The Mosul Legacy – Lowery Christopher

WHEN THEY DESTROYED HIS HOME, VENGEANCE WAS BORN

Mosul, Iraq, 2016 – once ISIL’s greatest conquest but fast becoming a giant graveyard, where the difference between a gruesome death or wretched survival is just a matter of chance. As attacks by the Western coalition forces devastate the city, even senior ISIL officers like Karl realise defeat is inevitable.

On his instructions, two ISIL jihadists travel across the EU Schengen Zone, planning to bring terror to a Western European city. German police officer Max Kellerman is on their tail – can he find them in time to prevent a catastrophic loss of life?

Hema and Faqir Al-Douri flee the Mosul death trap in search of peace and safety in Western Europe. As poor, homeless refugees, they face the impossible task of crossing unfriendly borders in Asia and Eastern Europe to reach the safe-haven they dream of. Their journey is fraught with danger and protecting their family demands sacrifices they could never have imagined.

The Al-Douri’s desperate attempt to find freedom in the face of heartless bureaucracy, murderous violence and venal corruption is in stark contrast with the jihadists’ dark intent as they journey across a borderless Europe.

 

 

Exerpt

I am happy to share an extract with you. Enjoy!

***

TWO
Cologne, Germany
March 2016
The studio flat was in a small, shabby apartment building
in the Kalk district of Cologne, not far from the mosque.
The facade of the building was scarred by primitive
graffiti writings and drawings in a mixture of German,
English and Arabic – complaints about the massive
increase in the Muslim community in the city due to the
influx of one million immigrants during the Middle East
wars. The most vicious and obscene messages daubed on
this and the neighbouring blocks had been added since
the sexual attacks against hundreds of women during
the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Alongside a bright red
swastika drawn with blood running down from it was
scrawled, ‘That bitch Merkel’s immigration policy will
destroy our country.’
A battered square table took up most of the room and
the man who had rented the place two months ago was
lying on a mattress on the floor when the ‘ping’ of an
email arriving on his laptop roused him. The message was
on his ‘studentpost@web.de’ address and said simply,
‘My Travel Dossier’. He opened up the travel agent
site offering trips to Australia and New Zealand then
entered the coordinates he’d been given by text message
on his phone and entered a site in the Dark Web, where
he found the next link. A password request came up
and he typed in ‘redemption16’. A file containing a PDF
document entitled ‘Instructions Part One’ was revealed.
The second password was ‘joyfulday’. Written in Arabic,
the document contained drawings, photographs and
diagrams. He didn’t download it in case his computer
might be interrogated later, but it took a while to print
on his clapped-out old printer, then he closed the link.
He knew it would be removed within the hour by the
sender.
The first eleven pages compared various options,
the advantages, disadvantages and risks of each type
of process. The last page was a general list of the kind
of materials he would need to purchase. There were
many everyday items that could be acquired in the
local supermarket, but he didn’t want to risk attracting
attention by buying anything there except food. There
would be other less innocuous materials to buy later and
he wanted to avoid any unnecessary risks until then. He
would give a list of those items to his younger brother,
Jamil, to purchase. He was only twelve and looked like
an angel.
By many standards, Ibrahim bin Omar al-Ahmad was
not much more than a boy himself. In January he had
celebrated his twentieth birthday at a pizza restaurant
with Jamil and their six-year-old sister, Fatima. They
didn’t live with him but with his mother, a few streets
away. He mostly saw Jamil at the mosque since he had
moved out of their mother’s flat, but he came from time
to time when he wanted to talk, and he often brought
Fatima. They were the only reasons he was still living
in this filthy country full of corrupt German infidels. He
hadn’t informed his brother of his plan; the boy was still

