Thursday, June 3, 2010

Position Available: CFO

Got a thirst for adventure, an unquenchable religious fervor, and a willingness to trade in the corner office for a cave? 

Then al-Qaida has the job for you!
Following a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan, the media is reporting the death of Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, also known as Sheik Saeed al-Masri. As a founding member of al-Qaida and third-in-command behind Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, Masri was characterized variously as the organization's chief financial officer and its chief operations officer.

So what does a terrorist CFO actually do?

Al-Qaida is far less centralized than it was in its pre-9/11 heyday, when it had an official finance committee (headed by Masri), but it still operates in many ways like a company—a franchiser, to be more specific. Groups wanting to be part of al-Qaida have to undergo a fairly rigorous application process: They have to carry out acts of terrorism, publicly praise al-Qaida leaders, and hew their ideology to that of the "parent company." When an Algerian militia started campaigning to join al-Qaida back in 2006, it provided monetary and material support to local jihadists and was rewarded with formal recognition from Ayman al-Zawahiri (the Algerian outfit is now known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb). It's also assumed that the "franchisee" turns over money or valuable goods such as weapons as part of these agreements. Masri would have facilitated this type of deal-making....MORE at The Big Money