Jump to content

Erik Prince

Page protected with pending changes
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Erik Prince
Prince in 2015
Erik Dean Prince

(1969-06-06) June 6, 1969 (age 55)
EducationHillsdale College (BA)
Known forFounder of Blackwater
Joan Prince
(m. 1991; died 2003)
Joanna Houck
(m. 2004; div. 2012)
  • Stacy DeLuke (m. date unknown)
RelativesBetsy DeVos (sister)
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Rank Lieutenant
UnitUnited States Navy SEALs

Erik Dean Prince (born June 6, 1969) is an American businessman, investor, and former U.S. Navy SEAL officer, and the founder of the private military company Blackwater. He served as Blackwater's CEO until 2009 and as its chairman until its sale to a group of investors in 2010. Prince heads the private equity firm Frontier Resource Group and was chairman of the Hong Kong-listed Frontier Services Group until 2021. Prince is the son of engineer and businessman Edgar Prince, and the brother of former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

Early life, education, and military service[edit]

Prince was born on June 6, 1969, in Holland, Michigan, the son of Edgar D. Prince and his wife, Elsa (Zwiep),[a] and the youngest of four children.[1] He graduated from Holland Christian High School.[2] Prince and his father toured the world together, visiting the Dachau concentration camp in Germany, divided Berlin, and the battlefields of Normandy. According to his mother, these trips "made a big impression" on the young Prince.[3]

Prince was accepted into the United States Naval Academy and attended for three semesters before leaving, explaining that he loved the Navy but disliked the Academy. He went on to receive his B.A. in economics from Hillsdale College in 1992.[4][5][6][7][8] During his time at Hillsdale, he served as a volunteer firefighter and as a cold-water diver for the Hillsdale County Sheriff's Department.[9] Prince eventually became an emergency medical technician.[10]

In 1990, Prince secured an internship in the White House under George H. W. Bush,[11] but soon left to intern for California congressman Dana Rohrabacher, President Ronald Reagan's former speechwriter. Rohrabacher described Prince as "a bright, driven young man." At the age of 21, Prince volunteered to search for a mass grave in Nicaragua, to expose killings that had taken place under President Daniel Ortega and later said that he had found the mass grave.[12]

After college, Prince was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy via Officer Candidate School in 1992. Prince then received orders to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S) at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. After six months of training, Prince graduated with BUD/S class 188 in 1993.[13] Following SEAL Tactical Training (STT) and completion of six month probationary period, he received the 1130 designator as a Naval Special Warfare Officer, entitled to wear the Special Warfare insignia. He deployed with SEAL Team 8 to Haiti, the Middle East, and the Balkans. He credits the SEALs for being an outlet for his entrepreneurial spirit. In his autobiography he states that during the Yugoslav Wars in the early 1990s, he realized that there was a need for private training facilities for special operations. Following his father's death in 1995, Prince ended his U.S. Navy service prematurely.[14] A year later, Prince helped facilitate the sale of his father's auto parts company to Johnson Controls for US$1.35 billion.[15]

Private career[edit]

Prince moved to Virginia Beach and personally financed the formation of Blackwater Worldwide in 1997.[16] He bought 6,000 acres (24 km2) of the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina and set up a school for special operations.[17] The name "Blackwater" comes from the peat-colored bogs in which the school is located.[18]

Prince credits the 1994 Rwandan genocide with his decision to found Blackwater. He later said, "It really bothered me. It made me realize you can't sit back and pontificate. You have to act."[19]

From 1997 to 2010, Blackwater was awarded $2 billion in government security contracts,[20] more than $1.6 billion of which were unclassified federal contracts and an unknown amount of classified work.[21] From 2001 to 2010, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) awarded up to $600 million in classified contracts to Blackwater and its affiliates.[22] It became the largest of the State Department's three private security companies, providing 987 guards for embassies and bases abroad.[23] Prince built a shooting range on his rural Virginia land to serve as a nearby training facility to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.[20]

Blackwater came under increasing criticism after the Nisour Square massacre in September 2007, in which Blackwater employees opened fire in a crowded square in Baghdad, killing 17 Iraqi civilians and seriously wounding 20 more. Three guards were convicted in October 2014 of 14 manslaughter charges, and another of murder, in a U.S. court in 2019.[24][25]

The criticism continued after president Barack Obama took office in 2009. Prince said he believes that much of this criticism stems from politics. "I put myself and my company at the CIA's disposal for some very risky missions", Prince told Vanity Fair for its January 2010 issue. "But when it became politically expedient to do so, someone threw me under the bus."[26] Blackwater lost a $1 billion contract with the State Department to protect American diplomatic personnel in 2009, after the Iraqi government refused to renew the company's operating license.[27] Nevertheless, in 2010 the Obama administration awarded the company a $120 million United States Department of State security contract and about $100 million in new CIA work.[21]

