Who funded 9/11 attack?

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Children and Child Rights, Education, Geopolitics, Politics, Uncategorized, Youths and Nation

— The writer is a management guru and Editor, The Sunday Indian.

It is a lesser known fact that the funding for the 9/11 terror attacks can be traced to Africa. Al Qaeda joined Liberian President Charles Taylor through the diamond trade route which was then used for terror activities. There is little reason to cheer the death of Al Qaeda chief as the modus operandi is still active and running

 The 10th anniversary of 9/11 was different for the Americans. The decade-long wait is over and even the perpetrator of 9/11 is dead. This 9/11 was also the first anniversary when Americans felt contented by the very fact that their revenge is over and they have again proved their supremacy over the world. But then, this very celebration amidst sorrow is far from complete. Perhaps the chief operative of 9/11 is dead, but the modus operandi is still active and running. Neutralising Osama bin Laden is just half the task done, but the very system that allowed Osama bin Laden to execute the entire 9/11 episode, still thrives.

Amidst the entire hullabaloo, what got swept under was the manner in which the entire operation was funded. It is a lesser known fact that the funding for the 9/11 terror attacks had its roots in Africa, and it was all possible because millions of Westerners bought stones that had been (since the last four decades or so) hyped up as the most precious gifts for women. The writer is here talking about diamonds, or rather conflict diamonds — to be more precise, those that with time have earned the title of being ‘blood diamonds’.

Several investigative reports post 9/11, including UN war crime reports, have revealed that the Al Qaeda joined Liberian President Charles Taylor in the African diamond trade, which was used for terrorist activities. The terrorists used illicit diamonds as currency for funding their operations, as the demand for illicit diamonds remains high, while tracking the movement of the same is extremely tedious.

If one goes back in time, the entire episode of conflict diamonds started post World War II, when natives of Sierra Leone, working for the British Army, returned home to find that their nation was still being looted by the British. Although diamond mining was not just confined to Sierra Leone, what was unusual particularly in Sierra Leone was that unlike other parts of Africa where diamonds were found in specific zones only, diamonds in Sierra Leone were spread all across its geographic expanse, which made the loot easier and plentiful.

Gradually, the natives (early 1950-60s) started mining these diamonds illegally and then selling them in the local market. Since the mining was in open fields (alluvial zones), security and protection became virtually impossible. The British used a police force to deter these natives from mining; but then, eventually, the natives learnt the art of warfare (thanks to the soldiers who returned home) and with time, illegal mining started to flourish.

Moreover, Lebanon gave the natives of Sierra Leone the market they needed. Along with trade facilities and a thriving market, Lebanon provided the natives with mining equipments and tools as well. These diamonds also made their way to Liberia, since Liberia was a dollar-based economy and had flexible laws — selling and purchasing these diamonds became easier and in due course, they started getting traded internationally.

Simultaneously, pouncing upon the opportunity and in order to fortify its dominance in the diamonds and precious stones market, De Beers bought diamonds from all possible West African nations viz Angola and Sierra Leone.

The company purchased and stockpiled diamonds to keep the supply low and prices high. Concurrently, this is when De Beers started its campaign, “A diamond is forever”. This fuelled the demand for diamonds all across Africa. So much so that dictators and heads of states in the regions adopted brutal ways of mining diamonds. They killed and tortured the natives to keep them away from alluvial lands where diamonds were aplenty and also forced people (women and children included) into bonded labour for extraction of these stones. It goes without mentioning that these bonded labourers still work under the worst possible conditions.

Dictators further sold these diamonds in exchange of weapons and arms. The sale of illegal blood diamonds allowed the diamond industry to thrive and also pumped money into Africa, which bolstered the arms trade. The groups and people involved in civil wars primarily created an atmosphere of instability and threat in order to control the regions, which were endowed with diamonds.

It was under the leadership of the then Prime Minister Siaka Stevens (in the late 1960s) that the diamond trade acquired the tag of illegality. From 1968 to 1990, diamond trade in the region became obscenely violent and a corrupt array of ministers minted millions through the same. In 1991, the Revolutionary United Front started their violent protests against the Government but gradually drifted away from their goal of eliminating corruption to controlling diamond endowed areas.

The scenario became bleaker, as the labourers were tortured and punished severely under the RUF regime. Illegal diamonds worth $125 million were bought by Europe alone in this period — which was used by RUF to further funding their mining ambitions. The RUF killed innumerable people, even cut off the limbs of many, simply to keep them all away from diamond mines. So much so that they forcibly moved out those villagers whose villages had alluvial soil (where diamonds were available) and eventually brought the area under their control.

From one village, they moved on to another and then to the next. In the entire process, more than 100,000 innocent people were killed or butchered while another 2 million fled Sierra Leone. The total number of killings over the years is estimated to be a staggering 4 million. Thus, the diamonds from the mines under the control of rebel forces came to be known as conflict diamonds, which later on took the title of blood diamonds.

This transition from conflict diamonds to blood diamonds aptly describes the increase in social melancholy that the region went through. Initially, the diamonds were mined in zones that were under conflict — in simple words, in regions where rebels and dictators were both fighting to grab land. But then, with time, the very same people started practicing genocide and mass killing to spread the influence of their power; bloodshed became a common phenomenon, thus metamorphosing into the concept into blood diamonds. According to numbers released in 2001, more than one million Sierra Leoneans are internally displaced. All this has eventually pushed Sierra Leone to the bottom of the UN Human Development Index ranking.

Source: http://www.dailypioneer.com/pioneer-news/oped/6571-who-funded-911-attack.html


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