THE MOSUL LEGACY THE MOSUL LEGACY
20 21
struggling to come to terms with the Imam’s preaching,
but Ibrahim was sure he would soon see the light,
especially after the event he was planning. He would
become a hero, a martyr to the cause, and Jamil would
be proud of him.
It was coming up to noon and he heard through the
open window the sound of the muezzin from the nearby
mosque calling him to worship. Ibrahim washed his
feet then unfolded his prayer mat and laid the frayed
fabric on the floor, kneeling on it to make his Dhuhr
midday supplication. Afterwards he sat at the table
with a slice of cold pizza and a carton of orange juice.
Before turning his attention to the instructions file, he
opened up another shadow site, a clandestine ‘News
Agency’, sponsored by ISIL. To cleanse his mind of his
surroundings, Ibrahim watched a video posted a couple
of months before by his brothers in arms. He had seen
it many times before. The first part showed the mass
execution of over seven hundred Shia prison inmates
in Mosul, Iraq, by firing squads using truck-mounted
Russian NSV heavy machine guns. This exploit was a
show of ‘security cleansing’ after ISIL’s capture of the
city in June 2014.
Ibrahim’s father, an ISIL officer fighting under his
original Iraqi name of Abu bin al Khattab, had been
killed there the following year. His obsession with
secrecy and self-effacement was the reason that the
German authorities had never taken any interest in his
family. He had left Cologne for Copenhagen in 2014,
arrived in Iraq via Istanbul, then fought for over a year
and sacrificed his life for ISIL, all without fanfare or
recognition. His family had been told of his death by the
Imam Mohammad. No one else knew he was no longer
in Germany, let alone dead in a besieged, condemned city,
his body probably buried beneath tons of rubble along
with thousands of other men, women and children, all
martyrs to the glory of Allah.
Ibrahim knelt and chanted SubhanAllah wa biHamdihi,
several times, praising Allah and remembering his father’s
glorious martyrdom.
He went back to his laptop to watch the second part
of the film. This featured a series of huge detonations as
ISIL explosives specialists demolished the two-thousandyear-old
Arch of Triumph, in Palmyra, Syria. A thrill of
power and achievement flooded through his body as the
series of ear-splitting explosions gradually reduced each
part of the ancient edifice to rubble, leaving only a few
remnants of the entrance arch still standing, resembling,
as it now was, a broken doorway into a lost civilisation.
The noise and destruction were so deeply erotic and
sensual that he had an erection and had to masturbate
to calm himself down. As always, he felt ashamed at his
lack of mental discipline and swore it wouldn’t happen
again.
He replayed the second part of the video again,
revelling in this demonstration of pure, unrestrained
power and intent. A demonstration that had been seen
and understood by every nation on earth, testifying to
the inevitable destitution of the corrupt civilisations that
would soon be removed by the Islamist movement. He
pondered on this vicarious revenge, regretting once again
he hadn’t joined the group of friends who had left for

THE MOSUL LEGACY THE MOSUL LEGACY
22 23
Turkey, en route to Iraq, six months before. Since they
had received news of his father’s death, he had thought
of nothing else but to go over to avenge him.
Ibrahim had never been close to his mother but
idolised his father, known by everyone as Jabbar, a name
which described his character; a tough, determined
and resourceful man who, in 2003, somehow managed
to save his pregnant wife and seven-year-old son from
the Iraqi death trap and find a way to safety in Europe.
Germany, with its disbelieving infidel people, was no
substitute for their country, but at least it wasn’t the UK
or US, the treacherous conspirators who had invaded
their homeland and murdered many of their friends and
family.
He had not been a committed Islamist until, deprived
of the father he had admired and respected, the lost and
lonely teenager had sought consolation and advice in
the mosque. Imam Mohammad had easily converted
him into a committed ISIL believer, ready to follow his
father’s example and offer his life to their crusade. This
was a cause of huge friction between him and his mother.
She had lost her husband in what she thought was a
senseless adventure; a meaningless gesture, flying off to
die in a country which was no longer his own, a country
where coalition forces and its own army were murdering
its citizens with indiscriminate shelling and bombing.
Another anonymous death to add to the hundreds of
thousands of unnamed victims.
She implored Ibrahim not to become part of those
horrible statistics, but he was adamant. His father’s
brilliant career and his family’s life had been destroyed
by the murderous US-European alliance that had stolen
his country and forced him to flee with them like a
cowardly criminal. All this had been done in the name of
‘liberation’ and invented threats of potential attacks with
‘weapons of mass destruction’ which didn’t even exist.
The Imam had explained to him that the invasion of Iraq
had only two objectives; to satisfy the bloodlust of the
US’ and UK’s megalomaniac politicians and to steal their
most precious resource, their oil, leaving its 23 million
citizens with nothing but war, ruin and starvation, and
leaving his family in a foreign country surrounded by
people they hated. His mother didn’t understand what
had happened, but now he did, and he would make them
pay. He would travel the same road as his father and, if
necessary, suffer the same fate.
Then it seemed his plans had been thwarted by Allah.
His mother suffered a serious heart attack and couldn’t
work; he had felt guilty and obliged to stay to help look
after his brother and sister. For six months he worked at
two menial jobs to pay the rent on their flat, foregoing
his plans for the sake of his family. But now his mother’s
health was improving and she was able to work again,
things were going to change. Now it was his turn to strike
out at the non-believers, to show that though he wasn’t
in the front line of attack, he was fighting for his beliefs,
fighting for and with his brothers in ISIL. Through the
Imam’s preaching, Allah had revealed to him a different
plan and two months ago he’d moved out of the family’s
flat with this new, deadly purpose in mind. His patience
had not been in vain; his glorious project was worth the