In 2012 Blackwater's successor company, Academi, paid a combined $49.5 million to settle charges of arms trafficking violations dating back to the period Prince was CEO and chairman of the company.[28] In 2020 Prince again became the focus of an FBI investigation into arms trafficking violations related to the conversion of crop dusters into military aircraft.[29] According to a UN report, Prince also violated a UN arms embargo by aiding a plot to arm a Libyan warlord attempting to overthrow the US and UN backed government in Libya.[30]

Prince has defended Blackwater's work, pointing to the fact that during the course of 40,000 personal security missions, only 200 involved guards firing their weapons. He has said, "No one under our care was ever killed or injured. We kept them safe, all the while we had 30 of our men killed."[19]

Prince, according to author Robert Young Pelton, reportedly thinks of Blackwater's relationship to the military as something similar to FedEx's relationship to the U.S. Post Office: "an efficient, privatized solution to sclerotic and wasteful government bureaucracy."[31] He credits his father's competitive streak in the automotive business with the inspiration to design a lighter, faster army.[32]

Prince resigned as CEO of Blackwater on March 2, 2009, and remained chairman of the board until he sold the company in late 2010 to a group of investors.[33]

As Americans and others were being evacuated following the August 2021 collapse of the Afghan government, Prince said he was offering seats on a chartered flight for $6,500 per person.[34]

Disclosure as part of a covert CIA task force[edit]

Prince was part of a CIA task force created to engage in targeted killings of suspected terrorists. Prince alleged that the House intelligence congressional committee leaked his name to the press.[35] Prince has said that he is convinced that former CIA director Leon Panetta revealed him as a CIA asset, after shutting down the covert CIA training operation in 2009.[20]

Private security for the United Arab Emirates[edit]

After Blackwater faced mounting legal problems in the United States, Prince was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and moved to Abu Dhabi in 2010. His task was to assemble an 800-member group of foreign troops for the U.A.E., which was planned months before the Arab Spring.[36] He helped the UAE found a new company named Reflex Responses, or R2, with 51 percent local ownership, carefully avoiding his name on corporate documents. He worked to oversee the effort and recruit troops, among others from Executive Outcomes, a former South African mercenary firm hired by several African governments during the 1990s to defeat violent rebellions in addition to protecting oil and diamond reserves.

As of January 2011, Prince was training a force of 2,000 Somalis for anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. The program was funded by several Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates and backed by the United States. Prince's spokesman, Mark Corallo, said Prince had "no financial role" in the project and declined to answer any questions about Prince's involvement. John Burnett of Maritime Underwater Security Consultants said, "There are 34 nations with naval assets trying to stop piracy and it can only be stopped on land. With Prince's background and rather illustrious reputation, I think it's quite possible that it might work."[37]

Private equity investor in Africa[edit]

Prince leads a private equity firm called Frontier Resource Group, and until April 13, 2021, he was also chairman of Frontier Services Group Ltd, a Bermuda-incorporated logistics and transport company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.[38][39][40] Frontier Services Group is backed by China's state-owned CITIC Group and Hong Kong-based investor Johnson Chun Shun Ko [zh],[41][42] with the Chinese government listed as the largest investor.[43] Prince's ventures advise and support Chinese investment in oil and gas in Africa.[44]

In May 2014, it was reported that Prince's plan to build a diesel refinery in South Sudan, in which $10 million had already been invested, was suspended. The halted refinery project was reported to be supported personally by the country's president, Salva Kiir Mayardit.[38] Frontier Services Group was reported to be paid $23.3 million by South Sudan's Ministry of Petroleum to transport supplies and perform maintenance on oil production facilities.[45] To the government of South Sudan, Prince sold three Mi-24 attack helicopters, two L-39 jets, and the services of Hungarian mercenary pilots to operate the aircraft, all for the sum of $43 million.[46] One of the Hungarian pilots attracted some infamy by using his Facebook page to boast about his daily killings.[46]

As part of Prince's Africa-focused investment strategy, Frontier Services Group purchased stakes in two Kenyan aviation companies, Kijipwa Aviation and Phoenix Aviation, to provide logistics services for the country's oil and gas industry.[38] In October 2014, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority denied Kijipwa Aviation an aviation license renewal.[47][48][49]

Prince also purchased a 25% stake in Austrian aviation company Airborne Technologies. In 2014, Prince commissioned the company to modify Thrush 510G crop-dusters with surveillance equipment, machine guns, armor, and other weapons, including custom pylons that could mount either NATO or Russian ballistics.[50] One of the modified crop-dusters was delivered to Salva Kiir Mayardit's forces in South Sudan shortly before a contract with Frontier Services Group was cancelled. Frontier Services Group owns two of the modified Thrush 510Gs, but since executives learned the craft had been weaponized by Prince, the company has declined to sell or use the aircraft to avoid violating U.S. export controls.[51]

