The tall man with three day’s growth of beard leaned against the black flag on the wall and listened to his friend talking on a satellite phone. Rapid bursts of Arabic were being exchanged as the evening sunshine came through the blinds and cast a shadow over the paintings on the wall. There was a time limit on the call, for security reasons.
As he watched and listened, the tall man received a text from his man on the ground in northern Spain. This follower was in place to catch the train from Valladolid to Leon in 3 days’ time, and then he would wait to follow the people, their target, to the ultimate and final destination – Santiago de Compostela – the end of their journey, the end of their pilgrimage. The tall man stubbed out his cigarette in a metal ashtray and smiled as the conversation ended.
“How are things in the Mediterranean?” he asked.
“They are on their way, there are no problems, and they are keeping away from the prying eyes of the western powers, looking for immigrants on board vessels. The Spanish navy in the Mediterranean is further north, making sure that no one upsets the tourists in The Balearics.”
“Good, good, let’s wish our fellow jihadis all speed on their journey to help us in our quest.”
“Do we know which cars we will take?”
“I have identified one car we need; we just have to make sure the owner doesn’t miss it while we’re gone.”
“She will be pre-occupied with other things, won’t she?” The man stood up and leered at his taller friend.
“Don’t get too comfortable with their western ways,” the friend replied. “The caliphate won’t approve of such behaviour.”
“They teach us to do anything for the cause,” was the reply. “When we have succeeded, we will be forgiven in heaven.”