ISBN 0-9760679-2-7
288 pages - 105x170 mm
 

 

"A brutal unsentimental fast-paced surf travel adventure."

Jihadi terrorist Ali Mansour is on the run for his role in the Casablanca bombings. To stay a step ahead of the Moroccan police he contacts the secretive Dr. Chandran, agent of ‘the Businessman.’

Bobby Cruz and girlfriend Samantha Kane are enjoying an idyllic holiday in Morocco when they meet Dr. Chandran in Marrakech. As Bobby spends his days surfing the rugged Atlantic coast, he is unaware of the dramatic events to follow.

As the hunt continues for the fanatic Ali, Bobby and Samantha will once again cross paths with the doctor and the sinister practice behind his clinic in the Atlas mountains.

Anchor Point, Taghazoute and Morocco surf maps included

“Sword of the Prophet is a fast-paced surf book set in mysterious Morocco.”

CHAPTER 1

         

It was early evening in Casablanca and the surf was breaking two meters over sand-covered rocks. The boys riding boogie boards were pulling off radical 360s, aerials and flip rolls. The swell was building and would grow in size throughout the night. By morning the surf would be double its height and only the best and bravest would be out in the water.

The waves came from a low depression in the North Atlantic that raged somewhere in the waters between Nova Scotia and Greenland. The weather system would reach the Bay of Biscay in a few days, but before making land the winds would push the swells to this exposed northern coast of Morocco.

          All this meant little to Ali Mansour, standing watching the surfers. He came from the land of the Prophet, the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula where the seas were passive. Ocean surf was something new for him, something to marvel at. When Ali had free time he would come to these cliffs and watch the boys surf. He was amazed to see some of the older boys ride the waves on surfboards. Ali could not believe his eyes, it was if they were walking on water.

Ali was standing on the southern edge of the immense square of the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. The great mosque was situated on the rocky ledge that jutted out into the Atlantic Ocean. Further to the north was the harbor entrance and to the south lay a rocky coastline of the Corniche, which was now white with crashing surf.

Facing east was the city of Casablanca where Ali could see the walls and turrets of the old Medina marketplace and the ugly blocks of concrete slum housing that lay in between.

          It was Friday and for the last few minutes Ali had watched the faithful of Casablanca arrive at the mosque for evening prayers. Over the crashing surf he could hear their greetings as they took off their shoes and entered the mosque, “A’salaam A’leikum,” they would say to friends who would in turn reply “A’leikum A’salaam,” and inquire about health, family and children.

          There would be no prayers for Ali tonight; there would be no comfort in communing with God. He had work to do and he was sure God would be merciful, because he was carrying out his will.

          Ali turned his gaze back to the ocean and watched the boys surf some more. There was still some daylight though the sun was already down; it wouldn’t be long now, he thought.

He glanced again in the direction of the Medina; the lights were coming on in the windows of the slum blocks. The loudspeaker on top of the mosque began calling the faithful to prayer. A sonorous voice rang out:

God is great God is great,

I testify there is no God, but Allah,

I testify that Mohammed is his messenger,

Hurry to prayer, Hurry to salvation,

God is great God is great,

There is no God, but Allah

 

The amplified voice seemed almost supernatural as it echoed off the concrete and marble of the Hassan II square.

Ali saw a couple of boys who had been surfing climb the cliffs from the beach and cross the square to the mosque entrance. He watched as they took off their shoes to enter the mosque and pray. How strange, Ali never thought of these surfers as fellow Muslims.

          Ali saw it first, then heard it. There was a bright flash beyond the old Medina, then a dull thud and roar. Barely a minute later there was another flash from the same direction, another booming sound, yet another roar.

          It is done, Ali thought, and started to cross the square moving against the flow of men on their way to prayers. No one seemed to have noticed that something of great importance had taken place. In the distance Ali could hear the sound of sirens as fire engines and emergency services began racing to the scene of the blast.

They would all know soon enough, thought Ali; they would see the devastation and the suffering inflicted on the unbeliever. Soon they will all wake from this dream of theirs and understand there was no turning back from this; there was only God’s way forward.

          Ali exited the main gates of Hassan II Square and headed towards the concrete slums that lay between the mosque and the Medina. As he passed the crumbling apartments, he could hear people talking excitedly that there had been a bombing in the city.

