from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
September 17, 2001


Usama bin Laden is estimated to have about $300 million in personal financial assets with which he funds his Al Qaida network of as many as 3,000 Islamic militants, according to a report published last week by the Congressional Research Service.

"Al Qaida cells have been identified or suspected in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Sudan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Chechnya, Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, other parts of Africa, Malaysia, the Philippines, Uruguay, Ecuador, Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, the United Kingdom, Canada, and allegedly inside the United States itself," the new report said.

The CRS report, which is based on open sources, is entitled "Terrorism: Near Eastern Groups and State Sponsors, 2001." It was authored by CRS analyst Kenneth Katzman and is dated September 10. A copy is available here:

Other CRS reports on related topics include "Terrorism and the Military's Role in Domestic Crisis Management," dated April 19, 2001:

and "Terrorism: Automated Lookout Systems and Border Security Options and Issues," dated June 18, 2001:

In 1999, President Clinton found that by harboring Usama bin Laden, the Taliban of Afghanistan constituted an unusual and extraordinary threat to the United States. He declared a national emergency in response. See Executive Order 13129:

The resulting sanctions against Afghanistan and the Taliban that are now in place are described by the U.S. Department of the Treasury here:

A summary of existing terrorism sanctions generally is provided here:


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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