Did Saddam Hussein Deal in Diamonds?

A report in the United Kingdom’s Sunday Times has linked diamonds with former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Intelligence sources told the Times that, prior to the war with Iraq, Hussein dispatched his personal jeweler to Bangkok to buy millions in gems. The report led to speculation that Hussein was planning to flee Iraq before the start of the war.

The Times’ report meant yet more unfavorable publicity for the industry: “Diamonds are Saddam’s Best Friends,” read newsmax.com.

Earlier reports in the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times have alleged that al Qaeda stored much of its wealth in diamonds.