As Ali walked deeper into the slum area he felt satisfied as he overheard the news spreading among the inhabitants. Ali was filled with pride; he wished he could tell them it was he that was liberating them. It was Ali Mansour that would rouse them from their nightmare. He had planned the explosions with God’s hand guiding him.

          These were the very people Ali believed would take up arms against the unbeliever and this government of Satan’s stooges. These people had nothing to lose and everything to gain by rising up and throwing off their shackles, but he was confused by the anger he heard expressed.

          As Ali walked through the darkened streets he heard a voice from an open door say that it was the work of accursed foreign Arabs, these criminals were going to ruin the country.

Ali heard more people from these dirty blockhouses shout out curses. “It was the fucking foreigners,” they were shouting, “They will ruin us. The tourists will stay at home and what will we live on? Curse these dogs.”

Ali Mansour pulled the hood of his djellaba, the traditional Moroccan flowing robe, over his head. It was dark now and luckily these impoverished streets had no lights. He didn’t have to fear these people as a foreigner; he could easily pass as one of them, except when he spoke, then his Yemeni accent would give him away. But there was too much spill light coming from the houses. He decided to walk along the harbor, Boulevard des Almohades, where there would be fewer people.

          Ali followed the road along the harbor then headed towards the city center on Boulevard Boigny, a busy main street. He walked past the main gate of the Medina. Fire trucks and police cars raced by with lights flashing and sirens blaring as he moved along the outer wall of the old market. In the distance he could see a thick plume of black smoke rising over Casablanca.

          At the traffic intersection on Place des Nations Unies Ali could see policemen with automatic weapons climbing out of a van and moving into positions in front of the Hyatt Regency and the Excelsior Hotels. They were forming a security cordon to protect the tourists. Ali looked round; there was no evidence of the blast damage he expected to see. There was nothing amiss on the square.

          Ali continued walking the perimeter of the square to get a better look. The fire trucks and police cars were now racing past the intersection towards a residential area. Under the arcade across from the square he asked some people what was going on as they watched the action.

“I hear some radical shits blew themselves up,” said someone.

“Allah have mercy on us, where?” asked Ali.

“The cowards blew themselves to bits near the Spanish consulate.”

“Consulate? Were many of the Spaniards hurt?”

“The offices were closed,” said the man.

Another man joined the conversation.

“I heard they blew themselves up in front of a Spanish restaurant on the same street,” he said.

“I know that place,” said another man, “my cousin works there. The Spaniards don’t eat at this time; they come later after 9, 10 o’clock. If anyone was hurt it was Moroccans.”

“May God curse the perpetrators of this act,” said a man listening.

The other men joined in the stream of curses.

“May God punish those who did this.”

“The cowardly dogs, may their families all be cursed,” said another.

Ali was starting to feel uncomfortable; this was not the reaction he expected. “Inshallah,” if god wills it, he said and moved away from the crowd of onlookers.

What kind of people were these Moroccans he wondered, didn’t they know who the real enemy was? Even though the young King of Morocco claimed to have the blood of the Prophet flowing through his veins, he was cut from the same cloth as his father. He was a drinker, a womanizer and apostate, in short an enemy of God.

          Ali left the square and headed towards the Central Market along Rue Allah ben Abdellah. It was near the market that Ali had his hotel room. He had planned to pack his bags and get on a bus at dawn, but what he saw and heard had changed his mind. He would leave immediately.

Ali’s plan was to head north to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. This would bring him closer to the foe, closer to Europe and the enemies of the Prophet. He had already scouted targets a few weeks ago. In the north he would recruit more martyrs for his next action; those with European passports he would order to cross the Straits of Gibraltar to Spain and begin scouting targets.

          During Ali’s training in Afghanistan he was taught to move with caution and never directly from place to place. He decided he would make a few passes around the Hotel Touring just to make sure it was not being watched.

Ali walked past the Central Market; it was thirty meters from the entrance of his hotel. He saw nothing out of the ordinary in the street. He was tempted to go directly to his hotel room but decided to walk around the block one more time. He was just about to round the corner when he spotted the van.

          Ali sensed something was not right, because there was a westerner in the van with Moroccans. It was a new van and the windows were mirrored, but parked nearby was an undercover car with plain-clothes police. They were waiting for him to return.

