Ostrich raising in Kenya, forestry interests in Turkey, and diamond trading in Africa are among the many businesses Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist, is said to own and which may have helped finance the most lethal terrorist attacks ever on U.S. soil, experts say, the Associated Press (AP) reports.
Bin Laden is the top suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, a citadel of capitalism, yet he earned his money much like a traditional capitalist, the AP reports. He uses his estimated $300 million in financial assets to fund his al-Qaida network of as many as 3,000 Islamic militants, according to a report published last week by the Congressional Research Service.
Bin Laden’s businesses also provide him with a way to move his money around the globe and avoid detection by authorities seeking to cut him off from his wealth, the AP reports. Another source of funding is millions of dollars in donations from wealthy individuals.
In addition to his investments, bin Laden inherited a fortune from his father, a construction business magnate.
Experts say the cost of last week’s airborne attacks-including pilot training, accommodations, travel expenses and first class tickets for the hijackers-couldn’t be more than $1 million, the AP reports. It’s a sum Bin Laden could easily afford.