PREVENTING ILLEGAL ARMS FLOWS
The case of Viktor Bout highlights the human rights and national security concerns posed by global arms traffickers
Bout’s release threatens global security; it’s also an opportunity
BY KATHI LYNN AUSTIN AND BRIAN FRESKOS, OPINION CONTRIBUTORS - 12/13/22
His release provides an opportunity to redouble our efforts to contain this one-man weapon of mass destruction and to counter arms trafficking wherever it is occurring. If we miss this chance, we could all pay a price — as gunrunners continue making a killing in their operations of mass murder.
Viktor Bout is released from U.S. prison
CNN: OUTFRONT with Erin Burnett
December 8, 2022
The release of the iconic gunrunner Viktor Bout from prison requires stronger measures to thwart the operations of global arms traffickers from Ukraine to Mexico and beyond.
“Personified Weapon of Mass Destruction”: Ex-Arms Trafficking Inspector on Freed Russian Viktor Bout
December 9, 2022
Kathi Lynn Austin, a former U.N. arms trafficking investigator, says that while Griner’s release is cause for celebration, “it is such a difficult time for those of us who are aware of how Viktor Bout can be easily deployed” in conflict zones. “He is a personified weapon of mass destruction, and he has always proven himself ready, willing and able,” says Austin.
Russia Frees Arms Dealer
BBC World News
December 8, 2022
This is not the last we will hear of Viktor Bout. His release was a means for Russia's Vladimir Putin to arm himself with a weapon of mass destruction personified. Bout is ready and willing to resume his criminal activity and the world should be aware.
Viktor Bout Saga Continues
August 1,, 2022
Executive Director Kathi Lynn Austin tells The Guardian that in a post-release situation arms trafficker Viktor Bout could be weaponized again in areas of the world where the Merchant of Death has a proven track record. CAP's work on Viktor Bout's successors (see below) are a stark reminder.
Viktor Bout waits in a holding cell in Bangkok on 9 March 2009. Photograph: Sukree Sukplang/REUTERS
In April 2012, convicted international arms trafficker Viktor Bout was sentenced to 25 years in a US prison on charges of terrorism. However, questions remained about the fate of his billion-dollar gunrunning network. CAP set out to investigate, and busted open a major weapons ring targeting Sudan, Congo and Syria.
Viktor Bout’s Gunrunning Successors
A CAP Briefing Report by Kathi Lynn Austin
Tracking the merchant of death
November 4, 2011
CNN's Erin Burnett talks to Kathi Lynn Austin, who's hunted the Russian arms dealer known as the "Merchant of Death."