THE MOSUL LEGACY THE MOSUL LEGACY
24 25
delay. He took up the instruction manual and started
reading and making notes, learning new skills.
Ash Shurta Neighbourhood, Mosul, Iraq
‘We can’t take this any longer. The children are having
awful nightmares, it’s too much to expect them to see
this slaughter day after day, week after week. They
can’t cope with it anymore and neither can we.’ Hema
Al-Douri took her husband by the shoulders, gazing up
imploringly into his eyes, tears pouring down her cheeks.
Faqir looked at the face of the woman he had fallen in
love with twenty years before. She was still the loveliest
person he’d ever known, but the strain of living under
the ISIL rule was showing; today, she seemed to have
aged by ten years.
Earlier that week, members of the Mosul Battalion,
the secret resistance group, had attacked a truck carrying
six ISIL fighters with rifle fire, killing or injuring them,
before disappearing into the bowels of the city. Although
most of the supporters of the movement dared only to
spray the letter ‘M’, meaning Muqawama – Resistance
– on the walls of buildings, this was one of the rare
attempts at retaliation, all resulting in the same penalty,
the callous murder of more residents of the city. That
morning, the couple and their family had been forced to
witness twenty innocent civilians being tortured to death
by flame throwers in an unsuccessful attempt to identify
the culprits.
‘I’m worried about the girls,’ she went on, her voice
breaking with sobs. ‘Even with those awful niqabs they
have to wear, these ISIL creatures can still see they’re
young and beautiful. They get molested every time we
walk along the street by some stinking pervert. Today
I had to stop Malik from pushing the man away. He’s
going to get into trouble, he’ll be whipped or shot if his
temper gets the better of him.’
Faqir put his arms around her, searching for something
positive to say. ‘Be thankful he hasn’t had the idea of
joining the Battalion,’ he spoke in a whisper, even
pronouncing the name was punishable by death.
She went on, ‘And it’s not just the children. I saw Rana
at the market, she’s going crazy. Her parents have been
rounded up with some other older people and put in the
cells. They’re starting to grab them to be used as human
shields or suicide bombers when the street fighting starts
here.’
For the first time, Faqir silently thanked God that he
and his wife had only one surviving parent, her mother,
Hadiya, who lived with them and their four children
in two of the bedrooms of their small hotel-restaurant
near the university on Mosul’s left bank. The university
was now an ISIL headquarters and training facility
and Faqir’s premises no longer functioned as a public
facility. The other bedrooms and the dining room served
as a dosshouse for fifty fighters and they were expected
to provide meals twice a day for them and any other
militants who called in. Even after Hussein’s downfall,
they had scraped a living; for several years US troops had
regularly mingled with local customers and life had been
bearable, but after the 2014 ISIL invasion, their business
was destroyed.
The Al-Douri family were Christians, the only

THE MOSUL LEGACY THE MOSUL LEGACY
26 27
reason for their survival under the ISIL doctrine being
the restaurant they owned. In July 2014, just after the
occupation, like all Christians, they had received an
ultimatum from the new regime; convert to Islam or be
executed or pay a ‘protection tax’ (known as jiziya), to
avoid the death sentence. Faqir had managed to barter his
restaurant business as payment of the tax. The premises
were large and his family managed the restaurant well;
the jihadists needed to eat and sleep so it suited them to
spare their lives. When he had originally made the deal,
a rate per night and per meal had been agreed, but it was
now over a year since they’d seen a dinar in payment and
his hard-earned savings were gradually dwindling away.
In the meantime, like every building in the area, the
hotel was slowly but surely being destroyed by the
escalating coalition attacks on the city. Every morning,
the streets around the university were littered with
bodies and body parts, either from the night-time US
air attacks or the collateral damage of the terrorist’s
own indiscriminate rockets and mortar bombing. Once
the Iraqi forces entered Mosul, it would be hand-tohand
fighting and Rana’s parents and hundreds or even
thousands like them would just be cannon fodder. And
with or without his restaurant, as Christians, he and his
family would not be spared.
The couple were blessed with twin sons, sixteen years
old, and girls of fourteen and thirteen. Until now, because
of the facility of the restaurant premises, the jihadists had
left them alone, although they were called out regularly,
like that morning, to witness beatings and executions in
the nearby square. Men, women, children and anyone
who was considered to have disobeyed the ultra-strict
mockery of Shariah law imposed by the caliphate’s
bullies. In the end, we’ll be just another example of their
pathological dogma, he realised.
Hema was saying tearfully, ‘The kids are so unhappy
and frustrated, squabbling amongst themselves and with
us, hiding from the bombs and those evil people who
can’t wait for us to be killed, or to transgress some stupid
rule so they can beat or execute us. When it’s safe to
go outside, they never see their friends, there’s no point,
they’re not allowed to laugh or have fun.’ She wiped
her eyes. ‘They’re surrounded by death and destruction
that children shouldn’t have to witness, just waiting
and wondering if it will ever be over and they can live a
normal life again. The boys won’t take it much longer,
one day they’ll do something to defy these monsters and
we’ll all suffer, more than we already do.’
Looking bleakly at him, she said, ‘We both know how
it will end. We’re amongst the few Christians still alive
here and when the terrorists are facing defeat, we’ll be
the first to be sacrificed. They’ll take our daughters as
sex slaves and send our sons out with rifles, so they’ll be
killed by the Iraqis and we’ll be used as suicide bombers
or something more dreadful.’ She broke down in tears
again, sobbing desperately. ‘We’ve got to get away from
this place before it’s too late to save our family.’
He held her close. ‘I know, we should have taken our
chance when there were still visas to be had. I’ve been
concentrating on surviving and so far, it’s worked, but
you’re right, if we stay, it’s finished, there’ll be no survival
for us. But there’s still a chance we can get away, we’ve

