Monday, August 09, 2004

Al-Qaeda's Conflict Diamonds

New reports say al-Qaeda operatives made significant conflict diamond purchases before the September 11 attacks in order to have funding after a feared American assault on their financing. In doing so, they dealt directly with then-President Charles Taylor, who met with Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani and others at his home in Monrovia. I've been watching this story for a long time, and was highly confused (1, 2) when President Bush didn't mention the War on Terror when he finally confronted Liberia last summer. During the summer of 2003, I did see part of a Senate hearing on Liberia, and only Russ Feingold seemed interested in the al-Qaeda connection. In a sense, this is a dead issue, as the Taylor regime has been removed, but it remains a curious episode in Bush's foreign policy.


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