NEW YORK - Blackwater Worldwide guards in Iraq and Afghanistan exceeded their role of guarding CIA officers by taking part in highly sensitive missions, a leading American newspaper reported Friday. The missions included raids on suspected insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan and transporting captives, The New York Times said, quoting former company employees and intelligence officials. In Iraq, such actions against suspected al-Qaeda insurgents were almost a nightly routine between 2004 and 2006, former employees and current and former intelligence officers told the newspaper. This kind of partnership, which apparently was deeper than what has been officially disclosed, had proved quite profitable for the company, the report said. "It became a very brotherly relationship," one former top CIA officer told The Times. "There was a feeling that Blackwater eventually became an extension of the agency." The North Carolina-based Blackwater is now called Xe Services. Iraqis have accused its guards of reckless conduct, the report said. CIA spokesman George Little declined comment on Blackwater's connections but said contractors hired by the agency give "flexibility in shaping and managing your talent mix -- especially in the short term -- but the accountability's still yours." Blackwater spokesman Mark Corallo was quoted as saying the company was never under contract to participate in clandestine raids with the CIA or with Special Operations personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else. The Times report said it was not clear whether top CIA officials in the United States knew or approved of Blackwater officials' involvement in the raids or whether they were known only to those on the ground. Congressman Rush Holt, a New Jersey Democrat who is chairman of the House Select Intelligence Oversight Panel, told The Times that the use of contractors in intelligence and paramilitary operations is a scandal waiting to be examined. While he declined to comment on specific operations, Holt said that the use of contractors in such operations got way out of hand. He added, Its been very troubling to a lot of people. Blackwaters ties to the C.I.A. have emerged in recent months, beginning with disclosures in The New York Times that the agency had hired the company as part of a programme to assassinate leaders of Al Qaeda and to assist in the C.I.A.s Predator drone program in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Leon Panetta, the C.I.A. director, recently initiated an internal review examining all Blackwater contracts with the agency to ensure that the company was performing no missions that were operational in nature, according to one government official. Five former Blackwater employees and four current and former American intelligence officials interviewed would speak only on condition of anonymity because Blackwaters activities for the agency were secret and former employees feared repercussions from the company, the Times said. The Blackwater employees said they participated in the raids or had direct knowledge of them. In the spring of 2002, Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, offered to help the spy agency guard its makeshift Afghan station in the Ariana Hotel in Kabul, the report said. Not long after Prince signed the security contract with Alvin Krongard, then the C.I.A.s third-ranking official, dozens of Blackwater personnel many of them former members of units of the Navy Seals or Army Delta Force were sent to provide perimeter security for the C.I.A. station. But the companys role soon changed as Blackwater operatives began accompanying C.I.A. case officers on missions, according to former employees and intelligence officials. A similar progression happened in Iraq, where Blackwater was first hired for static security of the Baghdad station. In addition, Blackwater was charged with providing personal security for C.I.A. officers wherever they traveled in the two countries. That meant that Blackwater personnel accompanied the officers even on offensive operations sometimes begun in conjunction with Delta Force or Navy Seals teams.