Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Analyzing the Financial Records of Al Qaeda

A new RAND study of captured documents from Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) reveals some interesting facts about the organization. It found that “AQI was a hierarchical organization with decentralized decision making; AQI in Anbar was profitable enough to send substantial revenues out of the province in 2006; AQI relied on extortion, theft, and black market sales to fund its operations in Anbar; AQI needed large, regular revenue sources to fund its operations, but its administrative leaders did not hold much cash on hand.”  Significantly, the study found that “disrupting AQI’s financial flows could disrupt the pace of their attacks.”  
HT: Freakonomics

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