Al-Qaida expenses: A look at the terror group's expenses, receipts

TIMBUKTU, Mali - More than 100 receipts and invoices retrieved from a building occupied by al-Qaida's North African branch in Timbuktu, Mali show an organization intent on documenting even the most minor expenses. Here are a few examples, in West African francs translated into U.S. dollars:

GROCERIES

A large share of the receipts enumerate day-to-day grocery expenses, as this page shows.

Tomatoes and onions - 500 ($1)
Tomatoes - 200 ($0.40)
Lightbulb - 300 ($0.60)
Tomatoes - 500 ($1)
Meat - 400 ($0.80)
Charcoal - 700 ($1.40)
Meat  - 400 ($0.80)
Meat - 600 ($1.20)
Meat - 900 ($1.90)
Meat - 400 ($0.80)
Meat - 400 ($0.80)
Total : 49,810 ($99.62)

HOME IMPROVEMENTS
The al-Qaida fighters made frequent trips to the hardware store to buy everything from bags of cement to parts for a new shower and tubes of superglue. In the blistering heat, they also did maintenance on their air conditioners, as the receipt below shows:

Repairs to Cheikh Abou Youssouf's House
Cleaning equipment - 4,000 ($8)
Daily labor costs for cleaning the house and paying the security guards - 7,000 ($14)
Air Conditioner repairs (3) - 5,200 ($10.40)
Other - 2,000 ($4)
Total: 29,200 ($58.40)

RUNNING A STATE
The terror cell spent a good portion of its time and money trying to run its version of an Islamic state. Below is the budget for their Islamic Tribunal, which handed down sentences such as public amputations for theft.

Needs of the Tribunal
November 9th, 2012

The expenses of members of the tribunal, guardians, cooks - 50,000 per month. ($100)
Financial aid given to each of five members of the tribunal - 10,000 ($20) per month, adding up to 50,000 per month. ($100)
The secretary is paid 10,000 per month. ($20)
The janitor who cleans the building and serves tea is paid 8,000 per month. ($16)
The judge's costs for transport, telephone communications and financial aid for the poor come to 50,000. ($100)
Total: 168,000 ($336)

ADVANCES TO FIGHTERS
The terror group carefully tracked advances to its fighters, noting both amounts and what they were used for.

In the name of Allah, the most Clement, I gave Omar Mohamed Abou Khalid, the emir of Tashara Zarho, 460,000 fcfa ($920) for his monthly expenses from September 21, 2012 to October 21, 2012 for 34 soldiers.
(Signed by the fighter)

WHO IS ON AL-QAIDA'S PAYROLL?
The names listed on the advances make clear that the top leaders of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb were based in Timbuktu, such as Yahya Abou el-Hammam, head of operations for al-Qaida in the Sahara Desert, who is known to be holding several European hostages. There is also Sanda Abou Mohamed, the spokesman of Ansar Dine, a Malian jihadist group, which initially refused to acknowledge ties to al-Qaida.

Worker - 6,000 ($12)
Worker - 8,000 ($12)
.. 800 + 800 ($1.60 + $1.60)
Najib - 26,000 ($52)
Sanda Abou Mohamed - 162,500 ($325)
Abi Harissa - 20,000 ($40)
Someone who works in the tent - 20,000 ($40)
Worker - 12,000 ($24)
Worker - 12,000 ($24)
Yahya Abou Hammam - 400,000 ($800)
Sanda Abou Mohamed - 60,000 ($120)
Guardian - 12,600 ($25.20)
Repairs of car - 24,000 ($48)
Repair of car - 1,200 ($2.40)
Worker - 21,600 ($43.20)
Security guard - 500 ($1)
Security guard - 1,200 ($2.40)

CAR TROUBLE
Numerous invoices appear to be for car repairs. They include food receipts, suggesting that cars were out for long periods of time, and mechanics or sidelined fighters needed to be fed:

Expenses for repairing Nafe's Car
Telephone credit - 70,000 ($140)
General needs - 30,000 ($60)
Milk - 1 carton - 26,000 ($52)
Oil (1) -- 4,000 ($8)
Macaroni (1) -- 4,500 ($9)
Spaghetti (1) -- 4,500 ($9)
20 cartons of tea -- 6,000 ($12)
Sugar (1) -- 26,000 ($52)
2 soaps - 800 ($1.60)
2 kilograms of tomatoes -- 800 ($1.60)
4 kilograms of onions - 800 ($1.60)
... (illegible) -- 2,500 ($5)
Telephone credit - 9,000 ($18)
Beans - (2)
Meat - 5,000 ($10)
Bread
Tomatoes - 1,900 ($3.80)
... (illegible) - 20,000 ($40)
 

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