Diamonds were allegedly used by the CIA to help finance al Qaeda.
Victim of the civil war in Sierra Leone.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell attracted the world's attention to the trial of Charles Taylor, the former ruler of Liberia.
Charles Taylor denies charges that he sought to control the diamond fields of neighbouring Sierra Leone by waging war.
Rebels, allegedly backed by Taylor, used child soldiers and cut off the limbs of civilians.
The 10 year conflict ended in 2002 when British troops intervened.
Sierra Leone has links to 9 11
Profits from diamonds in Sierra Leone were allegedly used by the CIA and its friends to help finance 9 11.
Al Qaeda "reaped millions of dollars ... from the illicit sale of diamonds mined by rebels in Sierra Leone, according to U.S. and European intelligence officials and two sources with direct knowledge of events." (Al Qaeda Cash Tied to Diamond Trade (washingtonpost.com))
Charles Taylor who reportedly has links to the CIA
Charles Taylor, a former president of Liberia, reportedly worked for the CIA. (Liberia's Taylor gave aid to Qaeda, UN probe finds - The Boston Globe)
According to an article in the Boston Globe by Washington correspondent Bryan Bender: "Al Qaeda allegedly paid Taylor for protection and then joined him in the African diamond trade, raising millions of dollars for terrorist activities, according to UN war crimes documents." (Liberia's Taylor gave aid to Qaeda, UN probe finds - The Boston Globe)
A school in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone is reported to be the least developed country in the world, in spite of having diamonds and rich soil (Life on 70 cents a day ).
"Life expectancy is only a touch over 40; probably two-thirds of women are illiterate; over 70% of Sierra Leonians get by on less than 70 American cents a day."
And the drug lords from Colombia are moving in.
"The region’s warlords are being replaced by drug lords, many from Colombia. Circling like vultures around weak states, they are starting to use Sierra Leone as a base to ship drugs on to Europe and beyond." (Life on 70 cents a day )
"In 1806, the colony became part of the British Empire.
"Diamonds were discovered at Kimberly in 1867, and Jewish entrepreneurs and businessman flocked from all over the world there." (Blood diamonds)
Charles Taylor, who reportedly worked for the CIA, reportedly helped start the civil war in Sierra Leone.
Charles Taylor was the leader of a faction in Liberia's civil war.
Sierra Leone was a base for the West African peacekeeping force ECOMOG that was preventing Taylor from seizing the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
Taylor reportedly sponsored Foday Sankoh's brutal Revolutionary United Front as a means to destabilise Sierra Leone.
Allegedly, "An Israeli, Simon Yelnik, headquartered out of Panama, supplied all the weapons for the Sierra Leone war." (Blood diamonds)
The war was funded partly by diamonds mined in southern and eastern Sierra Leone.
According to the article, Taylor gave Robertson (who also had business dealings with dictator Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire) the rights to mine for diamonds in Liberia's mineral-rich countryside.
According to two Operation Blessing pilots who reported this incident to the state of Virginia for investigation in 1994, Robertson used his Operation Blessing planes to haul diamond-mining equipment to Robertson's mines in Liberia, despite the fact that Robertson was telling his 700 Club viewers that the planes were sending relief supplies to the victims of the genocide in Rwanda.