Yesterday, we noted
that the State Department plans to fine Blackwater USA for illegally shipping weapons to Iraq without the proper permits.
Now, ABCNews.com adds some more detail to the picture, reporting
that a federal grand jury is probing whether the company used sacks of dog food to hide weapons and silencers it was shipping into Iraq.
State Department rules forbid Blackwater from using "offensive" weapons, including silencers, which, an expert tells ABCNews.com, would only be used for assassinations.
The report adds:
Larger items, including M-4 assualt weapons, were secreted on shipping pallets surrounded by stacks of dog food bags, the former employees said. The entire pallet would be wrapped in cellophane shrink wrap, the former employees said, making it less likely US customs inspectors would look too closely.
Earlier today, the Associated Press reported
that an indictment had been drafted
in connection to the deadly shootings of 17 Iraqi civilians last year, in which 6 Blackwater guards have been implicated. No decision has yet been made to file charges.