Cole Parker Posted December 9, 2010 Report Share Posted December 9, 2010 Jamal Askebaezianis, flying under the name Roger Thomas, handed his picture ID to the girl behind the American Airlines counter. "Are you checking any luggage today, Mr. Thomas?" "No." "One way to San Francisco on AA 246. Leaving in two hours, gate 12A. That'll be $312, Mr. Thomas." "My credit card OK?" The colloquial language was just what he"d been taught to say. Still, 'credit' came out as 'creedit'. The soft 'creh' sound had always been a problem for him. "Sure," she said, smiling. The transaction completed, he walked through the ID check, and then toward the security check. A drop of sweat formed on his forehead, then became a rivulet, but he'd been well coached. He kept a smile on his face; his walk was natural and unhurried. He had nothing to worry about. Nothing would show up on the X-ray, or a pat down, if he were subjected to either. The explosives were spread very thin and sown into all his clothing. Everything he wore had bits of it. Nothing was thick enough or reflective enough to be detected. Even if the silly Americans had dogs sniffing the passengers, he'd be safe. But they wouldn't do that. Some people were afraid of dogs. Silly. He didn't like the fact that, if he were chosen for a body scan, someone would be looking at his private parts, perhaps even a woman, but he was serving Allah, and he himself wasn't important. They'd told him that, over and over again. He wasn't important. What he accomplished was. His end would be glorious, a brilliant flash of light, and the Western infidels would feel Allah's wrath and see his own blaze of triumph. He'd be a martyr for the cause of Allah, and his family would be given a new, heightened place in society. And money. They'd be paid handsomely for his sacrifice. There was a line at security. He'd been told there always was, it was normal, and not a cause for concern. His was a new way of doing this. He was the first. But all the explosives were undetectable; he had nothing to fear. The American methods were crude, and former martyrs who'd been caught had been mostly low level idiots who didn't know how to act. He'd been schooled for months. Even so, that rivulet of sweat had been joined by several others. Training was one thing. The real thing was another. He wanted to pull this off. He didn't want to be the subject of ridicule by his handlers. By his family. He had the stuff of heroes in him. They'd told him that. He wanted everyone to know. The line edged forward. He knew what to expect: several little gates set up with metal detectors with alarms on them. Rows of horizontal rollers set on stanchions where he'd set his hand luggage to be X-rayed. A few booths where body scans were done. A separate area if you were to be fondled by the inspectors, many of whom were women. He was told that women would only fondle women. He'd be fondled by a man. Both were repulsive and an insult to his manhood. But he'd grit his teeth and allow it without protest. For Islam. He turned a corner and could finally see the inspection area ahead. But, what was this? There were no metal detectors. There were no baggage X-ray machines. There were no TSA agents waiting to touch his private regions. There were only four substantial-looking booths in front on him. Each person in line stepped into one when his turn came, taking all his carry-on items with him. He stepped in, remained briefly, then stepped out on the other side. Odd. Well, it didn't matter. It was probably a new type X-ray system, different from what he'd been told to expect. There were signs with pictures of the booths all around. Probably explaining the new system. Maybe giving instructions. He didn't know. There'd been no need to teach him to read English. He'd just go in and out like everyone else was doing. The line moved forward. There were more signs. They all said the same thing. He couldn't read them, but he could see they all had the same letters in the same arrangements on them. Perhaps Americans were stupid, he thought. Maybe to understand, they had to read whatever was printed several times. He stepped forward into his own booth when the time came. It wouldn't be long before he was in the air, and martyrdom would be his. o 0 o There was a brief announcement over the airport loudspeakers. "Ladies and gentlemen, we regret to announce that there was a detonation in one of the new security booths just now. The booths detonate any explosive substances carried into them, as the many signs in the security area make clear. As is our regular procedure, that booth will be temporarily closed for cleanup. We regret any delays this may cause." That was followed almost immediately by another announcement. "American Airlines announces an opening on Flight 246 for San Francisco, leaving on schedule at 2 PM." Quote Link to comment
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