Even Al Qaeda Submits Expense Reports: This Week in the Back Office


Rukmini Callimachi is a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent best known for her in-depth reporting on terrorism. In a recent interview with Wired, she reveals how one small moment, shortly after being assigned as the paper's West Africa correspondent, changed her understanding of al Qaeda.

She says that she had assumed the men working for al Qaeda, “were just a bunch of guys in a cave in a desert, very primitive and wedded to an ideology for no good reason.” But on a visit to newly abandoned al Qaeda headquarters in Timbuktu, Callimachi uncovered something surprising among the papers left behind: expense reports. “I realized that this was a much more complex movement than I had thought,” Callimachi says. Turns out expense reports aren't unique to corporate bureaucracy. Check out the full story.

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