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Lethal Conspiracy

Lethal Conspiracy

3.9 9
by Gary Fuller

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Dr. Steven Grant, Columbia University professor of political science and special assistant to the UN Secretary-General, is recruited by the CIA to identify a terrorist cell formed inside the United Nations. Still recovering from the death of his wife a year ago, Grant hopes this new adventure will spring him from the deep depression he's suffered.

When an undercover


Dr. Steven Grant, Columbia University professor of political science and special assistant to the UN Secretary-General, is recruited by the CIA to identify a terrorist cell formed inside the United Nations. Still recovering from the death of his wife a year ago, Grant hopes this new adventure will spring him from the deep depression he's suffered.

When an undercover Mossad agent posing as an Arabic aide at the UN discovers the terrorists' plan, Grant knows he's got to put everything he has into this mission. The terrorists want to explode bombs at a Iranian facility storing three fully developed nuclear warheads and then blame Israel, thus forcing Iran to retaliate using their secret nuclear weapons.

Grants teams with an alluring female psychologist to track down the terrorists. Unfortunately, the terrorist organization wants to eliminate them both. In his frantic search to find and stop the radicals before they launch their planned attack and start a nuclear war, Grant faces Iraqi insurgents, Hamas militants, and Egyptian Secret Police from New York to the Middle East.

Just as alarming to him, though, is that he must also face the very real possibility that he's falling in love.

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iUniverse, Incorporated
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iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 Gary Fuller
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4620-5250-9

Chapter One

Damascus, Syria Four Months Later, Spring 2010

Death was the uninvited guest.

The eight men seated around a long wooden table in the center of the room felt the strong, chilling presence of that guest, waiting at the door for the proper moment to join them.

Penetrating the repressive heat of mid-day Syria, it had an unmistakable presence.

Damascus, commonly known in Syria as Al Sham, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The old city, enclosed by high walls, lies on the south bank of the river Barada which now is almost dry. While the city itself has a population of just over 1.7 million, it is surrounded by suburban areas whose history stretches back to the eleventh century. Including these areas to the south-east, north and north-east of the city, the over-crowded metropolitan area is home to 2.4 million people.

The Oqaiba neighborhood, located outside the walls of the city near Souk Saruja, features the Al-Taoubah mosque. The mosque was built on the ruins of a prostitution house by order of the Ayoubi King Al-Ashraf Mussa during the middle ages.

In an old house just four blocks from the mosque, the secret meeting began.

Off-white walls without pictures or decoration, displaying only scrapes and a few dirt streaks, framed the overly-large room. A dirty dark green cloth struggled to cover the room's single window and ban sunlight from attending the meeting. Quiet hung in the hot air and surrounded the long table; empty except for the black hoods once used as blindfolds, now resting four on each side of the table, one in front of each person.

Seated at the conference table, Hassim Raqib recognized two of the men across from him. They had shared danger planting explosive charges in buildings far away from this place. He did not know they were still alive. That had been a long time ago.

What is going on? Why are we here?

In dark corner shadows beyond the table, the shapes of two very large bearded men holding AK-74 assault rifles became visible as Raqib's eyes slowly adjusted to the dim light. They stood silently in the background, watching. Like the uninvited guest, they waited.

Raqib's mind went wild. Sweat broke out across his forehead. I'm going to die here. His arms went numb, hanging at his sides.

A strong authoritative voice made him jump. "Allahu Akbar, God is great."

Fearful and uncertain, the eight men around the table failed to return the usual reply, "Allahu."

"You have been brought here today for a reason." The strong voice continued in Arabic, attempting to speak without the local colloquialisms that separated the citizens of one country from another. "Your kidnapping was unfortunate but necessary."

An uncomfortable silence held those around the table hostage as Raqib saw the same fright that he felt on the faces of the other men. Although his eyes had now adjusted to the dimness, he could not see the man who spoke.

The voice came from behind him. "You men have a very special, glorious opportunity to serve Allah, praise be to his name. We want you to listen and to learn. This would be impossible without bringing you here."

Another nervous pause, and then the voice continued. "As members of different revolutionary groups, you share the same goal: to restore the splendor of Islam. May Allah bless you all for you have truly served him well. But it is now time to unite our efforts. Sunni and Shiite have a common enemy. Hezbollah and Hamas have a common enemy. We all share that same enemy: the Little Satan, Israel, and the Great Satan, America. They stand in the way of our goal."

Raqib noticed that the men across the table were looking over his shoulder, behind him. Growing louder, the speaker's voice felt like a heavy weight falling on the back of Raqib's shoulders. "We must rise up against this enemy together. Only then can true Jihad be achieved."

The speaker moved to the end of the table where everyone could see him. Dressed in a white dishdashah, or thawb, to reflect the hot summer sun, his strong muscular build was visible even though the long sleeved, ankle-length one piece garment covered most of his body. While a short garment was for modesty, the long white tunic signified a position of status, royalty or wealth.

He wore the lightweight, white summer Gutrah or head scarf, as opposed to the heavy red and white checkered head cover called "Shumag" worn during winter. It was topped with a black Ogal band holding the head cover in place.

