In this recession, it's nice to know that empty pockets are doing some good. On Tuesday, the Treasury Department said that al Qaeda is "in its weakest financial condition in several years, and as a result, its influence is waning." Cutting off al Qaeda's funding proved easier than defeating ideology and extremism, and over the years, the U.S. has focused on cutting the network off from wealthy Arab benefactors. The terrorist organization was so strapped for cash that so far this year the group has already made four "public appeals" for money. Unfortunately, terrorism is cheap. Experts say September 11 cost a mere $500,000 to plan and carry out. While al Qaeda is languishing, the Taliban in Afghanistan have fat coffers, thanks to the country's booming drug trade and the group's penchant for extorting poppy farmers and heroin traffickers.
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