Coffee and surveillance were not a good combination. After finishing off two pots of black coffee there on Beef’s front porch while keeping track of the red blip on the GPS monitor, all that caffeine had Raynes so tightly wired that the moment the blip on the GPS screen crossed the boundary line designated as the hot zone, a number of things went wrong.
Startled by the fact that the blip on the device now appeared to be moving in a direct path to Khalid’s house, she sprang to her feet. “It’s on!” she cried. “The target is hot! Waziri is at Khalid’s!”
As she sprang to her feet, Raynes knocked over her entire com-mand post and both her laptop and the GPS monitoring device sailed off the table and crashed to Beef’s porch, creating a tinkling sound as shards of broken glass scattered in all directions.
Lobo, who had been sleeping peacefully at Beef’s feet, sprang up, staring curiously. Brushing the dog aside with one hand, Beef used his free hand to pick up the device, spilling more shards of broken glass from the screen as he did so. He examined it.
“The blip is gone,” he said, worry lines creasing his forehead. “Here,” he said, removing the thumb-drive from the port of the track-ing device. “Check your laptop. See if it’s still working. This will at least pin point his last location.”
“Damn!” Raynes said, angry with herself for being such a klutz.
Beef lifted the table back up and placed it on the deck before them. Raynes placed her laptop on the table top. She turned the machine back on and slipped the thumb-drive in its port. After cycling through the start up screen, the computer kicked in, evidently no worse for the wear. Using the built-in mouse pad, she hastily brought up the coordinates, transferring them from the thumb-drive and downloading them into Google Map. In seconds, two images appeared on the screen.
Beef said, “68th and Kearney. Three blocks away from here. And Waziri’s is there! Time to call in for backup!”
Shooting him a nervous look, Raynes started walking to her SUV parked in the street. “At this point, K9 Tory, arm yourself accordingly and follow me! To be quite honest with you, we are the backup!”
Raynes sprang off the curb on her way to her SUV parked in the street. She rounded the front of her SUV, and discovered a small boy kneeling down in the street next to her vehicle. The dark-haired boy sprang to his feet, leaving a six-inch knife buried in the front tire of the Homeland SUV.
As the kid ran away, Raynes said, “Kareem Abdullah, son of Fariq, Waziri’s right hand man? Why would the little shit slice my tires?”
Beef said, “Jabar Waziri started this mess by stealing his father’s gun. The blip on your GPS tracker? The four trips to the playground? I think it was Muslim boys plotting an attack on Khalid.”
Raynes frowned and said, “I hope you are wrong.”
Suddenly, Beef’s cell phone rang. He slipped it out of his pocket and answered it. Raynes stood there fuming as Beef conversed with the caller. A few seconds later, he closed the phone and said, “That was Detective Glass. He’s still in the hospital with respiratory problems, but his snitch has eyes on Waziri right now down at Ballard ballfield. The snitch claims Waziri is buying a chemical substance from Crow. Glass wanted me to intervene and arrest them.”
Raynes asked, “If Waziri is at the ballfield who has his gun?”
Beef said, “How do we play this? You head to Khalid’s? While I arrest Crow? Shouldn’t you wait for SWAT? And what if it is Jabar?”
Raynes sprinted away, saying, “I’ve no problem using my gun on Waziri, but if there is a God in Heaven, it will not be the boy, Jabar.”
Khalid lowered his gun. “If you were my son, he would ask him-self if I would really want him to do this thing. Taking a life is a serious matter. If you end my life, all you will accomplish is placing sorrow in your father’s heart by being separated from him when the US courts sentence you to prison.”
Jabar puffed up his chest. “I am not Waziri’s son! My father was killed by American soldiers in Iraq! I am a Jihadi Warrior! Waziri is my handler! I failed him badly when I took this gun to school un-loaded. It is not unloaded now. Prepare to die, Shiite!”
Khalid started to respond, when a stern voice came from the open sliding door at the other end of the kitchen: “Jabar? This is not what Achmed intended for you to do! Come, and give me the gun.”
Khalid exchanged uncertain looks with Fariq who aimed his own gun directly at him from across the kitchen. It was obvious then that Jabar was acting on his own. This assassination attempt by the young Muslim boy was not a direct order by Waziri.
“Yes,” Khalid said, fixing the boy in his unrelenting gaze, “listen to him, Jabar. Walk away from this, son—”
“I am not your son!” Jabar snarled so savagely that even Fariq blinked in concern at how unhinged Jabar was.
The lean Muslim man said, “If you kill the Hound, that will merely bring unwanted attention on all of us. Would you like to see our operations fail because you used that gun seeking revenge?”
“You did not lose a father!” Jabar snapped. “Achmed recruited me to come here posing as his son! When I have accomplished my task, I will be a legend! Others will name me a hero! Now drop your gun!”
The gun clattering on the floor at his feet, Khalid offered Fariq a heated glare. “Do you see why it is a mistake to involve children in your terror attacks? Your imams and mullahs have created ticking time-bombs, recruiting innocent children who should have been playing kick ball in some dusty field.
“Children who should be eager to study in school. Children who should never have been infused with so much hatred and bitterness, and such self-righteous condemnation of anyone who does not accept our faith. You have nothing more here than a brain-washed child who lamely believes that killing pleases Allah.
“Now, how do you reel him in? How do you call him off?”
Jabar snarled, “Shut your mouth, Bastard! I have come to kill you and that is what I intend to do!”