Ties to Trump campaigns[edit]

The New York Times reported in May 2018 that Prince arranged an August 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, attended by himself, Donald Trump Jr., George Nader, and Joel Zamel, during which Nader reportedly told Trump Jr. the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the UAE were eager to help his father win the election, and Zamel pitched a social media manipulation campaign from his Israeli company Psy-Group.[52] Prince had stated in his November 2017 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee that he had no formal communications or contact, nor any unofficial role, with the Trump campaign.[53] Asked about this contradiction in March 2019, Prince replied, "I don't know if [the Committee] got the transcript wrong" and "not all the discussion that day was transcribed, and that's a fact."[54] Prince acknowledged for the first time in March 2019 that he had attended the 2016 Trump Tower meeting, asserting he was there to "talk about Iran policy".[55]

Special Counsel investigators have examined a meeting around January 11, 2017, in the Seychelles that was convened by the UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (known as "MBZ"), which Prince attended. Also present at that meeting were Nader and Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the state-owned Russian Direct Investment Fund, who is close to Vladimir Putin. UAE officials reportedly believed that Prince was representing the Trump transition and Dmitriev was representing Putin. The Washington Post had reported on April 3, 2017, that American, European and Arab officials said the Seychelles meeting was "part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump." Prince denied in his November 2017 House Intelligence Committee testimony that he had represented the Trump transition or that the meeting involved any back-channel.[56][57][58][59] The Washington Post reported on March 7, 2018, that the Special Counsel had gathered evidence that contradicts Prince,[60] and ABC News reported on April 6, 2018, that Nader had met with Prince at a Manhattan hotel days before the Seychelles meeting and later provided him with biographical information about Dmitriev.[61]

The Mueller report later found that Nader had represented Prince to Dmitriev as "designated by Steve [Bannon] to meet you! I know him and he is very very well connected and trusted by the New Team", while Prince "acknowledged that it was fair for Nader to think that Prince would pass information on to the Transition Team", although Bannon told investigators that Prince had not informed him of the Dmitriev meeting in advance. Prince testified to the House Intelligence Committee that "I didn't fly there to meet any Russian guy", although the Mueller report found that he and Nader made significant preparations to meet Dmitriev. Although Prince characterized a second meeting between him and Dmitriev in a hotel bar as a chance encounter of no consequence, the meeting was actually pre-arranged after Prince had learned from calls back home that Russia had moved an aircraft carrier off Libya and he wanted to convey that the United States would not accept any Russian involvement in Libya.[62][63]

House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff announced on April 30, 2019, that he was sending a criminal referral to the Justice Department alleging Prince had provided false testimony to the committee.[64][65] United States Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd confirmed on February 4, 2020, that the Department of Justice was opening an investigation into Prince.[66][67]

Connections to Nicolas Maduro and Venezuela[edit]

On December 30, 2019, it was reported that Prince had traveled to Venezuela to meet with a top aide of Nicolas Maduro.[68] Prince has been referred to the United States Treasury Department for possible violations of sanctions against the Maduro government.[68]

Allegations of political infiltration operations[edit]

The New York Times reported in March 2020 that in recent years Prince had recruited former intelligence agents to infiltrate "Democratic congressional campaigns, labor organizations and other groups considered hostile to the Trump agenda."[69] Prince's efforts were reportedly conducted to assist Project Veritas, a widely discredited[70][71] conservative organization that was described as disseminating "coordinated disinformation"[72] due to its repeated use of deceptively edited videos in attempts to discredit Democrats, the media, and liberal groups.[73] Until mid-2018, Richard Seddon, a former British spy, headed the field operations for the plots and trained operatives in Wyoming at the Prince ranch.[74] Prince also reportedly arranged for Project Veritas employees to receive intelligence training, which ended when the trainer quit because the group "wasn't capable of learning".[75] Prince continued to support Project Veritas after the organization's failure to disclose to state regulators the criminal conviction of its founder, James O'Keefe, resulted in the revocation of their charitable organization status in multiple states, and caused other donors to withdraw their financial support.[76]

In May 2021, The New York Times reported that Project Veritas, with the assistance of a former British spy and Erik Prince, secretly surveilled government employees during the Trump administration with the goal of discrediting perceived critics of former President Trump. Tactics included arranging dates for FBI employees with the intent to record them. The operation failed to record a single official disparaging Trump despite extensive expenditures including rental of an expensive Georgetown home.[77]

