Before the Professor reached the outskirts of DC, he received a brief report stating Hankins was dead but not before he killed one of the martyrs with a hidden gun. The other two escaped. No police or people watching the recontact place were seen. Good, Hankins was a security threat just waiting to happen. It could hardly have been a setup. My people are very good at detecting surveillance, and Hankins had a loaded weapon. Who would stake out a trap with the bait armed, unless there was backup in the area to help him? The media reports would have more information. It still amazed him that so much information was given out by the various media outlets. Hankins was now history. He had to move on to his well-planned sniper attack that would shut down traffic in and out of DC. His campaign in Charleston was not a failure, but it was not nearly as disruptive as he wanted it to be. Soon he would be receiving internal criticism and hinted comments about funding. Hasani was the best. He and his people would remove any doubts his peers had about his war on America, in America.
He was going west along 495 and then Route 7 to Leesburg, Virginia. Three years ago he had used Arab money to buy a small, five-acre retreat on the west side of Mount Gilead four or five miles south of Leesburg on Route 15. He had never been there, but the descriptions of the log cabin and property almost perfectly fit the needs of his small group of dedicated Jihadists.
It was no longer as isolated, but the increased traffic would cover movement in and out of the country roads. He liked historical anomalies. Where better to attack American capitalism than from a former slave cabin dating back to the late 1700s? His Ford pickup truck would fit right in. Hasani should be there now. He loved to sit and talk in front of a big crackling fireplace. In addition to his skills as an assassin, Hasani liked to cook. He planned to enjoy himself on what surely would be his last battle against the West and their Christian God. There was no escape from this battle.
Using the GPS, he easily found his hideaway farm. Driving over a cattle guard up a steep rutted driveway, he parked next to a white Chevy pickup truck. Hasani came out to meet him. They embraced and the Professor let himself show a little emotion. He truly liked this simple talented fighter for Islam. With a thousand Hasanis, the war against the materialism of the West would have been over long ago. Hasani had no personal agenda. He always followed the guidelines given to him. Never complained. Never made special requests. Never questioned his superiors, even when he knew they were mistaken. He was a warrior from times past. He could have been a warrior in Saladin’s army, when it defeated the Western forces and the Templars at the battle of Hattin. Hasani would have loved battling the Templars. They had a similar code. Nothing for one’s self, everything for the cause.
He knew he was on the American most wanted list of terrorists, but they cannot know I am here within an hour’s drive of the White House. Over strong coffee, the Professor discussed the mission Hasani would undertake in two days. The campaign would start with two car bombs, one on the American Legion Memorial Bridge and one on Chain Bridge. Suicides were not required. In truth their only real use was the need to get a bomb near the target in the face of security forces. He didn’t have the resources to lose people without gaining an advantage. Two car bombs. Escape is simple, use four cars. The bomb cars are left on the bridges in any lane, and the drivers escape by getting into the getaway car right in front of them. The bombs are detonated by cell phone signals when the Jihadists are out of blast range. The only hard problem was to get the explosions within a five-minute period to increase the political effect. Traffic was always heavy during the morning and evening rush hours, but difficult to time precisely. He wanted the bombs to explode in the midst of heavy traffic. Using cell phones to coordinate timing would help, but there was always the unknown factor.
The car bombs were intended to get the authorities to focus on bridge defense and car bombs, while the main attack would be Hasani’s team of snipers attacking motorists on major arteries during rush hours. Since all the shooters could routinely hit a car-sized object at a thousand meters, it would take a while for the defense to catch up. By that time, he would have moved on. Hasani told him everything was ready. The car bombs were in the stable. The eight snipers, all American recruits, had their weapons ready and sighted in. Hasani always used his favorite rifle, the Barrett M82A2, a .50 Browning semi-automatic weighing 23 pounds. His team members were told to choose their own weapons. All elite shooters have a go-to rifle, and using different weapons makes it harder for the enemy to use ballistic forensics to back-track ammunition buys.
The Professor sat in the old part of the cabin made entirely of chestnut logs with new chinking and dabbing. The stone fireplace held a roaring fire, providing the only light in the room. It was against his beliefs, but all men have weaknesses and his was single malt scotch and strong cigarettes. The fireplace warmed the room. Staring into the fire with the flickering light dancing over the logs, he could see his part in the struggle against Western dominance in perspective. His name would not be recorded in the flow of history, but he felt fulfilled in believing he was on the right side in a fight that will last for at least another 1,000 years. He had a very small part to play, and he would play it as well as he could.