Conflict Diamonds

Scientists and law enforcement officials are hoping that optics-based applications may one day help staunch the flow of “blood diamonds.” Also known as conflict diamonds or rough diamonds, blood diamonds are contraband gems from Africa. After being mined or plundered by rebel groups, the diamonds are sold on the black market to finance the purchase of arms. Traditionally linked to rebel uprisings in countries including Angola, the Congo, and Sierra Leone, today the blood diamond trade is also said to be fueling the operations of the al Qaeda terrorist network, believed responsible for the September 11 attacks.

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