Proposed cooperation with the Wagner group and activities in Libya[edit]

In April 2020, The Intercept reported that Prince has offered his services as a subcontractor to Russian Wagner group's activities in Mozambique and Libya, suggesting to provide aerial surveillance platforms and a ground force.[43] Investigations by Rolling Stone and The New York Times, based on an internal United Nations report, have since revealed a number of connections between Prince and the Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar's attempts in 2019 to overthrow the U.N.-backed government of Libya.[78][79]

Project Opus[edit]

On April 14, 2019, Erik Prince made a proposal of a $80 million deal to Libya's militia leader Khalifa Haftar to supply aircraft and other military equipment. Called the Project Opus, it involved purchase of surplus military helicopters from Jordan. The plan was designed to supply intelligence surveillance aircraft, drones, armed assault helicopters, maritime interdiction, and cyber intelligence and targeting capabilities to Haftar's forces. The project was, however, aborted in June 2019.[80] The planning, management and financing of the Prince's project was done using three firms from the United Arab Emirates, including Lancaster 6 DMCC, L-6 FZE and Opus Capital Asset Limited FZE, which were using a web of shell companies.[81][82]

Two of these Emirati firms, Lancaster 6 and Opus Capital Asset were linked to a team of private mercenaries and the unique Pilatus PC-6 ISR aircraft deployed to Libya to support Haftar.[83] Besides, UAE's L-6 FZE owned a crop duster, LASA T-Bird, which was part of Erik Prince's Project Opus. A UN report in March 2021 revealed that the Light, Attack and Surveillance Aircraft (LASA), which debuted at the Paris Air Show in 2017, flew to Serbia for maintenance in August 2018. The UN stated that the 'agricultural' plane was modified to carry some deadly rockets, including a 32-57mm Rocket Pod, a 16-57mm Rocket Pod and a gun pod fitted with twin 23mm cannon under the aircraft's wings.[82]

Erik Prince was under an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for his alleged involvement in the attempted sale of Jordanian arms to the UAE-backed Khalifa Haftar, as part of the 2019 plan. Previous investigations had revealed that Prince and others breached the Libyan arms embargo. As per the reports, Prince worked with a Jordanian royal, Faisal ibn al-Hussein, to organize the sale and transfer of aircraft and other materiel from Jordan to Libya.[84] Prince’s associate and an Australian pilot, Christiaan Durrant attempted to assure the Jordanian officials that he had “clearances from everywhere” and that the work was approved “at the highest level”.[85] However, after Jordan rejected the deal, a meeting was called by Prince at the Army and Navy Club in the US. Also attended by Durrant and a member of Donald Trump’s National Security Council, the meeting had an agenda where Durrant explained the NSC official about Prince's Libyan campaign to support Haftar and asked for the US’ support.[86] The United Nations had also tracked transfer of three aircraft owned by Erik Prince to a close associate for use in Libya. It was also reported that the planes were transferred from Prince’s companies to a mercenary firm connected to him and based in the United Arab Emirates. Apart from the investigations, Prince was not charged with a crime.[84]

Personal life[edit]

Prince lives in both Middleburg, Virginia,[87] and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.[88][89] He converted to Catholicism in 1992[90] and describes himself as a practicing member of the church.[26]

Political views[edit]

Prince describes himself as a libertarian.[26] Prince said, "I'm a very free market guy. I'm not a huge believer that government provides a whole lot of solutions. Some think that government can solve society's problems. I tend to think private charities and private organizations are better solutions."[91]

Prince credits his time as a White House intern with some of his political views. He said that "having that White House internship responsibility and badges, I walked around some of these other cavernous federal agencies, and you want to talk about depressing? Walk through HHS or HUD or Commerce, you name it. Leviathan realized."[91] Speaking of his internship, Prince said, "I saw a lot of things I didn't agree with—homosexual groups being invited in, the budget agreement, the Clean Air Act." Disenchanted, Prince became a backer of presidential candidate Pat Buchanan.[92]

Contributions to political and charitable causes[edit]

Between 1998 and 2007, Prince donated more than $200,000 to Republican and third-party causes.[93][94] In 2006, Prince contributed money to the Green Party of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, as part of a failed effort to help Republican Rick Santorum defeat Democrat Bob Casey.[94] He has donated to the Family Research Council,[95] a beneficiary of the Prince and DeVos families since the 1980s,[94][96]

In 2016 Prince contributed $250,000 to Donald Trump's presidential campaign and $100,000 to Make America Number 1, a Trump-aligned super PAC helmed by Rebekah Mercer.[88][97]

