Al Qaeda, American Style
I have just completed the second novel in what I call The Jungle Rules Trilogy . A More Perfect Union is the fictional account of a woman seeking revenge against white nationalist terrorists for killing her husband. The story is set in the year 1999 because I wanted to show that right-wing extremism and the violence it fuels were a threat to our country long before the fanatics of Al Qaeda came on the scene. Astonishingly, in 2020, one of the emerging threat groups of the “white power” movement calls itself The Base. That label is a direct translation from the Arabic word for The Base: Al Qaeda. Although there are no known political ties between the two terrorist networks, the ideological connections are frighteningly obvious. Neither group uses violence as a means to an end; both use violence as an end in itself.
The recent arrest of a cell for The Base uncovered plans to derail trains, kill people, and poison water supplies. The American version of The Base seems to have followed the model of al Qaeda beyond its name. Working in small cells, the group’s aim is to establish an ethno-white state of its own in the Pacific Northwest, killing blacks, Jews, and other minorities along the way. This is fantasy ideology, just like al Qaeda’s quest for a new Caliphate—exactly the premise upon which I based the story for A More Perfect Union. This novel, a sequel to Jungle Rules, follows the activities of a white nationalist terrorist cell, based in the state of Wyoming.
Since 9/11, domestic terrorism—virtually all from the right wing—has killed more Americans than the Islamist terrorism of al Qaeda and ISIS combined.
In my story, the terrorist cell uses an overt militia to cover its assassination and mass-murder agenda. The widow-hero poses as a neo-Nazi, going undercover with her dead husband’s best friend. Together, they live among the terrorists, gathering evidence the FBI can use to arrest the group. (In 1999, there was no federal statute the FBI could use to simply arrest Americans they thought might be planning terrorist activity. Even in 2020, Constitutional issues complicate the gathering of evidence). In my story, the rookie informants find a lot of evidence. But they also find themselves embedded way over their heads in a cauldron of white supremacist hate. The FBI can’t rescue them, so they must figure out how to escape with the evidence—and their lives.
Then they discover the group is planning to kill hundreds of thousands in California. Suddenly, their own survival becomes unimportant!
Whereas the political terrorists of the past have perpetrated terrorism to change the system under which they live, ideological terrorists—whether from the Middle East or the American heartland—seek to destroy the system through unimaginable violence against the innocent. The latest horrific example comes from Missouri, where a suspected white supremacist was killed while plotting to bomb a hospital with Corona virus patients inside. What kind of person would do something like this? By any definition: a terrorist. A More Perfect Union begins with a terrorist cell placing a pipe bomb in a museum—an attack thwarted by a lone hero. As the story unfolds, the group escalates its violence to threaten literally millions of people!
And only two courageous Americans stand in their way.