WASHINGTON (AP) — Scrutiny of al-Qaida's financing has increased and strikes have taken aim at its money men. So al-Qaida's core organization in Pakistan has turned to kidnapping for ransom to offset dwindling cash reserves.
That's according to U.S. officials and information in files retrieved from Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan after he was killed last month by U.S. Navy SEALs.
Bin Laden's interest in kidnapping as a money-raiser bolsters accounts that a financial squeeze has staggered al-Qaida and forced it to search for alternative funding sources.
Officials would not detail al-Qaida's role in specific crimes, but the group's affiliates have targeted diplomats, tourists and merchants.