This was the man who that December would take $1,100 from me in exchange for two of al-Qaeda's most valuable computers -- a 40-gigabyte IBM desktop and a Compaq laptop. He had stolen them from al-Qaeda's central office in Kabul on November 12, the night before the city fell to the Northern Alliance. He wanted the money, he said, so that he could travel to the United States and meet some American girls. [...]
Messages were usually encrypted and often couched in language mimicking that of a multinational corporation; thus Osama bin Laden was sometimes "the contractor," acts of terrorism became "trade," Mullah Omar and the Taliban became "the Omar Brothers Company," the security services of the United States and Great Britain became "foreign competitors," and so on. [...]
From: Ayman al-Zawahiri
Folder: Outgoing Mail -- To Yemen
Date: February 11, 1999
Noble brother Ezzat ...
Following are my comments on the summary accounting I received:
... With all due respect, this is not an accounting. It's a summary accounting. For example, you didn't write any dates, and many of the items are vague.
The analysis of the summary shows the following:
- You received a total of $22,301. Of course, you didn't mention the period over which this sum was received. Our activities only benefited from a negligible portion of the money. This means that you received and distributed the money as you please ...
Salaries amounted to $10,085 -- 45 percent of the money. I had told you in my fax that we've been receiving only half salaries for five months. What is your reaction or response to this?
Loans amounted to $2,190. Why did you give out loans? Didn't I give clear orders to Muhammad Saleh to refer any loan requests to me? We have already had long discussions on this topic...
"What's this I hear about you having trouble with your TPS reports?" he did not go on to say.