Terror, Bombs, Yachts and Money to Burn
In A Bomb-Builder, 'Out of the Shadows', the Washington Post's Karl Vick looks at Louai Sakka, the Syrian terrorist arrested in Turkey and found to ahve solid links to al-Qaeda. Sakka was living the jihadi high-life, with plastic surgery to alter his appearance, a yacht, a luxury appartment and apparently money to burn.
Says Douglas Farah of The Counterterrorism Blog:
This clearly shows that, when they need to, al Qaeda operatives can gather the cash to carry out expensive, long-term plans to inflict damage. The cash pipeline, while perhaps not as freeflowing as before, exists and is able to pump out the money when needed.
The total cost of the operation, had Sakka been a better student in Iraq, would have only registered at a few thousand dollars. The real cost of setting him up, allowing him to live and gather the specific information he needed from visiting Israeli tourists, was far higher. This is the argument for keeping the heat on the terror finance front, despite resistence and lack of attention in much of the intelligence community.