Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

October 31, 2012

Feds say defense firm supplied untrained guards

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — The federal government has joined a whistleblower's lawsuit against a major defense contractor in Iraq.

The lawsuit alleges that Reston-based Triple Canopy Inc. used hundreds of foreign nationals from Uganda to guard the Al Asad Airbase in Iraq who couldn't pass minimum standards for handling firearms.

Triple Canopy received a one-year, $10 million contract in 2009 to provide security at the base, Iraq's second largest. The complaint alleges that Triple Canopy falsified documents to cover up its guards' deficiencies in accurately shooting their AK-47 assault rifles.

The lawsuit was filed last year in federal court in Alexandria by a whistleblower under a law that allows the government to intervene if it believes the whistleblower's claims.

The government joined the case last week. Triple Canopy declined comment Wednesday.

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