On 19 February, the New York Times reported that Prince offered to supply weapons, drones and mercenaries to a Libyan militia commander seeking to overthrow the government, according to UN investigators. Erik Prince is the former head of the security contractor Blackwater Worldwide and a prominent supporter of former President Trump. It is alleged that Prince deployed a force of foreign mercenaries, armed with attack aircraft, gunboats and cyberwarfare capabilities, to eastern Libya at the height of a major battle in 2019. As part of the operation, which the report said cost $80 million, the mercenaries also planned to form a hit squad that could track down and kill selected Libyan commanders. It is said that a friend and former business partner of Prince travelled to Jordan to buy surplus, American-made Cobra attack helicopters from the Jordanian military, but the Jordanians stopped the sale, forcing the mercenaries to source alternative aircraft from South Africa. The New York Times says that the big question about Prince left unanswered by the UN report is who funded the $80 million mercenary operation he is accused of undertaking.
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