Ali kept walking unnoticed; their attention was focused on the hotel entrance. He moved quickly to the main street. The traffic was moving normally. After a few more blocks he reached the bus company Compagnie de Transport Marocain or C.T.M. The next bus would leave in a few minutes, heading south to Essaouira. Ali bought a ticket.

Ali sat in the bus station for few anxious minutes until the loudspeaker called for passengers to board the bus. He entered with a group of schoolgirls wearing white headscarves.

          After a few more nervous moments the bus pulled up to the exit of the terminal. It was immediately blocked by a police wagon with lights flashing. A half dozen policemen had entered the terminal with automatic weapons. They began checking the identity papers of the waiting passengers.

Ali’s mind was racing; they were already closing in on him. Somebody must have talked. One of the slum kids he recruited to carry out the bombing must have informed on him. But this night God was with him and made him invisible—the police let the bus go without making identity checks. They assumed he was leading the group of schoolgirls.

          As the bus left Casablanca Ali reminded himself to stay vigilant, there may be other checks along the route. Once in Essaouira he would try to make contact at the local mosque.

In Afghanistan they had given him a telephone number in case things went wrong. The Imam had him memorize it at the training camp before setting out on this mission. His handlers told him he could call this contact only in an extreme emergency. He was told his contact would help him pick up the pieces and start again. Inshallah, God willing, he thought.

 

CHAPTER 2

 

“May Allah preserve us from the people who would save us!” shouted Dr. Chandran when he read the headlines of the Casablanca bombing. The tea boy said nothing; he was used to outbursts like this. The doctor continued to read the newspaper and shouted again, “God save us from the world betterers, the true believers. All those fools with a vision of a perfect world. May God keep us from their hands.”

Dr. Aziz Chandran tossed the newspaper on the floor of his house in disgust. What fools, what incompetents, what complete bloody amateurs, he thought. How much of this notorious type of publicity could his fellow Muslims take? How much negative press coverage was enough for them to see the error of such actions?

          But these were stupid, uneducated men drunk on the misinterpreted readings of the holy Koran and further corrupted by power-hungry Mullahs and Imams. Most were illiterate nothings of human beings who were desperate for a way out of their miserable lives. They believed they found salvation in a noble death, a death that would allow them to escape their earthly misery and enter paradise, to bring them closer to God.

“The bloody fools,” spat Dr. Chandran.

          The Mullahs and Imams promised them paradise for their high-minded violence, an eternity in the celestial kingdom with subservient young girls to wait on them hand and foot. These so-called holy men spun visions to these village bumpkins and social misfits that would make any procurer of women blush, a paradise where beautiful full-breasted maidens fulfilled their every wish.

They believed these lies because for desperate men dreams are like bread for the hungry. But the only breast these criminals will ever feel was the bitch of a mother when she suckled them. Dr. Chandran cursed again.

          If this rabble did get near the gates of paradise like the Mullahs and Imams promised, God would shit on them, these criminals who used his name to kill fellow Muslims. He would send them packing to hell and boil them in pig fat and sautée them in whiskey for eternity. That would be a just end for these miserable dogs, who called themselves holy warriors, jihadis. These so-called good Muslims who killed innocents and told the world they were fighting in the name of the Prophet and Allah.

          The paper estimated twenty-seven people had died and another fifteen were in hospital, all Moroccans. The dead included the twelve suicide bombers. The members of their support team were arrested on the spot. The police shot one bomber still in his explosive vest, too stupid to connect the battery and set off the charges.

          The newspaper reported that there were another nine arrested in the El Medina slums of Casablanca. The police were questioning them and more arrests of fellow conspirators and their leaders were expected to follow.

          The Moroccan police would no doubt get information from the arrested conspirators. They were infamous for their torture techniques; methods brought to Morocco by the French and Spanish. The Moroccans improved on these, using them on the government’s political opponents and on the Polisario rebels during the twenty years of war in the southern Sahara.

          Dr. Chandran heard from reliable sources that after the invasion of Afghanistan the United States and its allies used Morocco along with Egypt as a rest stop for some of the most senior Taliban captured during the war. Away from the prying eyes of the International press and bleeding-heart humanitarian groups, the local security forces could ply their interrogation skills. This allowed the U.S. Army and the State Department to wash their hands of any hint of torture and claim to the world that they were complying with the Geneva Convention on the conduct of war.

