It was early afternoon on October 11th, 2016 when TigerSwan’s program manager, retired Delta Force Sergeant Major John Porter, met with Silverton’s owner, Carl Clifton, inside a hangar at the Mandan Municipal Airport. The hangar was initially used by Silverton security as a clandestine office for their intelligence cell that collected information on the protesters, self-described water protectors, at Standing Rock. The managers from the two rival private security companies had both been hired by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) to manage the protesters at the Dakota Access Pipe Line (DAPL). They had much to discuss.

Clifton and Porter talked about the profitability of running intelligence operations against the protesters versus running site security before Clifton mentioned the fact that another security company named Russel Group of Texas (RGT) is running harassing surveillance against his wife and taking pictures of her. This is the type of surveillance that CIA officers expect to have put on them in a place like Moscow to prevent them from meeting with their intelligence assets. They want you to know that you are being followed. In this case, the message to Clifton and Silverton security was clear, back off and let rival companies milk the profits from ETP.

When this subject came up, John Porter began to stutter saying, “Look dude…that’s none of my business…I…I…I’m so…I don’t even see that shit happening and it’s none of my concern either.”

Clifton then asked why Russel Group was running around the DAPL site carrying firearms. TigerSwan had been brought in to coordinate and supervise the half dozen security companies that the oil company, ETP, had initially hired. Clifton pointed out that there is no way that they could have gotten their licenses so fast. Indeed, many RGT contractors had to be sent home since the licensing board had denied them the gun permits, as the board itself was staffed by the owners of local security companies who didn’t like seeing outsiders making money on their home turf. “You know what bro, I don’t care about the licenses,” Porter said, blowing off the legalities involved.

Once TigerSwan showed up on the scene they began trying to choke out the smaller security companies in order to maximize their own profits. “Consistent with the logic of both markets and war, competition in the market for force escalates until one market actor emerges victorious with the monopoly of force, eliminating all rivals,” writes Sean McFate in his book, “The Modern Day Mercenary,” about private security companies.

Taking swipes at a rival security company or putting the wife of an employee under surveillance was really the least of the many problematic activities perpetrated by John Porter and TigerSwan in North Dakota. The next month in November, Porter acted as an agent provocateur, stoking the protesters and encouraging them to be more violent. This is why, “many cringe at linking armed conflict to profit motive,” writes McFate, “because it incentivizes private armies to prolong and expand war for financial gain.”

TigerSwan hits the ground in North Dakota

The prairie of North Dakota would not normally be a place that would draw international media coverage but in 2016, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) began construction of a oil pipeline that would run from North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa, and into Illinois. In North Dakota, the pipeline would pass the northern tip of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The Sioux Tribe opposed the construction of the pipeline for two main reasons. The first was that the pipeline was going to be built on an ancient sacred burial ground, a claim that archeologists were never able to establish. Several individuals were also discovered attempting to bury bison bones in the area where the pipeline would be built as well. The second major concern that the Sioux Tribal Nations had was the environmental impact that the pipeline would have on their water supply.

The protest movement against the pipeline began around April when the native Americans at standing rock established the first protest camp. The camp became a lighting rod for native American land rights and by some accounts was the first time that all of the native American tribes across America were united in a single issue since the 1800’s. The protest movement, self-described as water protectors grew, and attracted many activists from outside the native American community to include a large number of US military veterans.

Security contractors on the scene at DAPL knew that a native American festival was coming up in mid-september, one which had all of the local hotels booked as a lot of people would be attending from out of town. It didn’t make any sense to begin construction of the oil pipeline while thousands of additional native Americans were in town so the contractors held informal talks with the FBI, who agreed with their assessment that building should not begin until after the event and people began heading home. By that time, the protest in general would probably be winding down as well according to some analysts in North Dakota.

The FBI agreed and communicated this point of view to ETP, attempting to nudge them in what they felt was the most sensible and prudent direction. The FBI also made it clear to the oil company that they currently did not have enough assets to protect the pipeline construction, nor would they until after the native American festival. The security contractors also did not have nearly enough personnel to handle such an undertaking. ETP agreed to wait until after the festivities before initiating construction on September 22nd.

Back at the hangar, Silverton had brought in K9s and dog handlers with the idea that they would be deployed as a quick reaction force once construction began as needed. Silverton did not yet have the proper licenses for the dog handlers, but with ETP agreeing to delay construction, they now had some breathing room, giving them time to acquire the proper paperwork before the dogs would ever be used. All this changed abruptly.

