Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Living Bomb

“What do ya want to do, Ali?”
I dunno. Taxes are due and my girl is mad at me, and the shark who lent me money wants it back. I didn’t get her no birthday present ‘cause I don’t got any money. What would ya do in my place?”
“Do what I been tellin’ ya for some time. Let’s blow us up. We ain’t got money for plane tickets, so let’s do it on a train instead. At rush hour, when there’s a lot of people around. We can take some of ‘em wif us. Maybe a lot.”
“Oh, I dunno, Ziad. That’s kinda final. . . .”
“Listen--Muhammed and Syed are ready for this. It wouldn’t be just us two. Together we could make a real impression on this damn place. I hate London, anyway. It would show ‘em good.”
“Maybe. How would we do it?”
“Oh, we would just put packs on our backs and set them off at a certain time, when we’re in a crowd.”
“Wouldn’t it hurt, Ali?”
“Naw, ya wouldn’t feel a thing. Besides, we we’d get all kinds of brownie points in Paradise. Maybe even all those virgins to take care of us. Think of all that sex!”
“Why don’t we just put timers in our packs and leave ‘em on the train, then?”
“Cause we don’t get paid as much if we do that, Ziad.”
“We get paid? That’s neat. Wait a minute! Do we get paid before or after the bombs go off?”
“Before, of course. Unless you want the money sent to your parents.”
“Nah. I wouldn’t give them anything. What’d they ever do for me? I want the money first. Then I would have a big night out. Lotsa girls and gin. Then I would do the dirty.”
“It ain’t dirty if it’s for Allah. Nothin’ ya do for Allah can be called dirty, Ziad.”
“That covers a lot of territory. I bet I could think of some things that . . .”
“Remember not to think. This is a time when it’s Satanic to think. It’s time to act. Remember what the Imam told us about how evil this place is? It’s up to us to strike against London. He said he wants us to do it.”
“Oh, who appointed us to be the pioneers, Ali?”
“That’s just the way it is. We’re the courageous few. If we don’t do it, no one else will. But if we take the lead, then lots of others will follow. We’re the leaders, Ziad. We can take the first strike for Allah. Maybe the people will be so upset they’ll force old Blair to pull British troops out of Iraq.”
“Yeah, Ali. If we really squash a lot of people on the trains like they did in Spain, then we could change the world.”
“Now, you’re thinkin’. I’ll get Muhammed and Syed. They’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
“That soon?”
“Yeah. It’s all planned. We’ve been waitin’ until the big meetin’ in Scotland so we can get some attention from the press. And security’ll be focused on them, not us. We gotta do it tomorrow.”
“Can ya get me the money so we can go out tonight? I gotta have at least one big night before I leave this place.”
“This afternoon. I’ll get it to ya this afternoon, unless . . .”
“Unless what, Ali?”
“There’s only room for six of us in on this. If the other places are taken, then I guess I can’t get you the money and you’ll have to continue to live in this evil place.”
“Oh, it ain’t that bad. I guess I could take it another few months. But try, anyway. I really need a good night out. Haven’t had one in a year, since the money ran out.”
“All right, Ziad, I’ll see what I can do. But only if you’re really, really serious.”

And the next day five bombs with timers on them were placed on trains. Ziad went aboard a crowded train with a bomb in his backpack and blew himself to smithereens. Many people were killed or maimed. Two of the bombs did not go off.
Ali began his search for another living bomber.

No comments: