Commission Report: 9/11 and Diamonds Not Linked

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(Rapaport… A July 25, 2004) The final report of the official commission into the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. was released on July 22, 2004. The 585-page report stated that there is “no persuasive evidence that al Qaeda funded itself by trading in African conflict diamonds.”

The report continued: “To date, the U.S. government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks. Ultimately the question is of little practical significance. Al Qaeda had many avenues of funding. If a particular funding source had dried up, al Qaeda could have easily tapped a different source or diverted funds from another project to fund an operation that cost $400,000–$500,000 over nearly two years.”

Gaetano Cavalieri, World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) president, has welcomed the report. “Given the fact that there have been number of news reports in the media suggesting that al Qaeda was using conflict diamonds to finance its activities and to launder money, such a declaration by a body that has spent months studying such issues is very welcome indeed,” said Cavalieri.

Cavalieri, a member of the executive board of the World Diamond Council (WDC) which is charged with managing the international jewelry and gemstone sector’s campaign against conflict diamonds, added: “These charges besmirched the reputation of the products we sell. The commission’s report has, I believe, vindicated the diamond in this respect.”

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