THE MOSUL LEGACY THE MOSUL LEGACY
28 29
got some cash put aside, enough to buy our way out
and survive for a while, if we’re careful. I’ve heard some
names, guys who can get documents and help people like
us to escape. I’m going to get in touch, to find a way out
as soon as we possibly can.’
She wiped her eyes. ‘You promise?’ When he nodded
gravely, being a pragmatic woman, she asked, ‘Is England
still your first choice?’
‘There’s no other sensible option. It’s the only language
we speak reasonably well and the English are the most
welcoming people in the world. You loved it there.’ He
was referring to the trip they’d taken to London for their
honeymoon, in 1998, before Hussein’s relations with
the Western powers broke down completely. They had
kept up their language practice, often speaking English
with their children, to relieve the constant feeling of
being trapped in a Muslim world inhabited by fear and
claustrophobia.
‘If we can get into Turkey, I’m sure we can make it
to Europe, there’s thousands of people who’ve done it.’
He spoke convincingly, but he knew that Turkey had
suspended issuing visas to Iraqis earlier that year and
without them, he didn’t know how he’d get his family
across the border. He needed documents and he needed
a guide to have any chance of getting safely out of
Mosul and across the border. If they did make it, then
the only feasible routes were through Greece and across
the Aegean to Italy, or by ‘The Balkan Route’, through
Bulgaria and Romania to the Germanic states in northern
Europe.
‘There has to be a way around the visa problem,
I know refugees are still getting through the Turkish
border. I’ll find people to help us to do the same.’ He
had a sudden feeling of panic when he uttered the word,
‘refugees’. That’s what we’ll become, homeless refugees
at the mercy of everyone who wants to take advantage
of us. But it can’t be worse than what will happen to us
here. He kissed Hema’s brow, ‘Stop worrying. I promise
I’ll find a solution.’
‘Be careful, don’t take any risks, or you’ll make things
worse. We need to find someone very soon, someone we
can trust, who won’t be suspected.’
Faqir knew Hema was right, but he would have to take
risks, whether he liked it or not, or they would never get
away from the Mosul death trap.

Thank you, Christopher Lowery and LoveBooksGroup.

 

About the author

Christopher Lowery is a ‘Geordie’, born in the northeast of England, who graduated in finance and economics after reluctantly giving up career choices in professional golf and rock & roll. Chris left the UK for Switzerland in 1966 and has lived and worked in six different countries over the last 50 years. He was a real estate developer and Telecoms/Internet entrepreneur and inventor and has created several successful companies around the world, notably Interoute Communications, now Europe’s largest cloud services platform provider and Wyless Group, now part of Kore Telematics, one of the world’s largest Internet of Things providers.

In 2014, Chris started writing historically/factually based thrillers and the first two volumes of his African Diamonds Trilogy – The Angolan Clan & The Rwandan Hostage, were published by Urbane Publications, a UK publisher. These books are based upon his family’s experiences during the Portuguese Revolution of the Carnations of 1974 and his daughter’s work as a delegate with the ICRC in Rwanda in 1996. The third volume, The Dark Web, was published in April 2018, and draws on his experience as one of the creators of The Internet of Things, between 2002 and 2016. His fourth book, The Mosul Legacy, an unrelated story, will be published in September 2018. His illustrated All About Jack stories for children are written in humorous verse, and were published privately.

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