EDITORS:

The Associated Press is exploring one of the largest collections of al-Qaida documents ever made public, found in Timbuktu, Mali, after an al-Qaida occupation earlier this year. The AP has pieced together, translated and verified thousands of pages of documents from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, which provide a unique insight into how the terror group works today.

The last story in the Al-Qaida's Papers package will focus on how the terror organization is attempting to behave like a multinational, replete with its own accounting system across chapters:

AL-QAIDA THE MULTINATIONAL

TIMBUKTU, Mali — Three dollars for a broom, $1.80 for soap; $0.60 for cake: More than 100 receipts left behind by al-Qaida in buildings in Mali show that the terror group is obsessed with accounting, documenting the most minute expenses. The stash of documents found by The Associated Press adds to the evidence that far from being a fly-by-night, fragmented terror organization, al-Qaida is attempting to behave like a multinational corporation, with what amounts to a companywide financial policy across its different chapters. By Rukmini Callimachi. SENT: 1,700 words on Dec. 23 for use in papers of Monday, Dec. 30. Photos, interactive.

Earlier stories in the Al-Qaida's Papers series focused on the terror group's strategy in Africa, its use of drones, its possession of a particularly dangerous weapon and profiles of its leaders. All the stories can be found in an interactive that will go live Sunday at hosted.ap.org/interactives/2012/al-qaida?START=al-qaida-papers

We commend this package to your attention.

The AP