My Kind of Town
Don Chapman

Thursday, March 17, 2005


Preaching and combat

» Mashhad, Iran

The world's most wanted man -- other than George W. Bush, that is -- was preparing to retire for the night at the palace of the local grand mullah.

Mullah Mansour (his name meant "aided by God in victory") was a man Osama could turn to for matters both spiritual and tactical. So when, after prayers, Mullah Mansour commented guardedly that something other than his kidneys seemed to be bothering him, Osama confided that he'd sent his niece Fatima to Hawaii.

There was bad news and good news, in that order. The Chinese agent he'd hired to pick up Fatima at the airport, arrange for an apartment and offer such assistance as she might need, had been arrested hours before she arrived. He had not heard from her since. But Allah be praised, within four days of her arrival, according to one of his Honolulu operatives, she had successfully visited his target of choice, the Navy brig on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, where his friend and colleague Muhammed Resurreccion was being held. She was, in fact, there at that very moment.

"Allah akbar," Mullah Mansour said. "You must be proud."

"Yes, but also fearful. Our people in Honolulu are not able to deliver the kind of ... " He paused, searching for the word. "... assets she will ultimately need. She is close, but how can she attack?"

In other words, a truck bomb made of chicken doo-doo fertilizer would not work here.

"My old friend," Mullah Mansour said, stroking his white beard, "I may be of some assistance."

In whispers he told Osama of a new brigade he'd helped organize, still unknown to the CIA. The Khomeini Sharia Unification Movement for Preaching and Combat. Essentially, Islamic Green Berets, well funded, well equipped, well trained. They were, at that moment, across the border in Iraq.

"It is the perfect training ground," Mullah Mansour said. "Crossing the border is like walking into the next room."

The commandos had struck oil operations, poisoned drinking water, hit a variety of convoys and multiple American targets, killing many, losing few and gaining great experience. These were not just zealots like Osama's 9/11 martyrs. They were trained professional warriors for Allah the one God.

Osama explained what he thought was necessary for Fatima to be successful. It would have to be something small but lethal. LIke plastique. Or a more long-distance attack. Like shoulder-fired missiles.

"Not such a large operation then," the mullah said. "But specific technology will be needed. Yes, we can do this."

Later, each man fell asleep rejoicing that the world was one day closer to being Islamic from east to west, north to south, one day closer to the morning all the world's citizens would pray to Allah, speaking only his holy Arabic language. That was the goal, the only goal permitted. Bless his name.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek. His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin. He can be e-mailed at dchapman@midweek.com

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