CIBJO: 9/11 Report ‘Vindicates’ Diamond Industry

There is no evidence that the al Qaeda terrorist network used diamonds to fund its activities prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a highly publicized report released in July by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks.

In the document titled “The 9/11 Commission Report,” the independent commission assigned by Congress and President Bush to prepare a full account of the circumstances surrounding the terrorist attacks, said, “We have seen no persuasive evidence that al Qaeda funded itself by trading in African conflict diamonds.”

These were welcome words to Gaetano Cavalieri, president of CIBJO, The World Jewellery Confederation. He also is a member of the executive board of the World Diamond Council, which manages the international jewelery and gemstone sector’s campaign against conflict diamonds.

“Given the fact that there have been a 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,” Cavalieri said. “These charges besmirched the reputation of the products we sell. The commission’s report has, I believe, vindicated the diamond in this respect.”