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Blackwater Still in Business Through Subsidiaries

The New York Times newspaper reports that the U.S. security contractor Blackwater created 30 subsidiary companies to continue to seek government contracts after the company was accused of misconduct in Iraq.

In an article published late Friday, the Times reports at least three subsidiary businesses had deals with the U.S. military and the CIA.

Blackwater came under intense scrutiny for its work in Iraq, after five guards working for the firm were accused of killing 17 unarmed civilians in Baghdad in September 2007.

The company has since changed its name to Xe Services, and still has security contracts with the U.S. government.

U.S. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, chair of the Armed Services Committee, is quoted by the Times as saying it is worth "looking into why Blackwater would need to create dozens of other names." Levin says he has asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Blackwater misled the government through its subsidiary businesses.

The report cites Blackwater officials as saying at least two of the affiliate companies, XPG and Greystone, obtained secret contracts with the CIA.

A spokesman for the intelligence agency told the Times that Xe's duties were to provide security for agency operatives.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.