[Media prompt] New York-based Egyptian-American Islamist: “The crescent must always be on top of the cross.”
She Will Not Divide Us
When Mary heard they had bombed St. Patrick’s Cathedral, she turned to her husband.
“I’ve had it up to here,” she said. “That bitch has to go.”
“I’m gonna take care of it,” said Frank.
Mary didn’t ask Frank what he had in mind. She had learned early in their marriage that he was the kind of man who preferred action over words. If he said he was going to take care of something, then he would.
Frank never rushed into anything. He spent the rest of the week watching videos of the woman who called herself Allah’s Bride. She streamed live several days a week to an audience of millions. Her message was always the same: that her comrades-in-arms should continue Mohammed’s glorious fight and conquer the kafir. Allah’s bride also did something else. She always spoke outdoors with only the sky as her backdrop.
As Frank watched, he noted dates and times of her live streams. He watched cloud patterns. He bought an anemometer, and spent hours in the back yard experimenting with fabric. Soon he could accurately guess wind speed to within a few miles-per-hour based on a flapping scarf. By analysing shadows, he determined wind direction. From contrails, he started to develop a map of flight patterns. Listening carefully, he determined that an unusual and irregular noise in the background was Acris crepitans, the eastern (northern) cricket frog. By Sunday he had pinpointed a location. It was a house in Union Beach, New Jersey.
The following week, on Wednesday, he drove his pickup truck from Queens to Union Beach. It took him a little over an hour and he listened to Lou Reed all the way. When he arrived, the sun was starting to set. He parked a couple of blocks away, sitting in the truck smoking until it was dark. When it was time, he donned his homemade burqa and set out into the night.
Frank entered a construction site where a house was being lifted. There was blue a Port-a-John outside. A neat pile of rubble. Lumber under a tarpaulin. He moved quickly into the back yard. An unusually high fence demarcated the property line. Someone who wanted privacy, he thought.
He connected a modified soldering iron to the mains, and started to burn the outline of a small door in the wooden fence. When he was finished he knocked it out, and crawled through. Across the lawn he could hear voices in the house. He stood and walked to the nearest window. Through it he could hear the voice of a woman speaking Arabic. He recognised it at once. It was the Bride of Allah.
He withdrew a thin hose with a long needle attached to one end. He inserted the needle between the window sill and the frame. Concealed beneath his burqa was a small gas canister, and he opened the valve. The colourless, odourless contents seeped into the room.
On Friday, the New York press hardly mentioned the death of Oyat Araby in a house in Union City. The only reason they reported it at all was the peculiar configuration of a wooden cross atop a depiction of what they called a third quarter moon.