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.
Here are 21 interesting items that were purchased by al-Qaeda and paid for with West African francs as seen in documents found by the Associated Press.
1. Groceries: Tomatoes, plenty of meat, and a lightbulb.
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."
3. Hotel expenses incurred for sodas and bottles of water.
4. Advances to fighters.
5. Gifts to "sick people," "people with sick father" and "teachers"; payments to "new mujahedeens," and a "motorcycle for hotel."
6. "Trip for spreading propaganda."
7. "34 boubous" (traditional robes worn by men in Mali).
8. Advance for "34 soldiers" provided by "the emir of Tashara Zarho."
9. Payment to "Tarek the Algerian" for "the demolition camp" and advance to "Ayoub for workshop."
10. Budget for the Islamic Tribunal: Salaries of "the judge," and "the guardian" and "fees paid to resolve quarrels."
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."
12. "Expenses for prison" and "to repair a motorcycle following an accident."
13. "Setting up a new camp": Supplies for 46 soldiers who will be trained in the camp.
14. Names of "mujahideens" in training who want "clothes and boots to protect themselves from the cold."
15. Budget for "Quran teaching project" for 30 students in the village of Ir-Ntejift, including the salary of the 28-year-old instructor.
16. Expenses for "macaroni" and "arms."
17. Expenses for "powdered soap," "bleach", "Omo" detergent, "broom" and "shampoo."
18. Correspondence of top commanders: "We need rockets for our cars - a total of 4 is needed."
19. Invoice for 3,300 bullets.
20. Charity: Financial aid for Majdi's marriage.
21. Request for materials: "14.5. Kalashnikov" and "12 shirts."
Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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