Spanning a new Cold War

Very interesting development, described below in NYT, that could have number of grave implications. 1) the arrested person in Thailand, Mr Bout is believed to have close ties with Russian security services, he himself being allegedly mid-ranking FSB officer. 2) He is said to have supplied arms to Al-Quaeda shortly before 9/11. 3) He is believed to own number of air cargo companies. 4) conspiracy theory about involvement of Russian security services in the 9/11 attack

Join up all these four together and you get a very good reason not merely for an international scandal, but nothing less than resumption of Cold War between the US and Russia.

March 7, 2008

Thai Authorities Arrest Arms Dealer

By SETH MYDANS and RAYMOND BONNER

BANGKOK — One of the world’s most notorious arms dealers, suspected of supplying weapons to the Taliban and Al Qaeda and of pouring huge arms shipments into Africa’s civil wars with his own private air fleet, was arrested by Thai authorities in a hotel here on Thursday. His capture was prompted by a tipoff from the United States in connection with the procurement of weapons for the FARC, the leftist Colombian rebel group.

Later on Thursday, Federal prosecutors in New York announced the unsealing of criminal charges against the arms dealer, Viktor Bout, 41, and one of his associates, Andrew Smulian. A criminal complaint, filed in United States District Court in Manhattan, charges them each with one count of conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Michael J. Garcia, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, said at a news conference that the government intends to pursue the extradition of Mr. Bout from Thailand to stand trial in New York.

“Today’s arrest marks the culmination of a long term D.E.A. undercover investigation that spanned the globe,” Mr. Garcia said, “and it marks the end of the reign of one of the world’s most wanted arms traffickers.”….

Thai Authorities Arrest Arms Dealer – New York Times

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