Last year I volunteered in the staff of a British MP. Just after 9-11, over a pint, he wondered how Bin Laden had funded all his activities, apart from his inheritance of about 200m USD and the western (CIA/ISI) support for the Mudjahedin during the 1980s. Given the abysmal state of the Afghan economy and the non-exitent administrative skills of the Taliban, Bin Laden’s hand-outs had apparently become the most important source of income for the Afghan leadership, so he evidently had all the freedom to build Al Quaeda. Now the Times of London has found out about another source of funding, the State of Saudi Arabia. The summary of the article goes as follows:
Saudis paid Bin Laden 200m
Senior members of royal family paid Bin Laden not to attack targets in Saudi Arabia, and money was used to fund training camps in Afghanistan.