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Rated: 13+ · Novel · Action/Adventure · #2288379
Terrorists in the homeland

"The Platinum Club"

Chapter 1

Hamdi Kalief stood from the prayer rug. He wore traditional white clothing, a Koran clutched tightly in his left hand. Nervous eyes under bushy brows constantly scanned the workshop. He paced back and forth beside the freshly painted eight-passenger van and trailer. He glanced impatiently at his cell phone and then to the trailer and back to his phone. Everything was prepared. The van glistened under the overhead lights. The trailer was painted a glossy white, its sides emblazed with gold lettering announcing the Maryland Marching Band.

Hamdi jumped as the sound of thunder rolled across the dark sky, ruminants of hurricane Dana, shook the building. The heavy rain, across the Washington D. C. area as promised by the channel 7 news, could produce local flooding and a very dangerous commute. He stomped across the warehouse floor, pulled a small remote from his pocket, and pushed the button. The heavy metal door rolled noisily to its full height. Seven thirty A.M. streetlights reflected off the overflowing gutters. Wind, howling through the exposed power lines, whipped the rain into the open door.

Hamdi watched as a pair of headlights approached. Startled he jumped, as his cell rang.

He punched the call button and said, "Hello?"

"Are you ready?" the voice asked.

He recognized the voice and followed his instructions: do not mention any names then replied, "Yes brother."

"Ok," the voice continued. "You know the route, I'll follow close behind."

A tight smile crossed his face and he stood a little straighter, and then said, "Ala be praised," before punching the end button.

He pulled open the door, slid behind the wheel and snapped his seatbelt in place, then started the van. He glanced over his shoulder. The interior was stripped of seats and capering. Welded to the floor were custom drums, the tops just below the window line. A thick detonation cord protruded from the top of each drum, joining others coming from the trailer, they snaked neatly up the right-hand side of the truck. The cloying odor of kerosene and fertilizer filled the cabin. Hamdi lowered the passenger side window. A little water would not stop the inevitable. The detonation cord would burn at ten thousand feet per second, even underwater. Slipping the car into drive, he nosed out into the pouring rain. A glance out the side mirror confirmed the trailer had cleared the door, he then pushed the remote once more and the door rolled closed. A Mercedes three fifty moved smoothly close behind.

Hamdi forced the van into the morning traffic moving slowly north on highway one. His hands began to shake slightly in anticipation as he passed Ronald Regan National Air Port. Traffic was moving or crawling was a better description, he thought he could walk faster. The heavy rain pelted the windscreen and the wind rocked the van. He veered off highway one to take Jefferson Parkway. The overpass for Highway three ninety-five loomed ahead about one hundred yards.

Two wire loops protruded from the dash. The first wire was encased in a copper tube, to prevent snagging, extended through the dash and floor of the van, anchored at several places under the body, and terminated at the rear connected to a small can filled with motor oil. Hamdi pulled the wire and tipped the can spilling the oil on the hot exhaust pipe. A great cloud of blue smoke erupted into the wind and rain. He switched on the emergency blinkers. Just as he passed under the front edge of the three ninety-five underpasses, he pulled the second wire.

It moved smoothly through its copper sheath and dumped a full quart of oil on the engine. He angled the van from the left lane and pulled toward the right shoulder, amid a symphony of car horns angrily announcing the displeasure of his blocking all lanes except the left side emergency strip. The smoke from the oil in the engine compartment billowed out from under the hood. Gagging fumes flooded the interior of the truck. Clouds of blue smoke poured from the engine compartment and then burst into flames. The Mercedes squeezed past the back of the trailer and pulled up near the door of the van.

Hamdi flipped a switch on the box next to him and coughing from the fumes pushed the door open, and stumbled out and toward the Mercedes. His left hand grasped his cell phone and the right clasped the door handle pulling it open. He bent to enter the car. The first thing he saw was a sly smile of his handler over the muzzle of a nine-millimeter Glock pointed at his chest. The handler said, "Ala Akbar," and then pulled the trigger. The full force of a nine-millimeter hollow point bullet knocked Hamdi back a step as it entered his chest. He dropped to his knees in disbelief, as the Mercedes accelerated away. Betrayed, he flung his phone at the fleeing car. Then he fell forward on the cold wet pavement, almost like praying. Two thousand five hundred pounds of fuel oil explosive detonated, vaporizing the van, the overpass, and everything within three hundred yards.

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