Marvel's The Avengers: Who were Loki's human soldiers?

There are a couple of scenes in The Avengers in which Loki has human soldiers working for him-- the battle in Germany, and the fight on the Heli-Carrier. When asked by one of his turned allies (Hawkeye, I think), where they came from, Loki handwaved it by saying that SHIELD has enemies.

So, um, were these HYDRA guys, or what?

I got the impression they were spies and mercenaries and criminals busted by SHIELD in the past.

Is it a handwave if they answer the question directly and clearly?

A handwave is a throw away line used to explain an important plot detail. The hand wave being we have no idea what the motivation or identity of these faceless goons are besides being evil cannon fodder.

IIRC it was Selvig who asked Hawkeye, so the response could be whatever Loki told him.

emphasis added

No plot detail could have been more unimportant. It’s like asking who was Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s hiring manager and what benefits did he offer should the cannon fodder actually survive.

Yeah, worrying about how the guy who can mind control Avengers is finding goons seems pretty silly. This is one of those things that don’t even need an explanation.

They don’t need motivation. Loki controlled their minds, remember?

Didn’t Ms. Marvel briefly date a guy who basically worked as an evil minion for whatever super villain was hiring?

They were from the Mystical Land known as Central Casting.

The Marvel Universe has a villain whose whole job is hiring out random mooks to whatever villain needs new henches.

Simpsons did it