It didn’t take long for the Moroccan authorities to extract all the information the allies needed. Dr. Chandran was sure the Americans used the information to help target Taliban strongholds and even came close to killing Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar.

But the Americans did not trust the information and wanted corroboration. When they finally got it, it was too late. By then the Taliban leaders had escaped to Waziristan, the Pashtun tribal area on the border with Pakistan.

          It occurred to Dr. Chandran that the American Intelligence officials were not as efficient as they made themselves out to be. There were other missed opportunities, but the information had to be digested and that took time. And in the time that took to reach any conclusions those that were nimble enough managed to escape, to stay one step ahead of the ungainly American giant.

          A vision came to mind of a slow dinosaur, like the one at the entrance of the Museum of Natural History in London. While Dr. Chandran was a medical student he visited the museum many times and admired the beast. The museum guide explained that this gigantic creature some thirty meters long had a brain the size of ping-pong ball. The input from such a small and distant brain took a long time to manifest itself in turning left and right in search of food. It was no wonder that such creatures died out while the smaller nimble ones took over the earth.

          Dr. Chandran stepped out of his room. A crisp morning light was coming over the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The air was still cool and he could see the mist rising from the nearby waterfall, Cascades D’Ouzoud. In the valley below in people of the village were stirring and going about their work.

          Dr. Chandran glanced at the line of women and children forming next to his clinic. He then ordered a pot of mint tea from the boy and motioned for the first patients to enter.

          Painted across the building was a Star and Crescent followed by Arabic script. Under it in English, as Dr. Chandran had insisted, were the words: Muslim Brothers Well Baby Clinic.

          After all, Dr. Chandran reasoned, he was a graduate of Bradford University Medical School, United Kingdom. Why not let the world know that Muslims were also doing charity work, not only making jihad and issuing death fatwas.

          Dr. Chandran put on his white smock and looped the stethoscope around his neck. He then proceeded to examine his first patient. It was a local boy of about eleven years old. Dr. Chandran had the boy strip off his dirty djellaba. On his belly just above his left hip was an ugly red scar a few centimeters long.

          Dr. Chandran pressed the scar with his fingers; there was no indication of pain. It was healing fine. He told the boy’s mother she would not have to come back again for a check-up unless there were complications.

Dr. Chandran was glad this operation had gone to plan. There had been other patients who had not been so lucky and caught bacterial infections. There was even one case where a child had died of post-operative complications, but luckily he was an orphan from a distant village.

          Here, far away from civilization and a sterile environment, there could still be complications even though Dr. Chandran took all the hygienic precautions he possibly could. He was happy that most of his patients were Berbers, robust people used to life’s hardships.

In most cases they were grateful for the service he gave. Some of the young mothers had even given themselves to the doctor. And he took his pleasure with them gladly; he had no problem with this. After all he was living at the end of the world, far away from liberal women of Bradford or London.

          The next patient admitted to the examination room was another mother and child. It was their first visit and he drew blood from the little girl to test for blood type, even though the she was clearly suffering from the mumps.

In drawing blood from the child the doctor had to use the same disposable needles on different babies. Even though needle sharing would be severely criticized by his U.K. colleagues, being grounds for dismissal or being barred from the profession, he had no choice; his medical supplies had run out. The only things he still had in abundance were his blood-typing kits.

          Dr. Chandran gave the mother a dozen aspirins, which he poured into a plastic bag. In exchange she gave him a rolled-up newspaper. Once she had left the doctor unfolded the paper and found a small bundle of kif, Moroccan hashish. He could use it; he had smoked all he had last night.

          The next patient was another mother and a twelve-year-old boy. He recognized the lad from an earlier visit and he looked hungry. During the last visit he had tested the boy’s blood type and it registered AB+. This was an unusual blood group for the area. The blood types here were what you’d expect by Berber intermarriage, lots of O+ and A+, but this boy was an exception.

          The doctor had the boy and mother wait in the next room and asked the tea boy to fix them some food.

          Dr. Chandran went back into the small room that served as his office. He picked up his mobile phone and flicked it on. He began to type out a text message: AB+ available.

Dr. Chandran dropped the phone in his pocket and went back out to his examination room. The mother and the boy watched the doctor expectantly as they ate.

Dr. Chandran spoke to the mother in English-accented Arabic and asked how the boy was feeling, but she did not understand him. He asked the tea boy to translate in Berber for him. The mother said that the boy was feeling okay and that he did not have fevers any more.

