Bin Laden Offered Great HR Benefits

And he was meticulous about receipts
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 31, 2011 9:25 AM CDT
This April 1998 file photo shows exiled al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.   (AP File Photo)

(Newser) – As the US combs through records found in Osama bin Laden’s compound, they’re getting an inside look at what the terrorist leader was like—as a "corporate" boss. One thing they’ve learned over the years: Al-Qaeda members got great HR benefits, including, for married members, a week of vacation for every three weeks of work. Bachelors, meanwhile, got five monthly days off. The group “didn't function as a traditional or typical terrorist organization did,” said a terrorism expert. “It functioned really like a multinational.”

That also meant top-notch record-keeping. Bin Laden, who had an economics degree, obsessively kept track of everything, NPR notes. Al-Qaeda bosses were tough about receipts, demanding that fighters who bought anything return with the accounting figures. That “may be an effective way to run any organization, but also results in a windfall of intelligence to any counterterrorist agency or intelligence community charged with dismantling that organization,” says the expert.

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