TigerSwan, the mercenary firm under fire in North Dakota for using counterterrorism tactics against water protectors opposing Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access pipeline at Standing Rock, has applied for a license to provide private security in Louisiana.
While the application process does not require the firm to indicate who they will be working for, Energy Transfer Partners spokesperson Alexis Daniel said the pipeline company anticipates work to begin on the Bayou Bridge pipeline in the third quarter of this year.
The Bayou Bridge pipeline is the southern leg of Energy Transfer Partners’ Bakken pipeline system, which includes the now-complete Dakota Access Pipeline. If built, the 163-mile Bayou Bridge pipeline will run from Lake Charles to St. James Louisiana, cutting through 11 Louisiana parishes and crossing 700 bodies of water.
In May, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) issued a coastal use permit for the project, which was required because the pipeline is slated to pass through Louisiana’s sensitive coastal areas. Once the remaining permits are secured, and the pipeline is completed, the system is projected to transport 480,000 per day of fracked oil per day from North Dakota to St. James, Louisiana.
Documents recently released by the Intercept and Grist show Energy Transfer Partners hired TigerSwan, a mercenary security force, to use counter-terrorism tactics against water protectors in North Dakota. Documents show TigerSwan compared water protectors to “jihadists” and “insurgents.”
According to its website, TigerSwan was founded “in 2007 by retired members of the United States Delta Force.” Delta Force is a secretive counterterrorism special operations unit of the US Army reportedly used to eliminate its targets or to engage in hostage recovery. While in North Dakota, TigerSwan worked closely with local law enforcement.
Fabian P. Blache III, Executive Director & Chief Administrative Officer of the Louisiana State Board of Private Security Examiners, said this is the first time the mercenary firm has applied to operate in Louisiana.
He said the firm and its leadership team will be subject to a strict application process that includes criminal background checks and document verification.
“We will verify documents such as resumes and other certificates submitted to our office and look to see if applicants have a history of license suspension in other states,” said Blache. He said the board will examine information on the firm’s owners as well as its employees.
TigerSwan illegally operated in North Dakota until September 2016, when officials notified the firm, which then applied for a license. In December, the North Dakota Private Investigative and Security Board rejected the company’s application, reportedly because James Patrick Reese, the firm’s president has a criminal record.