conflict diamonds and terrorism

From Laura Rozen at War and Piece:

Is the US conflicted over conflict diamonds? My colleague working in Sierra Leone sends this Financial Times article, highlighting this passage:

"Alex Yearsley, of London-based Global Witness, alleges that the CIA and FBI long had tried to publicly minimize links between conflict diamonds and Islamic militant groups, including al-Qaida. The U.S. security agents feared exposure of their own longtime links with Charles Taylor, the ousted Liberian leader who played a main role in West Africa's insurgencies and blood diamond trade, Yearsley said. Taylor received CIA payments until January 2001, Yearsley claimed in a telephone interview."

That is pretty explosive. No wonder Washington has been so wishy washy about pushing for Taylor's handover to the special court in Sierre Leone to face war crimes charges.

Note: the above passage from the Financial Times article does not appear in the current online version...

For more on conflict diamonds and terrorism, see this review of Douglas Farah's Blood from Stones: The Secret Financial Network of Terror.

Note this line from Carlo Wolff's review of Farah's book: "Russian arms dealers, British and South African mercenaries, retired Israeli military officers, and American and European merchants of greed found their way to the diamond fields."

Substitute "Iraq" for "the diamond fields" - and the sentence still rings true.

UPDATE: More from Laura Rozen HERE.


Douglas Farah's Blog

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