Chapter 5

Written by: Hemali Ajmera

 Meanwhile somewhere in Syria

 “There is bad news, dear Abu. Our brother in London has been arrested,” Shafiq stated calmly.

Old Abu Ghalib did not like his subordinates to display emotions. Emotions make you weak, he always said. They rob the brain of logic and focus, creating unnecessary attachment to places and people.  

Shafiq had been recruited by the brotherhood as a bubbly teenager. With fanaticism in his head and bigotry in his heart, he had been the ideal candidate. His inconsolable distress after his friend’s martyrdom had prompted the supreme leader to indoctrinate young Shafiq with this particular brand of philosophy.

Though just twenty-five, Shafiq was now Abu Ghalib’s most trusted lieutenant. He was in-charge of overseeing all covert operations of the brotherhood. He kept tabs on members, associates, informants and moles. 

“Was he a brother of faith or ……..?” Abu Ghalib asked just as calmly.

“A British national. Name - Alan Sharp. Our brothers found him some years back, unconscious on a deserted countryside road. They took him in. They were convinced that he was a godsend when they discovered that he had lost his memory due to head injuries. It took substantial effort to brainwash him into accepting he was one of us. He is now a fervent believer,” Shafiq replied. 

Shafiq went on to inform his boss that Alan Sharp had been entrusted to execute the London Tube mission because his nationality and appearance were perfectly suited for the job. Unfortunately The Met put a tail on him and he was arrested two days ago at Liverpool Street station for suspicious activities. A local informant had updated Shafiq about Alan’s cover being blown. 

“That’s not good. It could jeopardise our mission. Eliminate him before he rats out,” Abu Ghalib instructed.

“Praise be to God.” Shafiq bowed and urgently placed a call to London’s sleeper cell.  

 

***************

 

Caledonian Lodge, St. James’s Street, London

Inspector June McCready sat across from Assistant Commissioner Richard Bailey, Counter-terrorism Chief. 

“You think Sharp’s our man? He doesn’t fit the profile; he cracked up too easily. Seems more of a lost homebody than a terrorist.”

“He has confessed to having received specific instructions from a ‘brotherhood’ to plant a bomb at Liverpool Street tube station. Has agreed to a wire. It’s our only chance to get to his bosses,” the flamboyantly dressed McCready appraised her boss.

“How did you find him?” asked Bailey.

“A constable found him behaving rather suspiciously near Liverpool Street station a few days ago during routine patrolling. We tailed him, tapped his phone and intercepted coded messages. Finger printed him and did some digging. He was on the missing persons list some years back and was eventually presumed dead. He has no recollection of any immediate family members,” Inspector McCready rattled off, her mauve-tinted head bobbing energetically.   

Her cell phone was ringing incessantly. Exasperatedly she took the call.

“Sorry can’t talk now.” 

“Please, don’t hang up. It’s urgent. I am Samantha and this is regarding my father, Alan Sharp.”

Comments

Hemali - this is brilliant! What an imaginative and believable piece of writing. And that's a back story I certainly didn't see, coming. What an exciting story this is turning out to be. Congratulations.
Thank you Gabrielle. Glad you liked it.
Oh my goodness Hemali, what an amazing tie in to the opening. Your writing flows and is easy to read. There are no moments which snag my eye as I read. This is imaginative and it took us to another part of the world effortlessly. Great job.
Thank you Suraya.
Great work, Hemali. We are only halfway through the serial and just at the right place you broaden the plot so we get a bigger picture and increase the tension. Fantastic.
Thank you Ray!! I look forward to how this fantastic serial will end.