The true prince of the Emirates is American
His hair reflects his scruples, shaved like a wheat field after summer. Square head, pursed lips and blue eyes as deep as Lake Michigan where he comes from, Erik Prince, 49, has the perfect Republican's good head. As warm as a North Atlantic iceberg, he likes short sentences and ties as red as the blood on his hands. This warhorse, ex-commando of the elite corps of the Navy Seals, made the war market his business. In 1997, he founded the private military company Blackwater with the credo: "Do for national security the same as FEDex does for the post office."
Ten years later, there is a big blunder. Blackwater, then the most powerful mercenary army in the world, was held responsible for encroachments in Iraq. On September 16, 2007, his cowboy team coldly liquidated 17 innocent civilians in Place Nisour, in the heart of Baghdad. For Blackwater, that had already been implicated in a dozen murderous incidents since their arrival in Iraq, this carnage is one too many. Erik Prince's hearing before Congress does not change that. Blackwater, whose simple evocation makes you nauseous, changed its name to Xe Services in February 2009. A month later, Prince announced his resignation from his position as CEO but remained Chairman of the Board for some time. In 2010, he sold the company and its subsidiaries for at least $200 million. Two years later, he reached a settlement with the federal government for $50 million for a long list of violations committed between 2005 and 2008 under American law.
Qatar Invasion Project
Under the reign of Obama, this generous donor of the Republican Party, Republican, was no longer in the smell of holiness. Erik Prince is taking off. Heading for Abu Dhabi. In 2011, the stainless warrior signed a $529 million contract to build a secret army of 800 mercenaries on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. This battalion is responsible for conducting special operations both inside and outside the country. The American news website The Intercept, which is tracking him, claims that several American judicial investigations have been launched against him for trying to sell military services to foreign governments. The Spanish daily ABC reports on a project financed by the United Arab Emirates to invade Qatar by Prince's private army!
In Abu Dhabi, he's like a shark in the water. Very quickly, he became one of the most influential characters in the country. "The true prince," they whisper in the corridors of the Presidential Palace. His omnipotent hold over Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed (MBZ) caused quite a few teeth to creak in the first circle of power. Recently, Erik Prince proposed to him the absurd idea of setting up an assassination programme targeting the most senior Taliban leaders. According to the Middle East Eye (MEE) information website, MBZ has even hastened to defend this fad with Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State of the Trump Administration. With his crude manners and his "Bulldozer" delicacy, Erik Prince could only seduce one of his spiritual fathers: a certain Donald Trump.
He is now a key member of the United States President's first guard. One of his most reliable trusted men for the most twisted missions.
The mysterious meeting in the Seychelles
On 11 January 2017, nine days before President Donald Trump's inauguration, Erik Prince, brother of Minister of Education Betsy DeVos, met with a Russian financier in the Seychelles, apparently with the aim of creating a discreet channel of communication between the new US President and Vladimir Putin. The fact that his interlocutor, Kirill Dmitriev, is the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a consortium under US sanctions since 2015, has intrigued members of the US Congress who questioned him on the subject. In front of the MP’s, with an extraordinary poise, he remained evasive on the reasons for this mysterious meeting in the Seychelles. According to him, this meeting had lasted only half an hour, perhaps even less. The time of a beer at the bar of a luxury hotel, "four stars or more", but whose name escaped him. In short, a banal discussion between two businessmen: "I remember telling him that if Franklin Roosevelt was able to work with Joseph Stalin to beat the Nazis, then Trump could certainly work with Putin to defeat Islamic fascism. He seemed to agree." Nothing else. No deal, no other appointments. He doesn't even remember exchanging business cards. The rolling question fire has no effect. Erik Prince remains unclear about the initiator of the meeting, "one of the brothers", he remembers vaguely, of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Ben Zayed. A Crown Prince who was also present on the island of Seychelles on the day of the meeting and with whom Prince said he had spoken earlier in the evening to "discuss business informally" and "share some views" on the world theatre, "or such things as terrorism in Somalia, Libya, Nigeria".