At 7PM on September 2nd, ETP decided that they would begin construction the next morning and that the security contractors, who were made aware of this decision around 9PM that night, would mobilize all assets available early the following morning. Over a dozen dogs and their handlers were sent out around noon the on September 3rd. The contractors were so short handed at that time that their personnel assigned to intelligence collection and the overall program manager all had to be out on the ground for them to have a chance at defending the construction site. The only exception was a former Delta Force operator working with another security company called SRC and his men whose only task was to record protesters with video cameras. Everyone else was to be used for security.

Four hundred people showed up in force, they lined up along the fence at first,” said Silverton contractor Landon Steele. “We stayed inside our vehicles with the canines and let the construction guys do what they wanted to do. Then the protesters started rocking the fence, knocked that down and picked up metal posts and started charging at the construction workers. Then we got out of our vehicles to give the construction workers a buffer.”

Protesters taunted the dogs, who then began barking, and one security contractor got into a wrestling match with a protester. Several protesters were bit by the canines and a few dogs had to be brought to the hospital after being injured in the fighting. Pictures from that day quickly emerged in the news media, showing para-military looking security contractors with their K9s. Steele, an Army veteran, was quickly identified when pictures of him appeared on social media websites. Steele’s dog was a personally owned bomb detection dog, not an attack dog. Silverton was still unlicensed for dog handling.

The conflict escalated between the contractors and the protesters as a result. ETP had made a critical strategic blunder. The incident with the dogs happened on a Saturday, and the next Monday TigerSwan was showing up in North Dakota ostensibly to harmonize the half dozen or more security companies on the ground as a command and control node. The rate at which TigerSwan was brought onto the contract, in just five working days, was impressive.

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Some at TigerSwan’s headquarters in Apex, North Carolina expressed concern about the company getting involved in the DAPL project. “It was good money for the company but the controversial nature of the pipeline itself would lead to some negative publicity,” a senior member of TigerSwan told SOFREP. “There was so much money thrown at the company it was just like let’s just execute and figure it out later and some people were brought in who should not have been brought in,” he said. These concerns were brushed off by TigerSwan’s CEO, James Reese who saw huge profit margins and the opportunity to expand his business into the field of domestic oil security.

Answers are not forthcoming as to why the oil company made such an abrupt decision to begin construction that day. Landon Steele told SOFREP that, “Now they will never say that we used you guys [contractors] as bait, but you know it certainly changed the tempo of everything that happened out there….They really really wanted to see a confrontation.”

Intelligence analysts hired on as security contracts kept track of SIGACTS, Significant Actions, and charted them out on a day to day basis the same way they did when deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. SIGACTs include violent incidents and attacks. When TigerSwan arrived at Standing Rock, there was a clear and noticeable uptick in SIGACTs. Analysts know that correlation is not necessarily causation, but when anecdotal accounts from numerous security contracts are taken into account and the qualitative data is cross referenced with quantitative data, it becomes clear that TigerSwan was actively heating up the conflict.

TigerSwan acted as both the arsonist and the firefighter in North Dakota.

Players with no names

As TigerSwan personnel began to arrive in North Dakota, protesters began showing up in the camps at Standing Rock calling for violence and engaging in increasingly menacing rhetoric. The FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and Bureau of Land Management all had infiltrators placed inside the protest camps from the beginning. They watched and observed, in case things began to get out of hand as there were fears that the protests could spawn eco-terrorism. Suddenly, new protesters were showing up in the camps calling for violence.

These faux protesters would say, “we should get some guns and shoot those lights out, I can have my friends bring guns in, stuff like that,” a native American from Standing Rock named Eddie Stormcloud told SOFREP. “When they would say something like that I knew who they were and I would say no,” he continued.I know for a fact that there was TigerSwan there with me inside my camp. I let them stay because I could keep my eye on them.”

The FBI and other agencies began running the names of these new protesters through their national databases and came back with nothing. The newcomers had absolutely no digital fingerprint and the names they used were not real. A deconfliction process exists between federal agencies to ensure that accidents don’t happen, so that the DEA and ATF don’t attempt to infiltrate the same white supremacist group at the same time for instance. The newcomers were not protesters nor were they government agents trying to run entrapment operations, so who were they?

Two members of the so-called “Special Mission Unit” that showed up in TigerSwan’s Iowa office claiming that Reese sent them there and that they were going to infiltrate the protest camps, but refused to give their names. The next day they left for North Dakota and a portion of the above ground oil pipeline was sabotaged, several protestors taking the blame.  A TigerSwan employee was able to photograph the nameless two men, but they remain unidentified to this day.