          Just then Dr. Chandran’s mobile phone vibrated. He saw that there was a message and called up the menu. It read: Client ready, $ upon receipt.

          Dr. Chandran hit the reply button and punched in: Standby. He flipped his phone shut and dropped it in his pocket. He spoke to the tea boy and asked him to translate and explain to the mother that they would need to operate today, if she wanted to keep her child healthy.

          The mother looked confused and said there was nothing wrong with her son. Dr. Chandran replied there may be nothing wrong at present, but in a few months there could be sickness and even death. The mother said nothing and looked at her son, who was playing with one of the cheap plastic toys the doctor kept on hand to occupy the younger children.

          Dr. Chandran spoke again. If it were money she was worried about, the operation would not cost a thing. The clinic and the Muslim Brothers Charity would pay for the bill. Dr. Chandran asked if he should speak to her husband.

          The woman shook her head no. The tea boy explained she did not have one, she was divorced. Dr. Chandran nodded sympathetically and said the charity had some special funds to help women in her situation. He could give her one hundred Euros, which would go some way to help care for her son after the operation. Chandran went back into his office and brought out five twenty Euro bills and laid them on the table in front of the woman.

          The woman glanced at the money, then shook her head and called the boy to her side. She walked out of the clinic with her son. Dr. Chandran looked at the tea boy and muttered.

“She’ll come back. She is just holding out for more money. If she comes back I will offer her one hundred fifty Euros for her son’s recovery.”

          Dr. Chandran flipped open his mobile phone and typed the following message: AB+ on standby until further notice. His agents in the U.K. would notify the parties that a donor kidney had been located, but it might be some time before it became available.

          It was enough work for the morning, Dr. Chandran told the tea boy. The boy went outside and informed the line of mothers and children that the doctor would take patients after lunch. Some walked back down to the village in the valley. Some had traveled many kilometers for the visit, and resignedly went to the shade and lay down with their sick children.

          The tea boy brought out a steaming tajine, a clay cooking pot filled with lamb and vegetables, and a bottle of rosé wine, and set the meal on the table in front of the doctor. He poured a glass of wine.

Dr. Chandran tasted the wine. The Moroccans made good wine and why not? They were taught by the French and Spanish.

          As he ate he became lost in thought. He would find the correct blood type soon enough and make his contribution to the cause. He would help in the best way he could, through science and medicine, like those great men in the Arabic golden age when Muslim scientists built on the knowledge of the Greeks and Romans while the Europeans were still in the Dark Ages.

          Dr. Chandran’s contribution would not be with a bomb or gun but with medicine. It would be medicine that would prolong the life of the ‘Businessman’ and keep him functioning. All the guns and bombs are only as powerful as the man that leads them.

          The ‘Businessman’ was clever, a multinational leader who knew commerce. He knew how to successfully mix business with Islamic values and allow them to co-exist peacefully. This was how the ‘Businessman’ accomplished great things.

The ‘Businessman’ didn’t want to turn back the clock to the Stone Age like some of these holy fools drunk on their beliefs. These idiots longed for a Wahabi Caliphate, a return to an age where there is no cinema, no music and where women only exist under meters of blue cloth. They were zealots, radicals and of no use in the modern age.

No, the ‘Businessman’ was a man of the modern world. He had been places, seen life as others lived it. His vision was not the world as a gigantic desert, dry, arid, parched and without fun. He only wanted justice for Muslims who had been humiliated for years before the eyes of the world.

          Show me the verses in the Koran, he thought, where it says that women should be treated like prized goats or cattle and look like blue splotches blighting the landscape. Show me the verses in the Koran where it says there should be no music, no cinema, no images, and no art. Show me the verses where the Prophet said there could be no fun.

          Dr. Chandran poured himself another glass of wine. The tea boy entered and whispered that the young mother with the boy had come back. She would take one hundred ninety Euros for the boy’s recovery.

Dr. Chandran smiled and thought: good things come to those who wait. He flipped on his mobile and typed the following message: AB+ ready 2 nite. He told the tea boy to boil some water for the surgical instruments.

 

 


    © Copyright 2018
   No part of this website or book may be used without written permission except in the case of quotations embodied in articles or reviews.
   Copyright info  Site map