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Profiling the 21st Century's 'Merchant of Death'

Jul 11, 2007 (Fresh Air from WHYY)

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Russian arms dealer Victor Bout has armed Islamic extremists and sold weapons to some of the Third World's most abusive and murderous dictators and warlords — and he's known for fueling both sides of conflicts.

His success is rooted in the legacy of the Cold War, whose messy unraveling left him with easy access to massive inventories of weapons and ammunition built up by the Soviets. We talk about Bout with journalists Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun, who've co-written a book about him: Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible.

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