The FBI’s Bismarck office initiated an investigation into the activities of TigerSwan starting around this time, their main fear being that TigerSwan would intentionally provoke the protesters in order to artificially extend the length of their contract.  SOFREP reached out to the FBI for comment but they did not respond.

When TigerSwan contractors realized that there was some other outside presence inside the protester camps that wasn’t their own intelligence collectors or federal agents, the matter was brought up to John Porter. His response was that these protesters were part of a “Special Mission Unit” hired by James Reese and that this subject would never be brought up again or they would be fired from TigerSwan. Porter did not trust them when they arrived because they were hired by Reese and run in a unilateral and compartmentalized fashion, so he tried to have other contractors drop dime on the new infiltrators to the protestors in order to have them removed from the camps. The FBI was never able to identify who they really were.

John Porter previously served as the 1st Troop Sergeant Major in A-Squadron, one of the maneuver elements of 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, commonly known as Delta Force or one of any number of code names and acronyms such as CAG or Task Force Green. Delta Force is the US Army’s premier counter-terrorism strike force, on constant alert to respond to military emergencies world wide.

Early in his career with Delta, Porter was deployed to Bosnia to work undercover within a conventional military unit, most likely as a ruse for him to go where he needed to go to gather intelligence information for JSOC without tipping off anyone that counter-terrorism operators were in the area. The Delta Force assaulters deployed to Bosnia were holed up inside a hangar waiting for the go ahead to round up Bosnian war criminals.  SOFREP reached out to John Porter for comment on this article but he did not reply by the time of publication.

While with Delta Force, Porter was the right hand man of James Reese who was the 1st Troop, A-Squadron (1/A) Commander. Fast forward to 2016 and Porter’s old boss at Delta had hired him to work security at DAPL with Reese now the CEO of TigerSwan. While still in the Army, Reese at one point was the liaison officer to the CIA, working with the agency in Afghanistan. Reese was known as a talented officer in Delta, and was supposed to take command of A-Squadron until indiscretions of a personal nature were uncovered by the unit’s command. SOFREP spoke to Jim Reese who directed any questions to their media affairs office.

Reese was asked to leave Delta and told he would not be taking command of A-Squadron. He went on to create TigerSwan and began bidding on government contracts as a private security contractor. A number of the original TigerSwan employees have parted ways with James Reese over ethical concerns, false performance claims, and screwing honest brokers out of business. Former associates describe Reese as someone who was a good officer who had a value system and chain of command keeping him in check while he was in the Army, but came off the rails once we left the military for the private sector.

TigerSwan’s first defense contract was providing linguists to the US military in Iraq. TigerSwan employees have served as tactical instructors at the Special Forces Qualification Course at Fort Bragg, provided bodyguards to a presidential candidate in the state of Georgia, aided in relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricanes in Houston and Puerto Rico, and developed security plans for celebrities.

As TigerSwan squeezed out the other companies on the DAPL contract, they mostly retrained the former Army Rangers and military intelligence people in their ranks and absorbed them into their company. The Rangers, Special Forces, and Delta Force veterans were mostly under-qualified for the jobs they had, and lacked an understanding of their operational environment. Porter was mainly interested in perpetuating the protest, keeping it going, and provoking the protesters into becoming more violent. When told that doing things like buzzing over the heads of protesters with a small drone was illegal, he would reply, “We are not concerned if it is legal or not.”

One of the more notable incidents during the DAPL protests unfolded when Army war veteran Kyle Thompson wrecked his pickup truck after being chased by two water protectors named Israel Hernandez and Mike Fasig. Thompson was chased into the river and brandished his M4 rifle to stop the protesters from disarming him. He was eventually arrested and taken into custody by tribal authorities who than handed him over the state law enforcement who released him.

Kyle Thompson (left) while deployed in support of the Global War on Terror. Thompson’s co-workers allege that he was addicted to heroin while out on the DAPL contract, as was his girlfriend. This February, Thompson was alleged to have knocked out two of her front teeth. (Pictures: Facebook)

Security contractors who knew Kyle state that he was brought onto the DAPL contract by a Army friend of his who was still active duty and was taking leave from Fort Benning to make some extra money working as a DAPL contractor, a possible violation of Executive Order 12333 which bars soldiers from such activities on American soil. Silverton had also hired a Marine on terminal leave from his duty station in Japan collect intelligence on US citizens in the protest camps which was a clear violation of EO 12333.  The company also hired a member of the National Guard to go undercover and collect intelligence on US citizens in Iowa.  TigerSwan offered jobs to the Marine and the National Guard member, both of whom declined their offer.

