My Kind of Town
Don Chapman


Shootout in Kaimuki

» Kaneohe-Kaimuki

According to the plan she'd laid out for him, and with the blessing of his Marine superiors and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, Lt. Basel Zakly Faris, USMC, was driving to pick up Fatima bin Laden, known to him as San Marcos, at her Kaneohe cottage. From there they'd drive to an as-yet unknown site to meet "they," the people who were assisting Fatima in jihad. As Baz pulled the black Mustang into the driveway, his police radio crackled -- a shootout in Kaimuki, multiple shots from multiple weapons.

Idiot gang bangers, he supposed, his head filled with larger issues -- like driving around the streets of Honolulu and out to Ford Island after letting Islamic terrorists fill his trunk with plastique explosive. But then the dispatcher gave the address, and everything changed. That was where Imam Ibrahim al-Shakr resided!

As Fatima hurried from the cottage, Baz speed-dialed the imam's cell phone number. He answered, Baz sighed in relief. Then he heard more shooting, the squealing of tires.

"Imam Ibrahim, are you OK?"

"Yes, praise the One God, and your colleague in law enforcement, Officer Ah Sun. I'm with him now in his truck."

Baz had met Quinn Ah Sun, an HPD solo bike officer, and his wife Lily at the imam's preaching and dancing gathering on Diamond Head Road a week earlier, and liked them immediately. When Quinn learned Baz was a Marine MP, he suggested they speak to the imam about better security. Quinn had been on the security detail for the second Lama Jey Tsong Khapa during his recent visit and in the imam saw another young holy man whose message of peace, love and compassion would offend certain people.

He heard another gunshot, almost immediately shattering glass. "Oh, that was close," the imam said.

For the first time, Baz did not get out of the car to open the door for Fatima. From the frown on his face, she knew something was very wrong.

Later, Baz would learn that a young Muslim named Fariq insinuated himself into the imam's closest circle of followers. He and three members of an al-Qaeda cell arrived with guns, shot five of the imam's followers on the ground floor, killing four. Sensing trouble the moment he saw them from the balcony, Quinn hustled the imam down the back stairs of the building, where they encountered one of Fariq's friends at the bottom of the stairwell, Awad the taxi driver. Glock drawn, shielding the imam, Quinn got off the first shot, nailed the guy in the shoulder, spun him around, forcing him to drop the gun. They managed to escape safely through a hail of bullets, although Quinn's new hemi Durango would need some body and glass work.

"Arabic Muslims just tried to kill Imam Ibrahim," Baz whispered.

"I heard someone would," Fatima said. "And it's going to get worse."

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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