One thing, two words, that’s all I wanted. Except those two words were THE WORLD.
It wasn’t a dream, a fanciful notion. I’m Salim Al Douri. I don’t know what a fanciful notion is. No, this was a future reality I knew I could shape. I just needed the right creative combination of people, resource and opportunity. And I’d soon be on the right trajectory to achieve my goal.
I was in the CIA when I realised it wasn’t working. Wasn’t working for me that is. Eight years in counter-intelligence taught me one crucial lesson – everything’s connected. It’s just very few step back far enough to see the bigger picture.
I was already several miles out of the earth’s atmosphere. The bigger picture was seared on my eyeballs.
Globally connected terrorist collective. That’s what was needed. No more agency constructs, or fundamentalists from any religion or sect. Just a real taste of good, old fashioned and no-holds barred evil.
I was however, still stuck in the middle of Langley when that thought hit me. I’d just got back from a mission, and was in debrief. The mission hadn’t gone well. I’d witnessed my colleagues gunned down in front of me. It was the fifth mission in as many months that had gone southwards, and I was lucky to escape with my life. My CO had been concerned about what this latest episode would do to me. She mentioned trauma and stress. Truth was, watching those imbeciles die didn’t affect me at all. They had it coming. I’d always said they were too slow, but they never listened, and ended up paying for their ignorance.
But this was my easy out. Making it seem my nerves were shattered. That I was out on the ledge, with nothing to stop me from tipping over.
I remember how I played them. My CO came over to my desk corner and said, “I’m not happy about you Salim. You’re going through psyche-A tomorrow.” My CO was a woman. Pretty but tom-boyish. Short auburn hair, pixie face, tall and quite muscular. Without a doubt, bi but kept it real quiet. She stared at me, and I looked up, eyes full of tears. “I don’t think I can take this anymore.”
The stupid bitch held my hand, “Salim you’re the best. I know, I recruited you. I knew what you were the minute I set eyes on you at Harvard. You’ve been in this business eight years, some don’t last half that time. I know what it can do. You’ve done great things. But right now, you’re useless to me. Go home, get some rest, and let the psyche-A do its job tomorrow.”
Before my psyche assessment I coked myself up. I was so strung out I could hardly hold a syllable. The psychologist sat in the chair, but I sat on an ant hill, or so it would seem. Jumpy didn’t even begin to describe it. Half way through, I got up screaming ‘That’s it, I’m through’. And I tore my badge off, laid my gun down and walked out. I remembered the psychologist look over at my CO, and she just said, ‘let him go…’
Within an hour of walking, I was in the air flying to Dubai. I’d rang my pilot who had my plane on stand-by.
It was October 10, 2000. The day Al Nadir was formed. The genesis of a corporation that would give me what I wanted.
Having worked in the CIA I knew what triggered those idiots, and I knew what to avoid. Al Nadir had to be so wacky, so over-the-top, as to not be considered as a threat by the intelligence community. Al Nadir became a cult. Its focus, worship of ancient aliens. Its membership, the brats of the rich and famous. The billionaire playboys wanting something different; the gorgeous beauties wanting an ‘in’ to top level eligible bachelors. For them Al Nadir equalled hedonistic ‘alien prayer’ parties, total craziness and drug-fuelled excess.
For a while.
And then I changed the mood. After 9/11 I knew the alerts would be everywhere. Suspicion lingered. But the agencies were too fixed on Al Qaeda, and their own ‘vendetta wars’. They weren’t interested in me or my crazy world.
But I still needed to throw them a curve ball. Just in case.
The yearly family sojourn to Europe delivered the tactical advantage I needed. My parents allowance was starting to run slightly dry, and although I had more money than most people would see in an entire lifetime, it wasn’t enough. Mother and father’s pocket money just wasn’t sufficient for the plans I had.
Contacts I’d made during my ‘black’ days sorted everything. All loose ends were tied. My family’s flight to Marbella was their swan song. I felt nothing. It was a requirement. That was all. I needed their billions and their deaths were the most efficient way to get them. My brother and sister’s demise was a bonus. I hated them anyway. Always trying to change me when I was younger. Always jealous of who I was to become. Pleased to be shot of them.
The agency got wind of the family disaster. Through back channels, my old CO contacted me. She said, how sorry she was. I intimated I couldn’t go on. I played the suicidal son to the hilt. She said it was Al Qaeda behind the bombing that took down Dad’s plane. Said it was something to do with oil pipelines. And then she promised she’d get justice for me. I thanked her, adding ‘it was last time she’d ever speak to me’. I rang off before she had time to ask what I meant.
My new found mega-wealth was heavily bolstered by some strategic investments. I still had my playboy billionaires on speed dial. They were always good for insider tips. It didn’t take long for the billions to multiply. In a few months I’d amassed half a trillion. That gave me the leverage I needed to make things happen.
But word was out in the markets that a financial guru was betting against and winning, but no one knew who. In the agency, I’d learnt how to hide money flows. The training paid off.
With the money secured. It was time to change again. Another metamorphosis beckoned.
I picked up what I had. Made it clear to anyone who knew me I was going into the wilderness to find myself. Gone was the party prince. Now I would live as a hermit. I walked out of my penthouse, and out of the 21st century.
With no electronic communication. I fell off the grid completely.
Of course, in reality, I hadn’t fallen anywhere. I’d just bought a string of LEOs and set up my own advanced telecoms system, working on protocols beyond the knowledge or reach of the intelligence agencies, or anyone else. Except me.
I’d also bought a whole host of companies covering everything from nanotech and biotech to advanced weapons and chemical processing. Nothing was in my name. Nothing could be traced to me. But I owned everything. I was the architect in this new world of my own creation.
And the irony of the entire plan. It was all done in plain sight of everyone. Al Nadir was hatched in those faceless buildings, those massive corporations, and those industrial plants across the world. The places where legitimate business was conducted, where my staff worked on my projects and plans completely blind to the bigger picture. But the tens of thousands that I had already recruited to Al Nadir through these commercial activities all marched to my tune.
Gradually, my network of capability across the globe grew, until that day when I decided to unveil my true intentions.
It was the day when, Salim Al Douri, their ‘religious harmless irritant’ said “I’m back!”