Matt Levitt on Al Qaeda Finances

Posted: 17 Apr 2008 10:07 PM CDT


Matt Levitt of the Washington Institute has written an excellent survey of recent developments in Al Qaeda finances.  I recommend reading the whole thing, which concludes:

What remains to be seen is whether the al-Qa`ida senior leadership’s lack of funds degrades the core group’s power to control activities and direct operations. Without the power of the purse, would local terrorist cells still need the al-Qa`ida core as much as that core would need these cells? Part of what drew the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat in Algeria into the al-Qa`ida fold, according to intelligence analysts, was the financial dividend of such a relationship. Should this trend continue, it could lead to the further degeneration of the al-Qa`ida core and the devolution of al-Qa`ida’s organized global insurgency into a more localized—and controllable—terrorist threat. Toward that end, and in light of recent successes disrupting and deterring al-Qa`ida’s finances, constricting the terrorist operating environment—with an eye toward al-Qa`ida’s financial streams in particular—should remain a strategic priority.

The article is posted here. The Washington Institute’s Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence is a great resource as well.


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