A chilling look into al-Qaeda's business structure
Terrorist organization had vacation and medical plans, as well as 'suicide contracts'
The son of a wealthy Arab construction magnate, former al-Qaeda leader
Osama bin Laden, who was killed in a raid at his Pakistani compound by
U.S. Navy SEALs in May - had an ironclad business structure for his
terrorist organization that included vacation time, medical benefits and
macabre contracts for employees.
Al-Qaeda fighters receive on average a week of vacation each month and funded trips abroad for medical care. Files also revealed that al-Qaeda requires its suicide bombers to sign a martyrdom agreement, vowing they willingly accept the mission and will not back out.
U.S. forces uncovered files in Iraq, Afghanistan and other battlefields over the past decade. The documents provide anecdotes about al-Qaeda's training process, operations, fighter profiles and even job benefits.
As of 2001, documents showed married fighters earning nearly six times more than single men. The fighters also received on average a week of vacation each month and funded trips abroad for medical care. Files also revealed that al-Qaeda requires its suicide bombers to sign a martyrdom agreement, vowing they willingly accept the mission and will not back out.
Noman Benotman learned the ins and outs of organizations like al-Qaeda as the former leader of the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
"It's a normal structure for any single jihad group. Al-Qaeda's just a copycat," Benotman says.
According to Benotman, organization is very important to the group's survival that seminars are held on the topic for aspiring leaders of jihad. "They believe in changing regimes through violence. So in a sense, they are revolutionary groups. So that said, you have to build a very good structure," he said.
Jarret Brachman, the author of the book, "Global Jihadism," said bin Laden never intended to create the broad-based network al-Qaeda has become.
"For bin Laden, al-Qaeda was always meant to be an elite, exclusive club. It was the vanguard organization that would differentiate itself from the broader, Muslim world," he said. "I think it became, though, really the selfish creation of several individual men who wanted a cult personality and needed that external affirmation."
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Al-Qaeda, business structure, Osama bin Laden
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