September 11, 2001 Commission Report

3287 words - 13 pages

On September 11, 2001, The United States of America found them under attack. One by one, commercial airliners crashed into the Pentagon, and the Twin Towers. These attacks were the direct result of Terrorism. Acts of Terrorisms of this level take planning, and funding. Had the United States known more about the funding of terrorism groups they might have been able to defend themselves better when under attack.What HappenedAccording to the 9/11 Commission Report, the CIA has no information on the origins of the funds that supported al Qaeda. However, they have a general idea of how al Qaeda financed itself during the period leading up to 9/11. The overall cost of funding the terrorist attack cost al Qaeda somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000, which is a very small amount of money when compared to the overall cost in damage as a result of the attack. The CIA believes, "The plotters' tradecraft was not especially sophisticated, but it was good enough. They moved, stored, and spent their money in ordinary ways, easily defeating the detection mechanisms in place at the time" (GPO, 2006, p.169).It is clear that Bin Ladin did not fund al Qaeda through a personal fortune and a network of businesses in Sudan. It was thought that Bin Laden financed al Qaeda's expenses through a vast personal inheritance of approximately $300 million. It was rumored that he had access to these funds to wage jihad while in Sudan and Afghanistan and to secure his leadership position in al Qaeda. In early 2000, this rumor was diminished when the U.S. government discovered that Bin Laden was only receiving about $1 million per year between 1970 and 1994. In addition, "As a part of a Saudi government crackdown early in the 1990s, the Bin Laden family was forced to find a buyer for Osama's share of the family company in 1994. The Saudi government subsequently froze the proceeds of the sale. This action had the effect of divesting Bin Laden of what otherwise might have been a large fortune" (GPO, 2006, p.170). Bin Laden also owned a number businesses and assets in Sudan which was considered a possible source of money for al Qaeda. It is apparent though that these could not have provided a significant income, as most were small and or not economically viable. From these findings, the CIA strongly believes "al Qaeda relied primarily on a fund-raising network developed overtime. The CIA now estimates that it cost al Qaeda about $30 million per year to sustain its activities before 9/11 and this money was raised almost entirely through donations" (GPO, 2006, p.169-170).It appears that a core group of financial facilitators raised money from a variety of donors and other fund-raisers for al Qaeda. This core group of financial facilitators was primarily located in the Gulf countries and particularly in Saudi Arabia. "Some individual donors surely knew, and others did not, the ultimate destination of their donations (GPO, 2006, p.170). In addition, al Qaeda also collected money from...

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