Until May 2011, only the upper echelons of al Qaeda had remained consistent and long term. The bulk of the group's growth took place in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the organization focused its operations in Afghanistan. Rent was cheap, prospects were plentiful, employees were eager to on-board, and goals were being achieved. But Hollywell believes the rapid expansion from early successes made the executives sloppy and less cautious.
He said: "They left Afghanistan, telling shareholders the market there had been saturated. In reality, I think they're a one-trick pony with a single service offering that's getting stale. But instead of diversifying or innovating, they relocated to an expensive and upscale premise in Pakistan. Soon after, their chief executive officer was forced out of power."
On June 8, 2012, the organization's second highest principal was also terminated. With the departure of Abu Yahya al Libi, al Qaeda has been struggling to prevent the enterprise from imploding. Even though U.S. counter-terrorism officials have identified five potential successors as next generation managers, efforts to augment the rest of the workforce have stagnated. So, the remaining al Qaeda rank and file have decided to outsource their labor.
Currently, Pakistan's jobless figures more than double the size of the U.S. unemployment rate. But al Qaeda understands that the nature of its business has little appeal to those seeking full time work.
Barnabas Hamroid, founder of San Narciso's William Tell Staffing Agency, was recently awarded the al Qaeda staffing contract.
"It's a common misconception that in times of soaring unemployment, available workers are abundant," Hamroid explained. "In truth, they're likely to be more selective -- to worry about stability and longevity over quick money below their normal pay grades, which leads to underemployment. Al Qaeda is a challenging account. We'll need to source temps for shorter assignments than they're used to, implement alternate work schedules, and our timekeeping and billing processes must be radically reconfigured. But, unlike most companies these days, al Qaeda has demanded that no background screenings occur. That's going to save us a lot of money, and we can pass those savings back down to them."
Despite concerns from other staffing agencies and even government officials, Hamroid expressed confidence in his company's delivery model for al Qaeda: "I sincerely believe temps are the way to go for al Qaeda. You know, I often hear my temps say they'd rather commit suicide than waste another day working for one of our clients. Attitudes like that used to worry me, but now I realize that I've finally found a good fit for them, in an environment that will help them reach their career objectives. We're very excited about this opportunity, particularly because of its global portfolio. We're looking to be more of an international player, and al Qaeda could be a great way to spread our name throughout the world."
(c) 2012. See disclaimers.