Washington Post columnist David Ignatius continues to plumb mysteries in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul and a new extensive report includes a mention of an Arkansas firm.
The bottom line: Ignatius has found some training of Saudi security forces has been done in the U.S., including in Arkansas. The article does not directly tie the killing of Khashoggi to people trained in Arkansas, but the trail of U.S. involvement with the Saudis is complicating continuing U.S.-Saudi relations. From the article:
Among these previously undisclosed findings:
●Some members of the Saudi Rapid Intervention Group that was sent to Istanbul received training in the United States, according to U.S. and Saudi sources. The CIA has cautioned other government agencies that some of this special-operations training might have been conducted by Tier 1 Group, an Arkansas-based company, under a State Department license. The training occurred before the Khashoggi incident, as part of ongoing liaison with the Saudis, and it hasn’t been resumed.
Tier 1 Group and DynCorp are both owned by affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management, a privately owned investment group based in New York. The company wouldn’t confirm or deny whether any of the 17 perpetrators of the Khashoggi killing who were sanctioned by the Treasury Department had been trained under the Tier 1 contract. But a source close to Cerberus said, “We know that this horrendous incident occurred” and that “companies must emphasize rigorous ethical evaluation policies” in light of such an event.
The Khashoggi killing has created problems for U.S. businesses.
The dilemma for U.S. defense and intelligence contractors is that it will be difficult for them to do new business with Saudi Arabia until MBS takes responsibility for the Khashoggi killing and demonstrates, through specific reforms, that such a crime won’t be repeated. Until that occurs, Saudi Arabia will face limits from the State Department and Congress.
I sent an e-mail for comment to a contact link on the website of Tier 1 Group, which is based in Crawfordsville in Crittenden County, about 20 miles west of Memphis. I’ve gotten no response. The website describes a variety of training programs — in weapons, close combat, tactical drive,
Says the website:
T1G is dedicated to providing the highest level of training across the operational spectrum. We combine the synergy of real world experience, institutional knowledge, and purpose-built facilities to exceed the demands of our clients. T1G continuously anticipates the next evolution of conflict and adapts our core competencies to meet this ever changing operational landscape.
Tier 1 Group formally known as Aggressive Training Solutions is a private company located in Crawfordsville AR founded by retired Marine Steve Reichert. Tier 1 Group provides military training in and outside the United States, as well as civilian tactical medicine, military medicine and law enforcement training.
Web sources say Cerberus, owner of the training operation, also owns firearms companies Remington and Bushmaster.
You can check them on Facebook. Here’s a Tier 1 promotion video posted by Steve Reichert in 2012.