Questions about the U.S. State Department’s planned purchase of hundreds of pounds of plastic explosives and thousands of containers of liquid explosives were met Monday with laughter, then silence, as the agency declined to explain its intentions for the destructive materials.
WND is pressing the federal department to explain how the explosives fit with its mission to “shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere.”
An initial inquiry was met with laughter from an unidentified Office of Press Relations clerk.
The woman, who did not provide her name, said she knew nothing about the purchases then laughed, asking with incredulity: “So, you want to know what the State Department is doing with these explosives?”
WND this week published an exclusive story about four separate State Department orders for high explosives. The purchases were accompanied by tens of thousands of feet of detonating cords with hundreds of blasting caps, fuse igniters and accompanying equipment.
The report shed light on the fact that the initial destination for the bombing materials – as stated in the government procurement documents – is Sterling, Virginia, home to the Diplomatic Pouch and Mail Unit, or DPM/U.
DPM/U is tasked with sending secure pouches and crates to U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide.
Under international agreement, “official” diplomatic materials can be sent without being opened by airlines or by the receiving host government. But State Department guidelines explicitly prohibit the transport of explosives via the “pouch.”
In a separately returned call, State Public Affairs Specialist Tanya Powell expressed puzzlement, saying, “I’m not sure what you’re looking for.”
The primary question posed earlier was reiterated by WND, both during the phone call and in a follow-up email: “For what purpose is the department making these purchases? How – and where and by whom – will these explosives be used?”
Since DPM/U technically is not allowed to transport explosives, Powell, therefore, was asked in the follow-up email how or whether the unit would handle the explosives shipment. In light of the prohibition, WND inquired whether State instead would transfer the materials via U.S. Despatch Agencies or some other mode of delivery.
Wayne Madsen, a former NSA and U.S. Navy employee, expressed concern that the explosives may end up in the hands of “mercenaries” from ACADEMI, a security and military contractor.
“ACADEMI may be recipient of these explosives, possibly through Antwerp, which isn’t far from NATO headquarters in Brussels,” Madsen said in an interview. “Blackwater, which became Xe before changing to ACADEMI, had State Department contracts which are now held by ACADEMI.”
ACADEMI, however, has rejected claims that it has or had any affiliation with the former Blackwater or Xe, and it vehemently denies it has operations in Ukraine.
Madsen, on the other hand, claims that ACADEMI “has forces in Ukraine helping Kiev forces and neo-Nazi paramilitaries fighting eastern and southern Ukrainian secessionists.
“State may be helping ACADEMI with these shipments,” Madsen continued. “With allies like [Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs] Victoria Nuland, [U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine] Geoffrey Pyatt and [U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations] Samantha Power at State, the department seems a likely choice for providing explosives and other ammo to the Kiev regime and its mercenaries and neo-Nazi paramilitary units.”
ACADEMI previously issued a response to the allegations, saying some “irresponsible bloggers and an online reporter have recently posted rumors that ACADEMI employees (operating under the name of Blackwater) are present in Ukraine.”
“They are not and ACADEMI has no relationship with any entity named Blackwater or with the former owner of Blackwater, Erik Prince. Such unfounded statements combined with the lack of factual reporting to support them and the lack of context about the company, are nothing more than sensationalistic efforts to create hysteria and headlines in times of genuine crisis.
“The basics: Those who understand the facts know that Erik Prince sold the company (which he had renamed ‘Xe’) in 2010 and retained the rights to the ‘Blackwater’ name. The new management of ACADEMI has made tremendous efforts to build a responsible, transparent company ethos, evidenced by the numerous awards ACADEMI has received for being among the most compliant companies in our industry.”
ACADEMI is – and Blackwater/Xe was – based in Moyock, North Carolina, where ACADEMI currently operates a 7,000-acre training facility.
The State did not respond when asked whether there was any truth to the claims that the explosives likely will make their way to contractors or allies in Ukraine.