Blackwater founder's ties to firm denied

June 8, 2011 at 12:16 AM

WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- The founder of Blackwater Worldwide has no ties to Reflex Responses, a company training troops in the United Arab Emirates, the president of the company says.

Michael Roumi sent a letter to the U.S. State Department and members of Congress, in response to a New York Times story last month that quoted anonymous former employees who said Erik Prince was involved in recruiting former U.S. military and law enforcement personnel for Reflex Responses.

In his letter, Roumi said Prince has "no ownership stake whatsoever" in Reflex Responses, sometimes called R2, the Times reported Tuesday.

''He is not an officer, director, shareholder or even an employee of R2," Roumi said.

Blackwater became one of the most notorious private security contractors in Iraq. The company changed its name to Xe Services LLC after Blackwater security guards killed 17 apparently unarmed Iraqis in Baghdad.

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