The Professor was enjoying his drive north up Route I-95. It had been years since he had cruised American highways as a graduate student. Even now, he was still impressed by the extent of the national highway system. The Americans are certainly the Romans of our time. They are a formidable enemy. The sheer size of the land mass and the technical know-how of their population present great problems to any would-be conqueror. To defeat them, we must make them defeat themselves. Their own political leaders are already preaching class warfare. I believe that kind of rhetoric is our strongest ally. Rome fell apart from internal strife, so will America. I can only pray I live long enough to see it happen. I’ve devoted my life to destroying the American Empire.
Keeping within the speed limit and carefully following all traffic signs, he was now within 5 miles of the primary Richmond exit. He could not afford even a routine police check of his documentation. He had some familiarity with Richmond from the past. He liked the City and had read extensively about Richmond as the capital of the Confederacy. It was past time to change cars and this was an ideal place. His plan was simple. Drive to the Richmond Airport, park in a lot, and take a taxi to the Jefferson Hotel on West Franklin Street. He liked the Jefferson and had stayed there many years ago. There was no chance anyone would recognize him now. At least one night in luxury would be good. He had perfect alias documentation that would pass close inspection. After getting a good rest, the Professor planned to visit one of Richmond’s used car lots and buy a two- or three-year-old car for cash.
The next morning when he checked out of the Jefferson, paying cash, he was almost sorry to be leaving. After all the hiding and hard living he had endured the past decade, there was something to be said for luxury and tranquility. He was a committed Islamic Jihadist but he could feel the allure of Western culture. This was indeed the land of the Great Satan, if even he had to resist the pull of western decadence. When he got to his destination, he promised to spend more time in prayer and meditation.
Now, he had to focus his attention on buying a used car in a way that would not leave a paper trail. The Professor took a taxi from the hotel to a used car lot he selected from the newspaper ads at the hotel. His selection advertised a number of late model cars and trucks. He had been using luxury cars. It was now time for a change. He got out of the taxi at a restaurant a block from his destination. When the taxi was out of sight, he shouldered his light carry-on bag and walked to the car lot.
He was immediately approached by a salesman who asked, “May I help you?”
The Professor, using his New England accent, said, “I’m interested in looking at a pickup truck in good condition I could use on my small farm.” When asked about his price range, he said, “I’ll pay cash and want to pay no more than $20,000.”
When the salesman looked surprised that he was going to pay cash, the Professor told him, “I deal in land sales and just collected my share of a mid-sized deal and don’t want to run the money through my account and my wife’s lawyers. Is that a problem?”
“Not at all, and I think I have just what you are looking for. I can bring it up or you can walk through the lot with me.”
“I’ll walk with you in case I see something else I like, and I’m in a bit of a hurry to get on the road.”
Forty-five minutes later, the Professor had handed over $21,000 and signed a stack of documents that made him owner of a white 2006 Ford F-150 4×4 XLT with 41,032 miles on the odometer. Where he was going, the F-150 would blend into the surroundings and the 4×4 capability might prove useful. If, in some way, the authorities had managed to pick up his trail, this change in vehicles will throw them off. It would take an outstanding bit of police work to make the connection between his Passat left at the airport and the Ford truck with dealer plates.
An hour later he pulled into a rest stop and made a phone call to a number in Baltimore that would be bounced to Falls Church and which instructed one of the many al Qaeda support workers to post a personal note on an obscure Facebook page. Al Hasani would see the comment and know what to do. He was perhaps the best sniper the Professor had ever seen in all his days of Jihad. Hasani had been very hard to convince he must travel to America and wait for the signal to begin his own war against Americans.
Checking into his complicated communications system that included the social media, three web pages and two blogs, the Professor learned that Hankins had placed a personal ad precisely as called for in his recontact plan. He made another call, ordering the death of Hankins, the rug merchant he never trusted, especially since he was the only person to escape the fire that destroyed two well-planned car bomb attacks. He knew the odds against the explosives causing a fire were minimal. Several dedicated Jihadists were killed in the fire. He wanted Hankins to pay for his failure.