Sunday, September 21, 2003

Al-Qaeda Faces Budget Cuts

An official at the Treasury Dept. is saying that al-Qaeda has cut their budget by two-thirds due mainly to efforts on the financial front in the War on Terror. This reminds me of something I saw on RFE-RL a while back that al-Qaeda had pressured the Taliban into taking a more aggressive posture in Afghanistan as sort of a "use it or lose it" approach to those the terrorist organization funds. (link long since gone, unfortunately)

This story may not be as sexy as capturing senior operative, but it's arguably more important because it limits what al-Qaeda and related organizations can do. Chemical and biological weapons, for example, definitely cost money, as do all sorts of training that people could use in various evil and nasty ways to commit acts of terrorism. On the black market, things like visas and passports also have a cost - when I was in Jordan, they warned us just how valuable our passports could be to others if lost. I'm not an expert, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the funding situation led to the change in al-Qaeda tactics many have noted in recent months.

Unfortunately, of course, you have to hope this is real and not just political game-playing...


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