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Dakota Access Pipeline owner Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) paid a private security firm to build a massive racketeering suit against green groups opposing the pipeline, three former employees confirmed to the Intercept this week.

Documents leaked to The Intercept in May reveal that ETP hired TigerSwan, which was originally founded as a State Department contractor working to "execute the war on terror," to conduct counterterrorism measures on activists, including aerial surveillance on protesters, infiltrating activist groups and developing "counter-information" campaigns.

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Dakota Access Pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners is no longer using private security firm TigerSwan to monitor security in North Dakota, a company spokesperson confirmed to the AP.

Last week, a governor-appointed security board revealed TigerSwan had been operating in North Dakota during the NoDAPL protests after being denied a license, and sued to block the company's work in the state and seek administrative fines.

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Dark Sevier / Flickr

In September of last year, when protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in North Dakota were at its peak, disturbing footage showed security personnel releasing their dogs at the peaceful water protectors.

This widely shared clip sparked nationwide criticism and anger towards the controversial project. To counter the protests, DAPL parent company Energy Transfer Partners turned to a private security firm that treated the demonstrators to a "jihadist insurgency," according a jaw-dropping report from The Intercept.

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