Terrorism's Corporate Connection

Often the western world equates terrorist organizations to military organizations. Consequently, it looks to dismantle the terrorist organizations like that of a traditional army. Although this has its merits, dissecting terrorist organizations may shed a different light. Chief Operating Officer, Accountants, Skilled-Unskilled workers, Recruitment, Collaborative Partnerships and Temporary positions will appear within these terrorist organizations. Furthermore, Terrorist organizations have their own brand. Regardless of al-Qaeda, Hezbollah or the Front de Liberation Nationale de la Corse, FLNC, each terrorist organization has a symbol that draws emotion from its participants, a religious and or political belief that they can market to its members and a reward system that is accepted by its association. The mission of the terrorist organization is to acquire political and economic supremacy. Terrorist organizations are often composed of loose knit individuals who unite for this common goal.

Probing into a terrorist organization, for example al-Qaeda, it is evident the correlation between a corporate structure and this terrorist group. Bin Laden undoubtedly accepts the role of the Chief Operating Executive. He has demonstrated an understanding of the organization, specifically al-Qaeda, and has utilized strategic and tactical planning to administer his organization's mission. From the formation of al-Qaeda in 1988 to current times, Bin Laden formed his alliances by creating organizations, such as Al-Jabhah al-Islamiyyah al-'Alamiyah li-Qital al Yahud wal-Salibiyyin. Al-Qaeda is composed of Egyptians, Pakistan and parts of the Afghanistan military. This type of terrorist organization gives Bin Laden great human resource diversity, as well as, varied skills by each member.

Like any organization, the ability to create revenue and intelligently spend that revenue is a vital cornerstone. In fact, the Foreign Policy Journal highlights this importance using Mustafa Abu al-Yazid as an example. Yazid was the "chief financial officer of al-Qaeda and personal accountant of Osama bin Laden. He was also named as the financier of September 11, 2001 attacks in 9/11 Commission report." The elimination of this key figure was essential in debilitating Al-Qaeda.

Oddly enough, like corporate organizations, dispute with pay exists in terrorist organizations. The New York Times article Running Terrorism as a Business, highlights a basic pay disagreement between Bin-Laden and a Sudanese man. The Sudanese man complained that he was being paid less than that of an Egyptian man. Bin-Laden simply advised the Sudanese man that the Egyptians had greater skills and thus were compensated accordingly. Like in corporate companies, individuals like these often go to work for a competitor; in reality they become informants for the United States and its allies. In essence terrorist organizations have similar attributes of corporations.

The terrorist work force is equally parallel. Skilled workers may be classified as the bomb makers or someone who can gain actionable intelligence, while unskilled workers may be the suicide bomber who relies on a "handler" for detonation. Finally, temporary workers can be viewed as the sleeper cells. Their duty is temporary yet essential for the terrorist organization. Regardless the role, the work force is in place, each employee with his own assignment and compensation.

Longevity of any organization relies on its ability to retain and recruit individuals, whether if they are skilled, unskilled or temporary. Recruitment often stems from the product that the company offers or the compensation that it pays to its employees. Al-Qaeda offers both incentives. The product is simple - global domination of Muslim extremist law: Sharia . Individuals who subscribe to this type of Ideology are often difficult to persuade to change their values. Additionally this ideology subscribes to martyrdom for suicide bombers. Therefore, motivation for recruitment is on a spiritual level. For some, individual spiritual fulfillment is enough; however, others are driven by tangible assets, such as money. Al-Qaeda fulfills both needs, spiritual and material wealth for its employees. Furthermore, the internet, as for corporate business, is often utilized as a recruitment tool for Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda's recruitment tactics utilize a blend of traditional and modern avenues to ensure that their organization maintains adequate human resources.

Many times it is not what you know that will accomplish a mission, but rather who you know. Terrorist organizations, such as Al-Qaeda also subscribe to this philosophy. As stated earlier, Bin-Laden has aligned his organization with various terrorist state-sponsored governments. From these governments Bin-Laden can draw human resources, as well as recognized government support. This government support can be leveraged to attain financial benefits for the terrorist organization. These alliances may be temporary or long-term; regardless they are meticulously rehearsed for maximum organizational benefits.

In conclusion, terrorist organizations mimic business model plans. Perhaps by identifying the varied components of these organizations law enforcement can strike with surgical precision to dissect terrorist organizations. Like any business a market must exist for the business to flourish. Experts agree that for a terrorist organization to exist, the country must be in a weak state of affairs. This statement then leads to the question: if a weak state of affairs leads to the creation of terrorist organizations is there a correlation between America's state of affairs and the upcoming Home Grown Terrorists?