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21 Interesting Things That Al-Qaeda Spent Money On

Tomatoes - $0.40; trip for spreading propaganda - $200. (via the Associated Press.)

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More than 100 receipts and invoices, detailing the most minor expenses such as $0.60 for a lightbulb, were recovered from a building occupied by al-Qaeda in it's North African branch of Timbuktu, Mali, the Associated Press reported.

Every minor and major expense of the terror organization was meticulously recorded by hand on scraps of paper, Post-it notes and lined math books.

Many of the receipts were for daily groceries which suggested that their meals often consisted of macaroni, pasta, meat and vegetables.

These petty amounts were documented with as much care as expenses for advances to al-Qaeda commanders and purchases of ammunition and transportation.

According to the Associated Press report:

Taken together, the evidence suggests that far from being a fly-by-night, fragmented terror organization, al-Qaeda is attempting to behave like a multinational corporation, with what amounts to a company-wide financial policy across its different chapters.


2. Expenses for "dinner for guest," "cook's salary," "medications" for sick people, and rations "for the sons of a mother who cannot breastfeed them due to illness."


11. Financial aid to the tribunal's "secretary," "the janitor who cleans the building and serves tea," and the "judge's transport, telephone communications cost and the financial aid he gives to the poor."


Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at

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