Hit & Run

Terror on a Budget


The 9/11 Commission has broken for lunch. For me the most interesting bit of info presented this morning amid a torrent of interesting bits is just how little the 9/11 attacks cost bin Laden. The commission staff estimates direct costs of the plot to be between $400,000 to $500,000. Of that only about $300K was spent in the U.S. to support the actual attackers.

As the report notes, that is absolutely nothing for an enterprise like al Qaeda:

"Al Qaeda had many avenues of funding and a pre-9/11 annual budget estimated at $30 million. If a particular source of funds had dried up, al Qaeda could have easily found enough money to fund an attack that cost $400,000-$500,000 over nearly two years."