I’ve just received an email from Free Stater to bring me belatedly up to speed with the latest Viktor Bout developments. Apparently, a company liked to the merchant of death has been involved in some extraordinary arms shipments between the Balkans and Iraq:
The Pentagon has secretly shipped tens of thousands of small arms from Bosnia to Iraq in the past two years, using a web of private companies, at least one of which is a noted arms smuggler blacklisted by Washington and the UN.
According to a report by Amnesty International, which investigated the sales, the US government arranged for the delivery of at least 200,000 Kalashnikov machine guns from Bosnia to Iraq in 2004-05. But though the weaponry was said to be for arming the fledgling Iraqi military, there is no evidence of the guns reaching their recipient.Senior western officials in the Balkans fear that some of the guns may have fallen into the wrong hands. (Guardian, 11 May)