5,932. 6/16/2004

In a report on the history of al Qaeda from June 16, 2004, the 9/11 Commission discussed al Qaeda’s financing: ” ‘there is no convincing evidence that any government financially supported al Qaeda before 9/11.’ However, ‘al Qaeda found fertile fundraising ground in the Kingdom [Saudi Arabia], where extreme religious views are common and charitable giving is essential to the culture and, until recently, subject to very limited oversight.’ Al Qaeda’s annual budget was estimated at $30 million, with the money going to ‘terrorist operations, maintaining terrorist training camps, paying salaries to jihadists, contributing to the Taliban, funding fighters in Afghanistan, and sporadically contributing to related terrorist organizations. The largest expense was payments to the Taliban, which totaled an estimated $10-$20 million per year.’ ”

 – Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, Without Precedent, Pages 240-241

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