Other Republican politicians to whom Prince has contributed include Ron Paul, Walter Jones, Joe Miller, Todd Tiarht, Mike Pence, Dana Rohrabacher, Oliver North, Pat Buchanan, Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn, Duncan L. Hunter, Ted Poe, Jon Kyl, Pete Hoekstra, and Mitt Romney.[98][99]

Prince serves as vice president of the Prince Foundation, an organization his parents founded in 1979.[97] In the 1990s Prince founded the Freiheit ("Liberty") Foundation, a nonprofit charity that funded a number of conservative causes.[95] Publicly available tax records indicate the foundation has been largely inactive since 2008 after claiming a $1.8 million loss in 2007 (more than 50 percent of the foundation's assets) related to its investment in Seligman New Technologies Fund,[100] whose manager was accused of engaging in illegal market timing activity.[101]

Prince has frequently donated to conservative Christian organizations, including the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty and the Prison Fellowship, and conservative political groups such as the Council for National Policy, of which his father was vice president at the time of his death.[95] After the Nisour Square massacre in which Blackwater employees opened fire in a crowded square in Baghdad, killing seventeen Iraqi civilians and seriously wounding twenty more,[24] Prince supported a Muslim orphanage in Afghanistan and built mosques at Blackwater bases.[26]


Prince is the younger brother of former United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos[102][103] and the brother-in-law of former Alticor (Amway) president Dick DeVos.[104][b]

Prince's first wife, Joan Nicole,[107][108] died of cancer in 2003 at the age of 36.[109] She introduced Prince to Catholicism.[107] They had four children.[110] He later wrote that he had an affair with Joanna Ruth Houck, his children's nanny, while his wife was dying.[111] Prince and Houck married in 2004.[112] He is now married to Stacy DeLuke,[113] a former Blackwater spokesperson.[114]

Prince has twelve children.[115]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Pelton, Robert Young (2006). Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 1400097819. Prince.
  • Simons, Suzanne (2009). Master of War: Blackwater USA's Erik Prince and the Business of War. New York: Harper. ISBN 978-0061651359.
  • Martell, Peter (2019). First Raise a Flag: How South Sudan Won the Longest War but Lost the Peace. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0190083380.
  • Pelton, Robert Young (November 2010). An American Commando In Exile. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help) – Prince spends his last two days in America with Pelton.
  • Scahill, Jeremy (2007). Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-56025-979-4.
  • Prince, Erik (2008). Inside Blackwater: The True Story of the World's Most Controversial Company by the Man Who Founded It. Regnery Publishing. ISBN 978-1596985575. Hardcover, 256 pages.
  • Prince, Erik (2013). Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror. Portfolio/Penguin. ISBN 978-1591847212. Hardcover, 416 pages.


  1. ^ At the time of their marriage, she was known by her maiden name, Elsa Zwiep. Following her marriage to Prince, she was known as Elsa Prince. After Prince's death in 1995 she married, in 2000, a minister, Ren Broekhuizen, and was known as Elsa Prince-Broekhuizen.
  2. ^ The DeVos family is one of the richest families in the United States and are strong financial supporters of archconservatives.[105][106]


