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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The crown prince of Abu Dhabi has hired the founder of private security firm Blackwater Worldwide to set up an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the United Arab Emirates, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
The Times said it obtained documents that showed the unit being formed by Erik Prince's new company Reflex Responses with $529 million from the UAE would be used to thwart internal revolt, conduct special operations and defend oil pipelines and skyscrapers from attack.
Former owner of Blackwater 'training private foreign legion'
...Among its potential tasks are to defend the UAE from uprisings and terror attacks and if necessary to take part in any conflict with Iran, according to the New York Times.
Mr Prince was hired by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who oversees most of the country's security policies and is a close American ally. He is also one of the Gulf's most hawkish leaders on relations with the Islamic Republic across the narrow waters of the Gulf.
According to the report, the 580-strong battalion has been established in Zayed Military City, just off the main road linking Abu Dhabi to Dubai, alongside Emirati troops, and provided by Mr Prince with trainers, mostly veterans of the American, British and German armies and special forces....