Thompson was known by his supervisors to have been having clandestine meetings with John Porter, and being assigned additional unofficial tasks. “Porter had promised him a bunch of money,” for these clandestine missions according to Kyle’s supervisor. These tasks including infiltrating the protest camps at night, but for what purpose is unknown. Water protectors at Standing Rock confirmed to SOFREP what security contractors initially reported, that Kyle Thompson had been trying to infiltrate the camps.

The day of the incident, Thompson’s supervisors were observing several pieces of equipment that had been set on fire with Thompson in the car when they decided to back off the scene. Thompson than headed back to the hangar at the Mandan Municipal Airport that they worked out of. The next thing his supervisors know, they are hearing on the radio about how Thompson went back out to the site on his own and wrecked his truck. Why he went back out there, and under whose direction remains unknown.

Thompson is alleged to have been addicted to heroin going back to his time at DAPL which would have made him desperate for the money that Porter had offered him.  In February of this year, a picture of his girlfriend was posted on social media of her missing two front teeth, claiming Thompson had knocked them out.

A TigerSwan employee commented on what was being discussed at the company’s headquarters in North Carolina at this time saying, “that JP [John Porter] was throwing people undercover in with the protesters and it wasn’t just for intelligence gathering. It was more or less to incite them to do other things that would make TigerSwan a relevant necessity to continue to be paid money for security.”

A Guardian Angel

One of the big selling points that TigerSwan used to sell their services to ETP for the DAPL contract was that the company uses what they bill as a proprietary app for smartphones called GuardianAngel which can be used to track their employees. Using GuardianAngel, ETP could be given a sense of security because they could see in real time that TigerSwan had security contractors physically present at the pipeline construction site watching over the company’s assets.

GuardianAngel is sold to celebrities as a sort of digital panic button that not only tracks them, but that can be used to summon a global response and recovery system. The truth of the matter is that the app does not really work much of the time and that TigerSwan simply hires “vetted” local third party venders to run any potential assist and recovery operation, up-charging the client an extra 25% for the TigerSwan image which positions the company as little more than a security broker or high-tech travel agent.

GuardianAngel sits on web servers, but then provides information to severs housed at TigerSwan’s headquarters in North Carolina which makes use of a digital platform which is provided by a British company. This makes it even more strange that TigerSwan sells proprietary licenses to celebrities and other clients when the actual software that makes the app work is owned by a British company.

“It is smoke and mirrors when it comes to being married with the platform, there is no GuardianAngel platform,” a TigerSwan employee said. “It is run through a British company. They claim to know exactly where you are but half of the time the position locations are nowhere near accurate, sometimes they are a mile off.”

Thus far, there has not been a real life emergency in which the app has been put to the test. “That keeps me up at night, when is someone going to be be laying there and need that panic alarm and it’s not going to work for him,” the TigerSwan employee told SOFREP. In one case it was discovered that GuardianAngel simply wasn’t functioning at all for several days without anyone noticing.

GuardianAngel is currently being used by some of the most recognizable singers and celebrities in the world.

Some TigerSwan contractors at Standing Rock loaded the app onto burner cell phones and simply left them in their hotel rooms because they distrusted it. Due to the vale of secrecy within the company, no one knows for sure about the specifics of the app. There is, “lot of behind the door sessions where a lot of information is very compartmentalized so no one knows exactly what is going on except for Jim [Reese],” the TigerSwan member told SOFREP. “If Jim is the only one that has the whole story then he is the one that can craft the entire image.”

False Flags and Agents Provocateur

Porter was known to drive his pickup truck to a position over watching the North Bridge that crossed Cannon Ball River, the body of water that separated the protesters from the ETP oil pipeline construction site. From here, he would get on the radio and mimic the calls made by the protesters themselves in the early days of the protest before they got wise to the fact that the contractors were monitoring them. “All warriors to the bridge!” Porter would order over the radio, pretending to be a protester. “Everyone to the bridge, all warriors to the bridge!”

Eventually, John Porter got exactly what he wanted.

On November 20th protesters began showing up at the North Bridge. Barricades were present on the bridge and each day a TigerSwan employee who was a retired Special Forces soldier would go down to make sure the concertina wire was in order.

