Washington Post Reports on Diamond Smuggling

A yearlong European investigation into al Qaeda financing has found evidence that two West African governments hosted the senior terrorist operatives who oversaw a $20 million diamond-buying spree that effectively cornered the market on the region's precious stones, the Washington Post reported on Dec. 29, 2002. Investigators from several countries concluded that President Charles Taylor of Liberia received a $1 million payment for arranging to harbor the operatives, who were in the region for at least two months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the newspaper reports. The terrorists moved between a protected area in Liberia and the presidential compound in neighboring Burkina Faso, investigators say. Long accused of sanctioning illicit diamond and weapons trading, Taylor and President Blaise Campaore of Burkina Faso deny the charge, which is included in
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