  1. ^ Jim Schaefer; M.L. Elrick; Todd Spangler (October 7, 2007). "Ready for battle". The Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on November 26, 2015. Retrieved October 7, 2007.
  2. ^ "Profile: Blackwater's Restless Erik Prince". Newsweek. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  3. ^ Simons 2009, pp. 11–2
  4. ^ "Erik Prince exclusive interview". Army Times. July 2008. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ Flintoff, Corey (September 25, 2007). "Blackwater's Prince Has GOP, Christian Group Ties". NPR.
  6. ^ Wisely, John (April 8, 2017). "Betsy DeVos' brother, Blackwater founder Erik Prince, sparks headlines". Detroit Free Press.
  7. ^ Risen, James (October 8, 2007). "Blackwater Chief at Nexus of Military and Business". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Thomas, Evan (October 31, 2017). "Profile: Blackwater's Erik Prince". Newsweek.
  9. ^ "Hillsdale.net – Hillsdale, MI". Archived from the original on August 17, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
  10. ^ Simons 2009, p. 19
  11. ^ White-Collar Mercenary Under Fire by Marc Pitzke, Der Spiegel, October 3, 2007,
  12. ^ Pelton, Robert Young. "An American Commando in Exile". Men's Journal. Archived from the original on September 3, 2012. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  13. ^ Prince, Erik (2013). Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror. The Penguin Group. ISBN 978-1591847212.
  14. ^ "Erik Prince's Private Wars". Rolling Stone. October 25, 2020. Retrieved September 21, 2023.
  15. ^ "Another Deal In Auto Parts Consolidation". The New York Times. July 19, 1996. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
  16. ^ The Virginian-Pilot, Hampton Roads, "Blackwater's top brass" Archived August 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine July 24, 2006.
  17. ^ "The Man Behind Blackwater". Newsweek. October 23, 2007, pp. 36–39.
  18. ^ Simons 2009
  19. ^ a b Photos by Mark Copier (May 5, 2010). "Protests outside, cheers inside as Blackwater founder Erik Prince speaks in Holland". MLive.com. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  20. ^ a b c Nissenbaum, Dion (November 18, 2013). "Blackwater founder works on next chapter". The Wall Street Journal. p. B4.
  21. ^ a b Strobel, Warren P. (June 28, 2010). "Obama spares Blackwater on Sudan violations". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  22. ^ "Prince's business covertly won U.S.contracts" (PDF). Grand Rapids Gazette. April 9, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 3, 2016.
  23. ^ Sengupta, Kim (June 9, 2010). "Blackwater founder to sell up as criticism takes its toll". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on June 10, 2010.
  24. ^ a b U.S. Jury convicts Blackwater guards in 2007 killings of Iraqi civilians, The Guardian. October 22, 2014. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  25. ^ "Ex-Blackwater Contractor Sentenced To Life For Deaths Of 14 Iraqi Civilians". HuffPost. August 14, 2019.
  26. ^ a b c d Ciralsky, Adam. "January 2010: Adam Ciralsky on Blackwater". Vanity Fair. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  27. ^ Sciutto, Jim; Cohen, Zachary (December 5, 2017). "US Official: Erik Prince Proposed Private Spy Network To Trump Administration". CNN. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  28. ^ "Firm Formerly Known As Blackwater Fined $7.5 Million". CBS News. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
  29. ^ Mindock, Clark (March 7, 2020). "Trump Ally Erik Prince Reportedly Under Investigation By FBI For 'Converting Crop Dusters Into Military Aircraft'". The Independent. Retrieved February 21, 2020.
  30. ^ Walsh, Declan (February 19, 2021). "Erik Prince, Trump Ally, Violated Libya Arms Embargo, U.N. Report Says". The New York Times. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  31. ^ Pelton 2006, p. 2
  32. ^ Pelton 2006, p. 3
  33. ^ "Blackwater Founder in Deal to Sell Company". The New York Times. December 16, 2010.
  34. ^ Nissenbaum, Dion (August 25, 2021). "In Kabul, Private Rescue Efforts Grow Desperate as Time to Evacuate Afghans Runs Out". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  35. ^ Ciralsky, Adam. "January 2010: Adam Ciralsky on Blackwater". Vanity Fair. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  36. ^ Mazzetti, Mark; Hager, Emily B. (May 14, 2011). "Secret Desert Force Set Up by Blackwater's Founder. Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, has a new project". The New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  37. ^ "Blackwater founder trains Somalis". Associated Press. January 24, 2011. Archived from the original on January 24, 2011.
  38. ^ a b c Gridneff, Ilya (May 28, 2014). "South Sudan Chaos Halts Prince's Plan for Oil Refinery". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  39. ^ MarketScreener (April 14, 2021). "Frontier Services : RESIGNATION OF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY CHAIRMAN | MarketScreener". www.marketscreener.com. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  40. ^ "Erik Prince, le fondateur de l'ex-Blackwater, a démissionné de Frontier Services Group Limited". lignesdedefense.blogs.ouest-france.fr (in French). Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  41. ^ Ng, Eric (January 14, 2014). "DVN shares surge as former Blackwater owner named chairman". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on August 5, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  42. ^ Eisenhammer, Stephen (February 2, 2014). "Beyond Blackwater: Prince looks to resources in Africa". Reuters. Archived from the original on November 10, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  43. ^ a b Cole, Matthew; Emmons, Alex (April 13, 2020). "Erik Prince Offered Lethal Services to Sanctioned Russian Mercenary Firm Wagner". The Intercept.