An internal document drafted by TigerSwan personnel which was provided to SOFREP gives their timeline of events and states that at 5:37PM, “Rioter radio chatter is calling for shields to be brought to the bridge ‘they are shooting at us, they are shooting at us, here they come, get us the shields!’” Then at 6:09PM the TigerSwan timeline says, “Radio chatter: Male says ‘where are the RED WARRIORS that have been talking shit… and they are not up front with us.’” But how much of this chatter reported in the TigerSwan timeline was really from protesters, and how much of it was from their own employee? That night, the police turned water cannons on the protesters. One young woman was blinded by a rubber bullet.

A timeline of events at the North Bridge made by TigerSwan employees as part of a internal intelligence brief.

This kind of activity was normal for Porter, who would hand his contractors baseball bats and tell them to break the legs of any protester found behind police lines, an illegal order that his subordinates blew off and in fact reported to higher ranking individuals at TigerSwan’s headquarters, but no actions were taken to correct Porter or remove him from his position. As time went on, TigerSwan’s CEO, James Reese was made aware of the indiscretions and illegal activities going on in his company as well but nothing changed.

“Everyone just saw oil and saw dollar signs,” a security contractor who worked on the DAPL project told SOFREP before commenting that Reese, “wants to be the next Erik Prince.” At one point, TigerSwan was making a million dollars in profit per month while working on DAPL. No one at the company wanted to see that spigot turn off so some employees provoked the protesters in order to prolong the conflict. ETP was unaware of this as their director of security, Eric Lyons, was inexperienced and took whatever TigerSwan said at face value.

Another incident took place when Porter ordered several ex-Rangers to do penetration tests of the protester camps by driving a pickup truck right through their perimeter lines. The former Rangers blasted into Camp 3 where many of the more radical native Americans were known to be and made a loop through the camp. As protesters moved their vehicles to close off the entrance and trap them, the Rangers drove over a snow bank and escaped. Next, they drove down to Camp 1 and repeated the same tactic. This time the native Americans drove after them and they got into a high-speed pursuit down the road.

This action resulted in the women and children vacating the camps, while those remaining went up to 100% security and prepared for law enforcement and security contractors to come clear the camps, which was never going to happen. The protesters simply burned through resources and the native American tribe was not in a position to help them since they had spent the water protector donations to the tune of 3.2 million dollars in order to settle their casino debts.

“I know for a fact that the money went into a lot of people’s pockets,” said Eddie Stormcloud who was a leader in one of the water protector camps and attended many closed-door sessions with the tribal council. Stormcloud also told SOFREP that the true amount of money was closer to nine million dollars rather than the 3.2 reported.  At the end of the day, it seemed that everyone was cashing in on the situation at Standing Rock.

James Reese (left) served as the commander of 1st Troop of Delta Force’s A-Squadron prior to becoming the CEO of TigerSwan. His program manager at DAPL had to be someone that Reese could trust so he turned to his former 1 Troop Sergeant Major, John Porter (right).

“Porter’s real goal was to keep this thing going as long as possible,” a former TigerSwan employee told SOFREP. “Some of the protesters wanted to do big actions because they would get more media coverage and more funding. TigerSwan wanted it to happened because their contract would be prolonged. Meanwhile, ETP had no idea.”

One of the first contractors on the ground at DAPL told SOFREP that, “when TigerSwan came on that was when the shit show started. They came in with this military ideology when it was a police operation. They were almost willing to go in and do things that RGT [Russel Group] would never do because you can’t by law. So the oil company looked to TigerSwan as the authority and a lot of guys went over to them.”

The security contractor continued, saying that TigerSwan had an attitude of, “we are going to walk into a room with a bunch of thugs and will be the biggest thug in the room.”

“They are trying to prolong this as a cash cow,” another contractor lamented.

TigerSwan sent an unsigned and undated document from a nameless e-mail address to SOFREP denying the contents of this article.  It reads in part, “The claims you make have no basis in reality and are completely made up.”  The document goes on to state, “At no time were there any approved operations outside of the scope of the contract. Just like any dynamic organization, the client’s enterprise team for DAPL would come up with creative ideas to do their jobs differently, but nothing outside the scope of the contract was ever approved.”

A legacy brought home from Iraq and Afghanistan

The conflict at Standing Rock created a number of precedents for the future of protests and counter-protest actions. While companies like Blackwater were private military companies operating abroad, TigerSwan brought the tactics that contractors and soldiers use in Baghdad to American soil for the first time.

