Mystery Somali mercenary army concerns Obama administration

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley says force, funded by unknown Muslim nation, lacks transparency

Published December 2, 2010 9:50PM (EST)

The Obama administration is concerned about a private military force aimed at combating piracy in northern Somalia's semiautonomous Puntland region because there are unanswered questions about who is behind the operation.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Thursday that the U.S. was not involved in the project in any way and is worried by a lack of transparency in "its funding, objectives and scope."

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that training for the force of up to 1,050 men has begun and is being paid for by an unknown Muslim nation. The AP reported that the mystery donor has hired a former CIA officer and a senior ex-U.S. diplomat to help with its creation.

By Matthew Lee

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