  44. ^ "Blackwater Founder Prince Now Working With China". Bloomberg Television. January 31, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  45. ^ Gridneff, Ilya (December 18, 2014). "South Sudan Hires Ex-Blackwater Chief to Restore War-Damaged Oil Facilities". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  46. ^ a b Martell 2019, p. 235.
  47. ^ Herbling, David (October 27, 2014). "State denies American company aviation licence". Business Daily Africa. Archived from the original on October 28, 2014. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  48. ^ Lamothe, Dan (October 28, 2014). "Blackwater founder Erik Prince: Combative, secretive and expanding in Africa". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  49. ^ "Kenya refuses to renew Blackwater founder's Kijipwa Aviation ASL". ch-aviation. November 6, 2014. Archived from the original on November 7, 2014. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  50. ^ Cole, Matthew (April 12, 2016). "Report: Blackwater CEO Tried to Sell Armed Planes to South Sudan". The Takeaway. WNYC. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  51. ^ Scahill, Jeremy; Cole, Matthew (April 11, 2016). "Echo Papa Exposed: Inside Erik Prince's Treacherous Drive to Build a Private Air Force". The Intercept. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  52. ^ Mazzetti, Mark; Bergman, Ronen; Kirkpatrick, David D. (May 19, 2018). "Trump Jr. and Other Aides Met With Gulf Emissary Offering Help to Win Election". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  53. ^ U.S. House of Representatives, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (November 30, 2017). "Testimony of Erik Prince" (PDF). U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  54. ^ Hasan, Mehdi (March 8, 2019). "Did Blackwater's Erik Prince Lie to Congress About a Trump Tower Meeting? I Asked Him".
  55. ^ Seipel, Brooke (March 8, 2019). "Erik Prince acknowledges attending 2016 Trump Tower meeting 'to talk about Iran policy'". TheHill.
  56. ^ Mazzetti, Mark; Kirkpatrick, David D.; Goldman, Adam (March 6, 2018). "Adviser to Emirates With Ties to Trump Aides Is Cooperating With Special Counsel". The New York Times.
  57. ^ Entous, Adam; Miller, Greg; Sieff, Kevin; DeYoung, Karen (April 3, 2017). "Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on April 3, 2017. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  58. ^ Raju, Manu; Herb, Jeremy; Cohen, Marshall (December 1, 2017). "Prince details meeting with Russian banker". CNN. Archived from the original on March 6, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  59. ^ Banco, Erin (April 18, 2019). "Mueller Exposes Erik Prince's Lies About Russian Rendezvous". Daily Beast. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  60. ^ Horwitz, Sari; Barrett, Devlin (March 7, 2018). "Mueller gathers evidence that 2017 Seychelles meeting was effort to establish back channel to Kremlin". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  61. ^ Thomas, Pierre; Meek, James Gordon (April 6, 2018). "Trump supporter, Putin ally meeting may not have been by chance: Sources". ABC News. Archived from the original on April 6, 2018. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  62. ^ Mueller report, vol. 1, p. 151
  63. ^ "Putin ally suggests Seychelles meeting more than chance encounter". ABC News.
  64. ^ Singman, Brooke (April 30, 2019). "Schiff says he'll send a criminal referral to DOJ for Erik Prince over alleged false statements to Congress". Fox News.
  65. ^ John Wagner; Karoun Demirjian (April 30, 2019). "Democrats accuse Trump ally Erik Prince of lying to Congress, refer case to Justice Dept. for possible prosecution". WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  66. ^ Cheney, Kyle (February 5, 2020). "DOJ reviews allegation that Erik Prince misled Congress in Russia probe". Politico.
  67. ^ Boyd, Stephen Elliott (February 4, 2020). "Dear Chairman Schiff". Letter to Adam Schiff. Archived from the original on February 5, 2020. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  68. ^ a b "AP Exclusive: Trump ally may have broken Venezuela sanctions". AP NEWS. December 30, 2019. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  69. ^ Mazzetti, Mark; Goldman, Adam (March 7, 2020). "Erik Prince Recruits Ex-Spies to Help Infiltrate Liberal Groups". The New York Times. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  70. ^ "Project Veritas: how fake news prize went to rightwing group beloved by Trump". the Guardian. November 29, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  71. ^ Blackman, Jeremy (January 13, 2021). "San Antonio woman arrested on election fraud charges based on Project Veritas video". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  72. ^ Astor, Maggie (September 29, 2020). "Project Veritas Video Was A 'Coordinated Disinformation Campaign,' Researchers Say". The New York Times. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  73. ^ "Erik Prince recruited former spies to infiltrate Democratic campaigns and liberal groups: report". Salon. March 9, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  74. ^ Goldman, Adam; Mazzetti, Mark (May 13, 2021). "Activists and ex-spy said to have plotted to discredit Trump 'enemies' in government". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The New York Times.
