The Sum of Things

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Chapter 14

Embassy of Israel, London 11th October

In Danny Arnan's basement office sharing coffee, Fallon had never seen Danny Arnan so quiet. Normally combative and even provocative he was serious and subdued. As if reading Fallon's thoughts, Arnan smiled. "Sorry if I'm a little dull today, James. But you can guess why, I'm sure."

"Don't worry, Danny, I understand perfectly."

"But the good news for you is you will get your software. You will have the ability to track the movement of al Suleiman."

"That is good news. Thank you Danny."

"If they'd said no, what would have been your response?"

"Global Solutions would have declined the offer."

"I can take it you accept then?"

Fallon nodded. "Yes."


"And you? Will Israel continue to pursue him?"

Arnan's smile was sardonic. "After the mess the other night, I don't think so. If we can't take him out with four F16s. . . ." Arnan shrugged. "We have a crisis now. The prime minister resigned, the government is in turmoil and a possible election. coming up"

Fallon finished his coffee and took a sip of water. "Danny, we'd appreciate any help you can offer. You mentioned you have a spy in his midst?"

"I was coming to that. Eliahu Amir is one of al Suleiman's Praetorian Guard, what we call the Twelve Apostles." Arnan turned his chair around and faced a video screen. He picked up a remote. "Watch carefully, James, Eli is a most amazing man."

The short video consisted of still and moving images of Abbas al Suleiman with his "Twelve Apostles" bodyguard, all armed with Kalashnikov rifles. Arnan stopped the action and pointed out a small, nondescript man wearing glasses, standing on al Suleiman's right. "That's Eli," he said. He closed the screen and turned round. "Eli Amir is a Yemenite Jew, born in Jaffa. He looks like an Arab and can easily pass for one. He is fluent in many Arabic dialects. He is a master of the rituals expected of a devout Shia Muslim and performs them properly. He often attends the mosue and prays beside al Suleiman. He has even taken a Lebanese wife. But he is in fact a dedicated Israeli and a Zionist. "

"Amazing indeed."

"Two years ago he saved al Suleiman's life, along with his own and countless others. It was at a large Shia gathering in Damascus where al Suleiman was to deliver an address. Eli noticed a man filtering through the crowd getting closer to the dais where al Suleiman was speaking. Something about the man his voluminous clothes, the slow movement forward, the facial expression, roused a gut feeling in Eli. Then the man stopped coming on and a dreamlike expression appeared on his face and he pushed a hand inside his clothes. And Eli shot him in the head."

“Jesus. On a gut feeling?”

“Yes.” Arnan grinned. "As you can imagine, everything turned to chaos. Eli was knocked down, disarmed and pinned to the ground by two other bodyguards. Some bystanders kicked him. And then someone opened the clothes of the dead man to find he was wearing a bomb harness loaded with sixty kilos of C4. He's been reaching for the detonator button when Eli shot him."

"Who was he?"

"A fanatic sent from a Sunni organization to kill al Suleiman and as many Shias as possible."

"Does Eli know of Global Solutions involvement?"

"No. He does not need to know. Anything he gives us that's relevant we will pass to you.”

“We can’t communicate directly with him?”

“Out of the question, James; sorry. If things change, I’ll let you know.”


“So now you’ve accepted the assignment, what’s your plan?”

“First move is go to Beirut and suss him out.”

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