San Diego delays Blackwater plans

SAN DIEGO, May 21 (UPI) -- San Diego's mayor has delayed the controversial military contractor Blackwater Worldwide's plans to convert a warehouse to an anti-terrorism training facility.

Mayor Jerry Sanders said that the conversion must receive a public review, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Wednesday. City attorney Michael Aguirre found problems with the permits issued for the conversion by city staff.


Blackwater, a Georgia company known for its operations as a contractor in Iraq, leased a 61,000-square-foot warehouse close to the Mexican border. Its plans for the facility include a shooting range and a simulated Navy ship.

Mike Neil, a Blackwater spokesman, said that Aguirre's legal reasoning is "fatally flawed." He said that the delay threatens a contract Blackwater has with the U.S. Navy to train sailors in anti-terrorism tactics.

In a letter to the company, the city said that the plans must be reviewed by the city council and planning commission.

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