|Rare shot of Drumming and Osama BinLaden together in a direct mail appeal last year.|
Pentagon sources say US special forces struck another powerful blow against the al-Qaeda terrorist network by capturing the group’s top fundraiser on a golf course near Orlando, Florida in the early hours of this morning.
A high-ranking military official said the action, code named Operation Tax Receipt, saw SEAL teams land near an exclusive golf club and then apprehend their target – Dennis Drumming, the Executive Director of the al-Qaeda Foundation and the number 27 man in the terrorist network.
Drumming, a long-time university fundraiser, took over the Foundation two years ago after a drone strike killed the last Executive Director in Pakistan. Experts say the secretive and cunning Drumming brought a new kind of fundraising to the organization.
“al-Qaeda knew they had to take action when their corporate donations starting falling,” said a Pentagon source. “So they changed tactics. The result was a much more sophisticated fundraising organization.”
It started by hiring one of New York’s top fundraising consulting firms to do a worldwide campaign evaluation study. Then a national search for a new Foundation leader followed, which selected Drumming over 47 other applicants. Drumming then set about creating a modern fundraising organization, including buying swank offices in Miami Beach, hiring fashion-runway models to be receptionists and buying a complicated, overly-expensive fundraising software system that was practically impenetrable.
“We had our best hackers working on that database for nearly a year and they couldn’t break it. It was so difficult and annoying to use that not even the Foundation knew how to operate it. That’s why we couldn’t hack it. Genius,” said the source.
In the take-down, Drumming, who was on a golf date with three prospective major donors at the time, was surprised as he scored par on yet another round of the golf course. His capture led SEAL Teams to a nearby office building in Orlando where an entire annual giving direct mail operation was blown-up. A major gifts cell that operated out of a coffeehouse around the corner was put out of action with drone strikes. Sources say major intel was gathered at both locations, including al-Qaeda’s giving pyramid, details about their new capital campaign, copies of their annual report and their planned giving brochures.
“The information we gleamed from this operation is priceless. For the first time ever, we’ve got a clear picture of everything that this Foundation is doing…even the stupid things they do, like their mediocre strategic plan and their squabbles over office space. It’s all here.”
Drumming and the estimated 30 other al-Qaeda fundraising operatives netted in the raid are now en route to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for interrogations by officials with the FBI, CIA and Blackbaud and Sage. They hope that he will lead them to al-Qaeda leaders, including those who were supposed to visit the Orlando area for the Foundation AGM next month.
Meantime, a spokesman for the Foundation says their fundraising operations will continue unabated and urged followers to join them on Facebook.