly consequences.

  2. Bukhland the of greedy mafiosos and crazy whores like ayan and her types. It's the land munafiiqs who have no respect for no one except filling their pockets with xaran money as they have all been brought up with xaran money and thus they all became xaran cunaayal.

  3. I think The reason you don't understand PUNTLANDERS is because They are too sophasticted for you in any level since you live dark ages. still lying to your self everyday recognition is near and so forth.atleast PUNTLANDERS are not watching fake movie,They are not diluted as your They can differentiate between reality and fiction.

    I don't know how many times i have to repeat This,somaliland it does not exist in The world arena in any shape or form what so ever need to put your Thickhead That.The dialogue between SOMALILOUDER and normal somalis current regime will be based on mutual understanding nothing more or less,no recognition is on The table,no partition on The table.

  4. Thee is nothing call somaliland, is region base on tribe, stop dreaming something is not existing.

    Somalia unity is untouchable nonnegotiable.

    Viva Somalia Republic.