Veteran Says Mercenaries Shot Him in Iraq
WASHINGTON (CN) - Civilian security contractors in Iraq shot and permanently disabled a U.S. Special Forces sergeant as he returned to Baghdad International Airport after an intelligence mission, the veteran claims in Federal Court. Sgt. Khadim Alkanani claims the June 2005 shooting was "remarkably similar" to other incidents which employees of Aegis Defense Services have captured on "trophy videos" which show "senseless shootings of innocent personnel in automobiles from an armed vehicle."
Immediately after the shooting, the Aegis employees apologized for shooting him and his three-vehicle convoy, Alkanani says. They claimed they had mistaken them for suicide bombers - though Alkanani's convoy had been traveling directly behind the mercenaries and had stopped and showed identification at two checkpoints before the shooting.
The shooting took place within the main gate of Baghdad International airport, where there were no ongoing hostilities nor a credible threat of imminent hostilities, the complaint states.
Alkanani says he received prompt medical treatment for a bullet wound to his right foot, but subsequently developed Hepatitis C and has not regained full use of the foot. The disability ended his military career, resulting in his discharge in September 2006.
Alkanani seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
Since 2004, Aegis has received $624 million in Pentagon contracts, most of them involving security management and protective services, anti-terrorism support, and security analysis for collation forces and the provincial authority in Iraq.
Alkanani is represented by Andrea Moseley with Zwerling Leibig & Moseley in Alexandria, Va.