Among the featured characters in my books are international law attorneys Sheikh Harun Ali and Marianne (Mari) Benson Ali. They fight for the victims of terrorism around the world, seeking compensation from terrorists, terrorist organizations, and those countries who shield or fund them.
As the story progresses through the Kinky Briefs series, Harun and Mari become targets. A failed kidnap in the Hague against Mari and an assassination attempt on Harun in Dubai brings them back together in the United States. Unfortunately, even in this country, the wrath of terrorists is far-reaching. As we leave them in Kinky Briefs, Thrice, another apparent attempt on their lives has been made, this time very close to their home in Wisconsin.
Why have I included a story about terrorism and violence in a collection of short stories about love? Because love should stop for no one, even terrorists. And if we deny ourselves the chance at love and instead live in fear, the terrorists win.
As Americans, on September 11, 2001, our lives changed forever. We watched in horror as two planes struck and destroyed the Twin Towers, and as another crashed into the Pentagon. We later learned that as passengers struggled with terrorists, another plane went down and exploded in a Pennsylvania field.
On that day, thousands of Americans died because others despised our way of life. And we vowed, “Never again.” At a time when our country faces an increasing threat from rogue nations and terrorists around the world, those words are even more meaningful.
North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and unknown other rogue nations are racing to build nuclear weapons. Some plan to use those weapons, others plan to use those weapons as a defensive threat, and still others will probably sell them to the highest bidder—terrorists. Unfortunately, despite an initial aggressive attack on terrorism, in America, in recent years, we became lax and now we are paying for it. Terrorists are regrouping and seem to be gathering strength, as witnessed by an increasing number of attacks around the world. The cancer has spread and become ingrained in almost every country as terrorists recruit the misguided and the disaffected.
Clearly, it is up to all nations to remain vigilant. In America, that begins and ends with keeping the memory of the Sept. 11 victims, and the memory of those who have died defending our freedoms, alive. We must fight terrorism at every opportunity to ensure that “never again” has real meaning.
God Bless America, and God Bless every nation and every person who has been touched by terrorism.