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« Novel Contexts of Political Violence | Main | Political Violence and the Novelist »

What is al Qaida's Post-Bailout Balance Sheet ?

The unprecedented global turmoil in financial markets is a subject that goes beyond the normal scope of CTLab but it raises an interesting question - what is al Qaida's "balance sheet" in the aftermath of the greatest financial meltdown since 1929? 

A RAND paper (PDF) from 2005 by Steve Kiser applies models and theory to the study of al Qaida financing and acknowledges the shift to Black Globalization revenue sources of funding, movement by  in the wake of the Taliban's overthrow. However, the attractiveness to al Qaida of playing the stock market for reasons of security as well as potential speculative  profit, are also cited by Kiser, as is the impressive diversity of an " ideal capitalist portfolio".

Osama Bin Laden has always been underappreciated, at least by non-specialists, for his considerable financial and business acumen. It is entirely reasonable to assume that Bin Laden's interest in financial matters did not cease with 9/11 and that management of al Qaida's long-term "endowment" would have remained at least under his considerable influence, if not personal direction, even while "underground". Bin Laden's sophisticated grasp of investments could easily have led him to the more esoteric and nuanced financial instruments that are relatively opaque to those outside of the world of professional financiers, traders and bankers. The feverish pitch of financial chatter on Islamist boards indicates the financial crisis is a subject of great interest among jihadi-salafi extremists.

It would be a great irony of al Qaida's stock tumbled along with that of Dow Jones.

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Reader Comments (1)

At the time of financial crises we need to come together united and try to solve the problems which are responsible for such a hazard. We need to overcome it. It is meant to bring calm to the population and markets and display government strength and stability.

Jan 13, 2009 at 11:37 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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