Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's like being suicide bombed by the DMV

The April 16, 2008 edition of the Los Angeles Times contains this beauty of an article that has just absolutely made my day. It details a memo sent by Al Qaeda leader Mohammed Atef to a subordinate complaining about improper expense reports. It accuses the terrorist lackey of misappropriating cash, a car, sick leave, and an air conditioner, among others.

Some choice excerpts:

"I learned that you did not submit the voucher to the accountant..."

"...with respect to the air-conditioning unit... furniture used by brothers in Al Qaeda is not considered private property... I would like to remind you of the punishment for any violation."

From the article:

"They [the Egyptian Al Qaeda chiefs] may have imposed the blindingly obdurate nature of Egyptian bureaucracy."

"You see that in the retirement packages they offered..."

One memo accounts for a mislaid Kalashnikov rifle and 125 rounds of ammunition.

From a letter from a militant in the 1990's:
"Peace and god's mercy and blessings... praise to the Lord and salvation to his prophet... I have not received my salary in three months and I am six months behind in paying my rent... you also told me to remind you, and this is a reminder."

Translation: "Praise be to Allah. Now where is my money?!?"

Mustafa Ahmed Al Yahzid... ran the network's finance committee between 1995 and 2007

The questions this raises are legion. They hate us for our freedoms, but love us for our Form 1099's and subcommittees? What the hell is the retirement package for a suicide bomber? And, seriously, what is the punishment for misappropriating an air-conditioner, and would Doctor Evil approve?

I think we need more stories like this. Terrorist organizations rely on, well, terror to work. And, frankly, it's just a little hard to be terrorized of people who run finance committees. I mean, there's a reason we never saw Darth Vader signing paychecks for storm troopers.

Anyway, there's a great, very dark comedy in all this. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go put together a pitch.

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