ISLAMABAD - Quietly and under the nose of the law enforcement agencies of the Federal Capital, suspicious Americans, in a bid to keep a close eye on Dr AQ Khan, have rented a number of houses near Khans house, it has been learnt. These Americans have rented houses in streets 11, 13 & 23 of Sector E-7. These streets are located at the right and the back of Khans house forming a surrounding U. Most probably, the Americans are planning to kidnap Dr AQ Khan in the same way as they earlier did in the case of Dr Aafia who was kidnapped from Karachi. The presence of these Americans in the area is not only a high security risk for the residents but it has also raised many eyebrows with regard to what has made them rent houses near Khans house. To the shock of many, majority of the houses situated in Street 23 are rented by suspicious Americans. Presence of suspicious Americans (possibly operatives of Blackwater/XE Worldwide) in E-7, surrounding house of Dr AQ Khan, has rung alarm bells among many. A wave of fear and insecurity has been felt among residents of the Sector. It is pertinent to note that the foreigners affiliated with the notorious private military contractor Blackwater/XE Worldwide arrived in Islamabad during the first week of November last year. Recently, former Chief of Army Staff Mirza Aslam Beg claimed that former President Pervez Musharraf had given Blackwater the green signal to carry out its terrorist operations in the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Quetta. He also claimed that the Blackwater/XE Worldwide was directly involved in the murder of Benazir Bhutto and Lebanese leader Rafic Hariri. Moreover, according to a report of Mark Mazzetti published in The New York Times on August 20, 2009, the Central Intelligence Agency in 2004 hired contractors from private security contractor Blackwater, USA, as part of a secret programme related to locating and assassinating top operatives of al-Qaeda. It has also drawn a controversy. Blackwater/XE Worldwide employees hired to guard American diplomats in Iraq were accused of using excessive force on several occasions, including shootings in Baghdad in 2007 in which 17 civilians were killed. Iraqi officials have since refused to give the company an operating licence. Several current and former government officials interviewed for this article spoke only on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing details of a still classified programme, the NYT reported. The newspaper report said that despite publicly breaking ties with it, the State Department continued to award the Company, formerly known as Blackwater, more than $400 million in contracts to fly its diplomats around Iraq, guard them in Afghanistan and train security forces in anti-terrorism tactics at its remote camp in North Carolina.