It was Viktor Bout's quantum leap in the ability to provide rag-tag and violent groups like the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone and Charles Taylor in Liberia that drew the attention of U.S. and European intelligence services in the mid-1990s. As rebels launched their campaigns of mass amputations and systematic rape to take over lucrative diamond fields, they used weapons purchased through Bout and often paid with commodities.
Viktor Bout studied at the Military Institute of Foreign Languages in Moscow and is said to speak six languages. After graduating, he became an officer in the Soviet Air Force and was initially posted to Angola, where Viktor Bout is alleged to have worked for the KGB.
Victor Anatoliyevich Bout holds at least five passports and uses as many as seven aliases, he has conducted his illicit deals from the privacy of a walled compound in the Gulf state of Sharjah, which is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where he is a citizen. Viktor Bout was living with his wife, Alla Bout seen in photo above, and her father, Zuiguin in Sharjah UAE, Zuiguin who, according to a UN report, “at one point held a high position in the KGB, perhaps even as high as a deputy chairman”, Viktor Bout is KGB.
But it was the same access to rogue aircraft in growing swaths of ungoverned spaces in Africa and Afghanistan that made Viktor Bout useful to the governments that were pursuing him. Need supplies for U.S. troops flown into Baghdad in 2003 when U.S. forces lacked airlift capacity? Bout's planes were available. Need to fly emergency food aid into the Democratic Republic of the Congo? Bout had the planes and pilots. From gladiolas to frozen chicken to AK-47s, Bout was the deliveryman par excellence.
And as Vladimir Putin consolidated the badly fractured intelligence services again over the past several years, Bout was less a rogue agent and more a part of the rapidly expanding Russian arms network. No longer free to operate on his own, he was spotted by European intelligence services in Iran in 2005 and Lebanon in 2006, allegedly delivering Russian weapons used by Hezbollah in the war with Israel that summer.
Viktor Bout could likely tell a great deal about the Russian-led networks that continue to arm jihadi movements in Somalia and Yemen. He also likely knows how the Russian military intelligence and arms structure works, including its interests from Iran to Venezuela and elsewhere. His knowledge base, although he is only 43 years old, goes back more than two decades and possibly extends to the heart of the Russian campaigns around the globe.
Let's see where this goes, look at everything all the way back to the Russian (USSR) backing of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) in the 1960's, during the Vietnam War. USSR trained North Vietnamese MIG pilots in the Soviet Union, for up to two years per student. USSR supplied MIG17 & MIG21's to the NVAF. Red China trained North Vietnamese MIG19 pilots and supplied MIG19's (J6 versions) to the NVAF. USSR supplied SAM missiles (Surface to Air Missiles and technicians to train operators for them); USSR supplied PT76 Amphibious light tanks and T54/T55 medium tanks to NVA (North Vietnamese Army).
Former British Foreign Office minister Peter Hain who Viktor Bout as "the principal conduit for planes and supply routes that take arms... from east Europe, principally Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine to clients ranging from the Taliban in Afghanistan, Charles Taylor in Liberia, FARC in South America, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and even both sides in Angola's civil war.
UPDATED Ex-KGB Viktor Bout “Lord of War” Runs Guns to Taliban via UAE. UAE supported Arms Dealer Viktor Bout Sent Arms Shipments to Taliban through Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s Flying Dolphin airline and Somali Financier Ahmed Nur Ali Jim’ale who now supports Al-Shabaab, compiled by Bill Warner private investigator.
Dolphin Air is a charter airline based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It operates charter services within the Middle East and Pakistan. Its main base is Dubai International Airport. The “new” airline, Dolphin Air, started operations in 2002. It was formerly known as Flying Dolphin Airlines and Santa Cruz Imperial Airlines owned by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed. It was reorganised by Arabian Devt Trading and Construction, taking over assets from Santa Cruz Imperial at P.O. Box 60315, Dubai, UAE Sharjah, UAE which was owned by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed.
Viktor Bout was running B737-2S2 airplanes, see above, to deliver guns and ammo. Santa Cruz Imperial airlines was using B737-2S2 airplanes and has been identified by various sources as being owned or controlled by Viktor Bout, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed and/or Sanjivan Ruprah (also already listed by the Liberian Sanctions Committee). However, there has been some disagreement as to whether Viktor Bout actually owned this company. Nevertheless, Santa Cruz aircraft have operated interchangeably with aircraft from Bout’s network. For example, Viktor Bout has used Santa Cruz aircraft to sell arms to UNITA in Angola and to sell aircraft to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Accordingly, Viktor Bout has at least indirect control over Santa Cruz.
By the time the alert went out, the two businesses had picked up an important client outside of Africa: the Taliban, which had placed their national airline at Al Qaeda’s disposal. The deal came together in Sharjah UAE, at a hotel near the airport in October 1996, just a month after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.Air Cess, Flying Dolphin and Ariana allegedly came together to support an air network that delivered poison chemicals, weapons, operatives and cash to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, according to accounts from U.N., Afghan and U.S. sources.
No matter what happens with Viktor Bout, those quasi-state arms networks will not disappear. But without his unique capabilities, acquiring large amounts of weapons and ammunition has become more difficult and more costly for some of the worst groups in the world. The full-service enterprise has become a series of boutiques, making shopping more time consuming, expensive, and vulnerable to law enforcement and intelligence.
It is unlikely he will turn on his Russian (KGB) handlers. They have his wife and children, and despite his amoral sales record, he is widely known to be a family man. He endured more than two years in a Thai prison, losing more than 70 pounds and never showing any signs of doubting he would ultimately walk away. He has been, so far, a soldier's soldier. But if he turned, the stories he could tell would make the Kremlin wish it had kept an even closer eye on him.
Bill Warner Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM