The Absence of Guilt
The Absence of Guilt
An ISIS attack on America is narrowly averted when the FBI uncovers a plot to detonate a weapon of mass destruction in Cowboys Stadium during the Super Bowl. A federal grand jury indicts twenty-four co-conspirators, including the most dangerous man in Dallas, Omar al Mustafa. He is a notorious and charismatic Muslim cleric known for his incendiary anti-American diatribes on YouTube and Fox News. His mosque is a veritable breeding ground for Islamic jihadists. His arrest is greeted with cheers around the world and relief at home. The plot was thwarted, the terrorists are in jail, and the Super Bowl is safe. The president goes on national television and proclaims: “We won!”
There is only one problem: there is no evidence against Mustafa. That problem falls to the presiding judge, newly appointed U.S. District Judge A. Scott Fenney. If Mustafa is innocent, Scott must set the most dangerous man in Dallas free. But does the absence of guilt mean Mustafa is innocent? And if he is innocent, who is guilty?
The Super Bowl is just three weeks away. And the game clock is ticking.
Back in the late 1980s, while I was a young partner in a large Dallas law firm, I met a terrorist. I didn’t know it at the time. At a senior partner’s request, I met with a potential client who wanted to invest $100 million in U.S. real estate. He was an older Arab gentleman. When I asked for his contact details, he gave me several locations in London and Europe; and then he said, “But there are times when I will be unavailable as I will be in the desert of Libya with Muammar Gaddafi.” I asked what he did for Gaddafi. “Consult.” On what? “Construction.” Of what? “Projects.” He declined to be more specific. After escorting him to the elevators, I went to the senior partner and convinced him that the firm didn’t need this client. We declined to represent him. End of story.
Or so I thought.
About a year later, I read an article in a national news magazine that reported of his death—and that he was the man who had built Gaddafi’s chemical weapons plant. Sarin was reportedly produced at that plant. Twenty-five years later, ISIS captured Libya’s cache of sarin.
I met the man who made that possible.
Eighteen months ago when I started writing this book, I had no idea that today ISIS would be the threat it is to the world. I researched the group and its goals, beliefs, motivations, and methods extensively. I did not make up that part of the story.
I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it. The book was supposed to be out six months ago, but I had some medical issues to deal with; so I fell behind schedule. Because of the timing—the rise of ISIS, presidential politics, and the Super Bowl—I felt that the book needed to be made available as soon as possible. So it is currently available only in e-book. If I waited on print, it would not be out for a year. I will keep you updated on a print edition.
Best wishes for 2016.