Tuesday, December 23, 2008

DEA Busts "Merchant of Death"

Another article in this week's Economist tells the life and times of post-Soviet arms dealer Viktor Bout, dubbed by some the "Merchant of Death."

Turns out an elite undercover unit of the DEA ultimately caught him. The Economist doesn't explain why the DEA was involved — but it turns out that the 9/11 attacks prompted the feds to beef up DEA and redefine its mission to include enforcement of international terror laws, to the extent that a case might have any nexus with illegal drug trafficking. Turns out Bout was running small amounts of drugs on the side.