Cold War

'Merchant of Death' Extradited to U.S.

A Russian international arms dealer nicknamed the “Merchant of Death,” wanted on terrorism charges, was extradited Tuesday to the U.S. from Thailand, Thai police said, warranting condemnation from the Russian foreign ministry. A former Soviet military officer, Viktor Bout has been indicted in the U.S. on four terrorism charges, including illegally purchasing U.S. cargo planes to carry weapons to war zones in the Middle East and Africa. The Russian foreign minister called the extradition “an extraordinary injustice,” claiming Thailand had bowed to “unprecedented political pressure” from the U.S and vowing to help Bout “in every possible way.” Bout was arrested in Bangkok in March 2008, after Drug Enforcement agents led a sting operation posing as members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. He has long proclaimed his innocence.