  75. ^ Messer, Olivia (May 3, 2019). "Erik Prince Set Up Intel Training For Project Veritas, James O'Keefe Report". The Daily Beast. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  76. ^ Markay, Lachlan (December 11, 2017). "James O'Keefe Donor Flees Over Failure To Disclose Criminal Record". Daily Beast. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  77. ^ Moore, Thomas (May 13, 2021). "Project Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments". The Hill. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  78. ^ Hettena, Seth (October 25, 2020). "Erik Prince's Private Wars". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  79. ^ Walsh, Declan (February 19, 2021). "Erik Prince, Trump Ally, Violated Libya Arms Embargo, U.N. Report Says". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  80. ^ "Project Opus: Erik Prince and the Failed Plot to Arm a CIA Asset-Turned-Warlord in Libya". The Intercept. February 26, 2021. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  81. ^ "Final Report of the Panel of Experts on Libya established pursuant to Security Council resolution". United Nations Security Council. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  82. ^ a b "Serviced in Serbia: The Lethal Crop Duster Destined for War in Libya". Balkan Insight. May 20, 2021. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  83. ^ "Western Team Went to Help Moscow's Man in Libya, UN Finds". Bloomberg.com. May 14, 2020. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  84. ^ a b "FBI Investigation of Failed Mercenary Plot Delves Into Role of Erik Prince". The Intercept. October 30, 2021. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  85. ^ Walsh, Declan (February 19, 2021). "Erik Prince, Trump Ally, Violated Libya Arms Embargo, U.N. Report Says". The New York Times. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  86. ^ "Project Opus: Erik Prince and the Failed Plot to Arm a CIA Asset-Turned-Warlord in Libya". The Intercept. February 26, 2021. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  87. ^ Shapira, Ian (January 1, 2015). "Blackwater founder Erik Prince goes to war against a former business partner". The Washington Post.
  88. ^ a b Entous, Adam; Miller, Greg; Sieff, Kevin; DeYoung, Karen (April 3, 2017). "Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
  89. ^ Risen, James (August 17, 2010). "Blackwater's Erik Prince Moves to Abu Dhabi". The New York Times.
  90. ^ Thomas, Evan (October 13, 2007). "Profile: Blackwater's Erik Prince". Newsweek.
  91. ^ a b Simons, 20
  92. ^ Scahill, Jeremy (2011). Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Profile Books. ISBN 978-1847654786.
  93. ^ Mike Barker, AP, "Testimony Lifts Veil on Blackwater Boss", October 2, 2007.
  94. ^ a b c Malcolm, Andrew (October 4, 2007). "Grilled Blackwater chairman a major GOP donor". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007.
  95. ^ a b c Scahill, Jeremy (2007). Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army. Nation Books. pp. 79–83. ISBN 978-1846686528.
  96. ^ "History of Family Research Council: Rolling Up the Sleeves". Family Research Council. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  97. ^ a b Woodruff, Betsy (October 22, 2016). "Blackwater Founder Erik Prince, Who Got Rich Off Of Iraq, Now Backs 'Anti-War' Donald Trump". The Daily Beast.
  98. ^ "Blackwater Founder Steps Aside". The Washington Post. February 3, 2009.
  99. ^ "Individual Contributions Arranged By Type, Giver, Then Recipient". FEC. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  100. ^ ProPublica, Mike Tigas, Sisi Wei, Ken Schwencke, Brandon Roberts, Alec Glassford (May 9, 2013). "Freiheit Foundation – Nonprofit Explorer". ProPublica.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  101. ^ Trubey, Todd (April 26, 2006). "Seligman Funds: Proceed With Caution". Morningstar. Archived from the original on June 24, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2006.
  102. ^ Huetteman, Emmarie; Alcindor, Yamiche (February 7, 2017). "Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary; Pence Breaks Tie". The New York Times.
  103. ^ Axe, David (February 13, 2017). "'Blackwater Air' Is Back, and Flying for U.S. Special Forces". The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  104. ^ The Virginian-Pilot, Hampton Roads, "Blackwater's top brass", July 24, 2006. Retrieved from the Internet Archive March 27, 2016.
  105. ^ Confessore, Nicholas (January 11, 2016). "Father of Koch Brothers Helped Build Nazi Oil Refinery, Book Says". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 12, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  106. ^ Mayer, Jane (2016). Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. Doubleday. ISBN 978-0385535595.
  107. ^ a b Erik Prince, Civilian Warriors, the Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror (2013).
  108. ^ "Blackwater, behind the brass". Politico. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  109. ^ Ciralsky, Adam (January 2010). "Scandal: Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  110. ^ Flintoff, Corey (September 25, 2007). "Blackwater's Prince Has GOP, Christian Group Ties". npr.org. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  111. ^ Sizemore, Bill (November 18, 2013). "Blackwater founder takes aim at his critics in memoir". The Virginian-Pilot. Archived from the original on June 26, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  112. ^ Dimascio, Jen (July 20, 2009). "Blackwater, behind the brass". Politico. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  113. ^ Scahill, Jeremy (January 17, 2017). "Notorious Mercenary Erik Prince Is Advising Trump from the Shadows". The Intercept. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  114. ^ Baker, Mike (December 2, 2009). "Blackwater founder cutting ties with company". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  115. ^ Erik Prince - The Rise and Fall of Blackwater | SRS #029, July 4, 2022, retrieved September 26, 2023 (timestamp 6:43)

External links[edit]