Authorities in Australia have arrested a man they say conspired with a convicted international arms dealer known as the "Merchant of Death."
Richard Ammar Chichakli, a U.S. and Syrian citizen, was arrested Wednesday by Australian authorities at the request of the United States, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said Thursday.
The DEA alleges Chichakli once conspired with convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout to buy airplanes to illegally transport weapons to conflict zones.FULL STORY
After evading international authorities for nearly two decades, alleged international arms and drug smuggler Viktor Bout, widely dubbed the "merchant of death" by his accusers, will go on trial in New York Tuesday.
The Russian businessman is charged with a wide range of counts, including conspiracy to kill Americans, attempting to sell arms to undercover federal agents, wire fraud and violating U.N. Security Council sanctions. Bout pleaded not guilty to all charges last year.
"I'm very confident that the trial will make it transparent that Viktor Bout did not intend to sell arms to anyone," Bout's lawyer, Albert Y. Dayan, said during pretrial hearings.
International security experts say that the charges encompass only a small fraction of what they believe Bout is responsible for.FULL STORY
To pat or not to pat? - Amidst a flurry of complaints from passengers who said they'd been inappropriately touched while airportÂ security screeners patted them down, the chief of the Transportation Security Administration is expected toÂ defend the method Wednesday. John Pistole will testify before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. His appearance was scheduled before this week's "Don't touch my junk" controversy, during which a passenger videotaped his pat-down experience.Â Two pilots who refused full body scans and pat-downsÂ are suing the Department of Homeland Security.Â FormerÂ commercial pilot C.B. "Sully" Sullenberger, who famously landed a plane in the Hudson River, says pat-downs for flight crews aren'tÂ "an efficient use of our resources."Â The organization suing TSA on behalf of theÂ pilots said the agency is "forcing travelers to consent to a virtual strip search."
Movie publicist killed -Â Hollywood is reelingÂ after a well-known publicist wasÂ gunned down in Los Angeles, California, early Tuesday afterÂ a party celebratingÂ the new Cher/Christina Aguilera movie, "Burlesque."Â Ronnie Chasen, 64, diedÂ after "multiple shots" were fired into her Mercedes, seconds after she drove past theÂ Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard, police said.Â Chasen crashed the car into a light pole at 12:20 a.m.Â She died later at Cedars-Sinai Hospital.
"We were all on such a high," songwriter Diane Warren said. "And then she left - I'm guessing about 10 minutes before I did. What on earth? What happened? Why?"
Alleged international arms dealer Viktor Bout,Â inspiration for a lead character inÂ the film "Lord of War" starring Nicolas Cage,Â was extradited to the United States on terrorism charges Tuesday. The mustachioed Russian arrived in New YorkÂ on a U.S. chartered jetÂ from Thailand.
Bout had been held in a Thai jail sinceÂ March 2008Â when he was arrested in a sting operation conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. AgentsÂ posedÂ asÂ members of Colombia's rebel group FARC.
Bout is accused of supplying weapons to war zones from Sierra Leone to Afghanistan.Â He says Â he's innocent.
The RussianÂ government is upset about the extradition and hasÂ called the move "illegal."Â Russian officialsÂ blamed the United States for exacting "unprecedented political pressure"Â onÂ Thai courts.
Bout has rarely given interviews, though one example stands out whichÂ was published in 2003 in the New York Times. Journalists Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun wrote a book about Bout. In August, Farah wrote in Foreign Policy about why Bout may not stand trial.