A retired Delta Force operator who spoke to SOFREP about the cultural issues involved was even more blunt about what the modern Special Operations soldier has become. “You are assigning this awe to people who kill other people for a living,” the retired operator stated. “They only do good at this because they have strong supervision telling them what to do and they come off the rails without supervision.”

There is currently a narrative in popular culture about Special Operations supermen who are the masters at everything, but those who come from inside the community realize that a Ranger who specialized in Direct Action raids is probably not the best choice for a person to run human intelligence operations and attempt to infiltrate a protester camp or participate in police actions without specific training. However, Reese and his staff were able to capitalize on the reputation of Special Operations Forces, especially when interfacing with ETP security managers who literally had no idea what they were doing.

A former TigerSwan employee described to SOFREP how corporations hire former Special Operations soldiers with an expectation that they are willing to do anything to get the job done, just like they did when they were in uniform.  However, many of those activities are illegal for private citizens to engage in.

Amongst TigerSwan employees, amateurish and incorrect intelligence analysis mixed with rumor to indicate that Arab terrorists and Russian gangsters were present inside the protest camps, which were in turn funded by evil shadowy billionaires who were ideologically motivated to destroy America. These were the masturbatory fantasies of former Special Operations soldiers eager to re-live their glory days and maintain relevancy in their lives after service.

A internal TigerSwan e-mail written by one of their HUMINT contractors at Standing Rock describes an initiative to begin blackmailing protesters who are assessed as being vulnerable to exploitation. In this case, Angelo Sisson, was never recruited, only targeted. (Picture: Facebook)

One of the perennial problems associated with Special Operations Forces is that they largely conduct High Value Target raids, flying into an area under the cover of darkness in helicopters, hitting a target, killing a bunch of people, and then flying out. When the local population, and terrorists in the area, find out they don’t retaliate against the SOF unit because they are nowhere to be found so they strike out at whatever Americans are in the area. Conventional military units end up on the receiving end of their ambushes and IEDs. Many of the security contractors at TigerSwan such as John Porter brought this slash and burn SOF mentality back home with them to use against American citizens on US soil. John Porter and others antagonized the protesters and made them more violent without any consideration for the law enforcement officers who would have to deal with the fallout.

Another criticism of Special Operations Forces is how often they make mistakes, out of carelessness or malice. JSOC Task Force operators have killed CIA sources in Afghanistan time and time again, without consideration for the larger intelligence and counter-insurgency strategy at hand. While federal agencies have a deconfliction process to ensure that their undercover personnel do not end up infiltrating the same group at the same time, private security companies like TigerSwan do not engage in any such practice. When SOFREP spoke with a TigerSwan contractor who was at DAPL, he was adamant that when he ran undercover in the protest camps no one was to know about them because that is how they did things in Iraq.

On numerous occasions, TigerSwan dodged the bullet, literally and figuratively, because of how close the company came to having a group of former SOF soldiers gunning down unarmed protesters.  Such a battle would have been brother against brother in more ways than one, as there were US military veterans working as contractors as well as in the protestor camps as activists. On multiple occasions, the situation at DAPL threatened to spill completely out of control and TigerSwan was one of the main instigators. It is hard to fathom how profoundly a shootout between former SOF contractors and protesters could have changed American discourse.

“You have to reign these guys in, because if you go and kill a bunch of people, they want to get that dragon,” the retired Delta operator told SOFREP about the war time mentality of the today’s Special operators. “You get this larger than life attitude because you are a ex-Ranger or ex-Delta guy. When it was every single night they were killing people and then you throw that guy into the mix with regular civilians it is insane. These are ungoverned soldiers. Everybody is a operator now, everybody is strapped up. I can’t imagine a professional law enforcement officer thinking this is a good idea. Out there on the line it is all about discretion; it is all about restraint.”

“Someone is going to get shot, and then a bunch of people are going to get shot, and then we are going to have a Wounded Knee III. That’s going to reflect badly on the national guard, on law enforcement, and certainly on private security contractors,” Landon Steele said. “Guys need to be really leery and really careful and ask the really hard questions when a contract holder calls them and says we have a contract here in the US.”

Today, TigerSwan employs contractors running static and roving security patrols for the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline being built in Pennsylvania by ETP. The company also has eyes on the Atlantic pipeline and would like to bid on upcoming security contracts that will need to be fulfilled for the project.

TigerSwan’s internal security assessments anticipate protests when the Atlantic pipeline is run through North Carolina and West Virginia.


SOFREP will continue to follow the story as it develops. Read more on the subject in TigerSwan: Propaganda Masquerading as Analysis.