Who Is The 'Merchant Of Death?'

"(CNN)
He's known as the ""Merchant of Death"" and the ""Lord of War,"" -- an alleged international arms dealer straight out of a cloak-and-dagger spy novel who eluded authorities for years and inspired Hollywood villains.

But in reality, according to those who have seen or met Viktor Bout, he is a somber man, sometimes nattily dressed, a wheeler-dealer who has insisted he is innocent of the allegations leveled against him.

Bout, a Russian citizen and former military officer, speaks six languages ""and I could see him bargaining in all six at the same time,"" wrote CNN's Jill Dougherty in 2008, recalling her meeting with Bout in 2002 in Moscow, Russia.

Bout arrived in New York late Tuesday after being extradited from Thailand. He faces charges in the United States of conspiring to kill U.S. nationals, conspiring to kill U.S. officers or employees, conspiring to acquire and use an anti-aircraft missile and conspiring to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. American law enforcement officers have spent years pursuing him, and the extradition process from Thailand was an arduous one for them."