The President of Lebanon has tweeted that American private security contractors are interrogating Saudi princes and billionaires arrested in crackdown three weeks ago. Saudi soldiers provide outer security for the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh where the detainees are held.
In the tweets and from other reports coming out of Saudi Arabia, the contractors are referred to as “Blackwater” but this seems to be a generic name for contractors. The security company formerly known as Blackwater, now called Academi, has denied any presence in Saudi Arabia and further claimed that they do not provide interrogation services.
The reports indicate that Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, an investor worth at least $7 billion, was hung by his feet to make a point. The fact that a member of the royal family is being detained and treated this way sends a powerful message. Foreign contractors would have no qualms about dealing with royalty where Saudi security agents would fear to tread.
There are any number of trained interrogators who would provide these services for a healthy Saudi payday. It is illegal under U.S. law for Americans to commit torture anywhere in the world and the crime has been prosecuted in U.S. courts.