Erik Prince, the founder of the notorious mercenary firm Blackwater aided a mission called Project Opus to move attack helicopters and weapons made in the U.S., to a renegade commander named – Khalifa Hifter, in Libya. Khalifa Hifter is a U.S. citizen and formerly worked as a CIA asset. Hifter needed these helicopters and weapons to defeat Libya’s government, which was backed by the U.S. U.N. has alleged that Prince supported Khalifa Hifter to take power in Libya.
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In 2019, Prince called an officer, who was a member of Trump’s National Security Council, to meet his business associate Christiaan Durrant. Durrant asked for the U.S. support for the campaign backed by Hifter.
As per Prince’s lawyer, Matthew Schwartz – “Mr. Prince had no involvement in any alleged military operation in Libya in 2019, or at any other time. The statement said, “He did not provide weapons, personnel, or military equipment to anyone in Libya,” as reported by The Intercept.
At the same time, an attorney for Durrant, Vince Gordon, confirmed the fact of setting up a company called Opus, but he further added that Durrant’s work has never “involved any military operations or armed conflict. … We don’t breach sanctions; we don’t deliver military services, we don’t carry guns, and we are not mercenaries.”
Durrant added: “I remain friends with Erik Prince and have no business or financial relationship with him.”
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Total money involved behind this Project Opus is allegedly $80 million and still it is not clear who is funding this operation and what happened to the money involved as the mission failed.
It is also not clear whether the masterminds of this operation are getting support from countries like UAE, as it supported Hifter for long.
The U.N. and the FBI are investigating the role of Prince in the Jordanian deal and Libyan conflict. If something comes out against Erik Prince in this investigation then he may have to suffer a travel ban and all his bank accounts will be frozen.
As per the reports by the U.N. the main motive of this mission was to help Hifter with a “maritime interdiction capability … but also the capability to identify and strike land targets, and terminate and/or kidnap high-value targets.”
Another group of investigators called the Panel of Experts has also created a PowerPoint presentation that has the various details about the mission.
The PowerPoint presentation includes the details about the team of mercenaries who were trained to jump out of helicopters and chase their targets and kill them.
As per the details in the PowerPoint presentation, there were 10 targets to be assassinated. The targets included commanders aligned with the U.N.-backed Tripoli government as well as two EU citizens.