Al Jazeera: 1 Prince: 0
In early 2019, Erik Prince took the same approximate approach before the prosecutor William Mueller in charge of the investigation into possible collusion by the Russian authorities in the Donald Trump campaign. Mueller’s 380-page report will soon be made public. A publication that is eagerly awaited by the American media.
Strangely enough, it was a television show on March 8 that shook Erik’s well-oiled rhetoric. In Al Jazeera English's "Head to Head" show, Mehdi Hasan was crushing Prince's arguments in less than two minutes.
Hasan began by questioning Prince about his testimony at Congress in November 2017, in which he denied having had any contact with the Trump campaign. Then the journalist moved up a gear and talked about another meeting. The one on August 3, 2016 at Trump Tower. A meeting bringing together representatives of an Israeli company, the group, Erik Prince, Donald Trump Jr, Stephen Miller and George Nader. On the agenda for discussion: the use of social media to manipulate elections.
Medhi Hasan then asked Erik Prince why he did not reveal this meeting in his testimony to Congress in 2017. Erik Prince then replied out of the blue: "But I did! We were supposed to talk about Iran. "Counter-attack by Al Jazeera journalist:" But this is not included in the Congress report".
Prince's answer is stammering and he becomes paler and paler: "It must be a transcription error".
Embarrassed laughter in the audience surprised to see the flamboyant Prince caught as a 7-year-old kid, in the act of lying.
Other mysterious meetings with MBS
In December 2016, Erik Prince, through his friend Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's Grey Eminence and Campaign Director, set up a meeting still in the Trump Tower. Attendees were Mohamed Bin Zayed, the strong man from Abu Dhabi, and the President's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Michael Flynn, then future National Security Advisor and harassed in the Russian gate affair. According to our information, this meeting provided an opportunity to lay the foundations for the famous Seychelles meeting a few weeks later. A Seychelles meeting which, despite Erik Prince's denials, would allow direct exchanges between Russian officials and Emiratis. What was the true nature of this secret meeting, considering that the Emiratis had and still have a sophisticated cyber-offensive architecture controlled by their National Electronic Security Authority (NESA) and actively supported by the US-Israeli firm Verint and another Israeli cyber technology company? Did the Americans, led by Erik Prince, suggest to the Emirates that they should have recourse to special services for computer manipulation operations against their enemies?
Many are not far from thinking so. Chance or coincidence? In May 2017, a few months after the meetings in New York and Seychelles, many Qatari websites were hacked and contaminated by numerous false reports. This is not the first time that Erik Prince has thus been the architect of an evil plan to undermine the interests of the enemies of the Emirates. Prince’s shadow is still hanging over the Persian Gulf region permanently and frighteningly. And not only in the Emirates or Saudi Arabia where one of Prince's companies is in charge of the personal security of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Thus, his influence in Iraq has been growing since Trump's election to the White House. A sinister return to square one after the Nissour Place massacre perpetrated by Blackwater mercenaries in 2007.
Concern in Iraq
Members of the Iraqi parliament fear that the notorious Blackwater mercenary company has returned to Iraq in another form. The parliamentarians pay particular attention to the Olive group, a company based in the United Arab Emirates that maintains very close links with Erik Prince through his company Reflex Responses, which he founded in 2010 in the Emirates after his disgrace in the United States.
Olive Group have always specialised in the safety of energy companies such as BP and Dutch Shell Royal. After merging with Constellis in 2014, Olive Group announced that it would expand its activities in Africa and the Middle East.
Blackwater return under another identity
Olive Group were recently selected to contribute to the Anbar Road project in association with two Iraqi companies and regional partners," the company said in a statement to the London-based New Arab Group. Nabil Shaddad, an American citizen of Lebanese origin who worked for the Olive Group, told New Arab that the firm was an "Emirate version of Blackwater". He added: "Blackwater has resumed work in the Middle East through two companies, Olive Group and Reflex Responses, which operate from Abu Dhabi and have strategic operations in the region," Shaddad said. Before concluding: "Olive Group and Reflex Responses are indeed the spiritual successors of Blackwater." Enough to satisfy Prince's vengeful spirit and nourish his insatiable ego. What if the American prince of the Emirates finally thinks he is also the new Lawrence of Arabia?