Maintaining local custom, he wore the head cover as host for the meeting to show proper respect for his guests. More importantly, it identified him as leader.

Looking around the room, the speaker's large, glaring eyes met the eyes of each man, burning deeply and branding each soul. "Your organizations are weak." He spat the words out. "They settle for tiny victories instead of winning the war."

Slowly turning his chiseled face, his gaze moved around the table, searching inside each man. "I know that is not enough for you. You want more, and praise Allah, now you can have it. A new organization has been formed, starting inside the United Nations itself. This organization will cross all boundaries and unite us in our common holy cause." He shook his head yes. "It is called Soldiers of Allah's Victory."

"I am Zakir Almahdi, Aide to the United Nations Yemini delegation and leader of this new organization," he said proudly, folding his arms across his chest. "Other brothers, part of their county's delegations to the UN, have already joined me in this glorious cause. And more brothers around the world, outside the UN, will be happy to do so also."

"You men here," he paused a moment for emphasis and then started shaking his head yes, "you men now have the opportunity to truly serve the Prophet and Allah as no other before you. Together, we can make history."

Suddenly Raqib's interest peaked. Did he hear him right?

"My brothers, it is time to put our insignificant differences aside and join together in the greatest event of the Jihad." Almahdi's voice took on an assuring tone, "You will be blessed by Allah and remembered as heroes. Yes, heroes."

Silence descended over the room again as Almahdi looked around the table. "Together, we will raise the banner of Jihad in the face of the world! We will liberate Palestine from the Jew oppressors!" His voice became louder as emotion took control. Fully extending his arm upward, Almahdi clenched his fist in defiance. "We will obliterate Israel. The Zionists will no longer be able to hide behind the rocks and trees."

Eyes enlarged, he glared at them as he lowered his arm. "It will end the shrewd, selfish manipulation that western imperial countries force upon our part of the world. We will be free and Allah will be glorified."

Raqib felt Almahdi's forceful stare searching inside him, questioning if he grasped what had been said. Did Raqib really have the courage for this task? He sat up straight and put his shoulders back. I am ready.

Almahdi continued, "This event will wipe Israel off the face of the earth and deliver a fatal punch to the face of the American Great Satan."

A slight smile appeared on his face.

"The result of your actions will be nuclear war."

Chapter Two

New York City

"You've been wallowing in this depression for over a year!"

The frustration burst from his mouth, screaming for attention. No one had ever heard Peter raise his voice before.

"Listen to me, please!" The concern in the shout was overwhelming. He had to get through to his best friend, breach that protective armor. "Steven, there has to be a change, and soon."

Dr. Steven Grant, professor of political science at Columbia University, paced the floor of his New York City apartment. Now in his late forties, he still presented himself well. At just over six feet and two hundred pounds, his gray polo shirt and dark blue slacks disclosed only a hint of a paunch around his middle. The athletic grace of his movements reflected extensive physical conditioning.

He rubbed his hand through his light brown hair, just beginning to thin and gray around the edges. His head down, his blue eyes searched back and forth as if looking for a lost item on the floor. He did not want to hear these words, but he knew his best friend was right.

Steven's hand slid down and unconsciously scratched the elliptical scar that ran horizontally from near his left eyebrow to just inside his hairline. He often did this while deep in thought. "Peter, I ..." Not finding any more words, Steven shrugged and continued pacing.

Peter lowered his voice, but remained firm. "Listen, Steven. I know how much she meant to you, but it's time you face reality. Rebecca's not coming back."

Dr. Peter Standish, now fifty and balding, also a political science professor at Columbia, had known Steven and Rebecca since their marriage. He knew Steven even before that, when they both started their teaching careers at Harvard.

He sat at a small table in the area that served as both a dining and living room in Steven's Columbia faculty apartment on the West Side overlooking the river. Peter still wore his tweed sport coat, while Steven's hung on the back of a chair. Peter also wore an open collar shirt and looked to be in pretty fair physical condition. He should have. Steven and he worked out together in the gym three times a week.

Looking around the room, Peter felt the cold, impersonal emptiness of a morgue. The apartment held only dark loneliness since the removal of all the pictures: photos showing Becky enjoying a hot dog with Steven at Coney Island, her golden hair blowing in the wind on the Staten Island Ferry, and her playful smile when Steven made a silly face at her.

Not far from the Columbia campus, the Paterno, an apartment building in Morningside Heights, is located on the corner of 116th and Riverside Drive. Rising twelve stories, it provides tenants on the west side of the building, where Steven lived, an unobstructed view of the Hudson River and the far shore. The first six floors feature cozy one and two bedroom apartments.

Steven's family apartment on the eighth floor indicated his role at the university as a full professor with senior status. Three bedrooms, two baths and a small but reasonable living space made the apartment a comfortable home.

The master bedroom had enough room for a king size bed, dresser and single night stand, along with a small table and two comfy chairs that provided a secluded reading area. The second bedroom, used primarily for storage, contained a queen bed reserved for rare overnight guests. Having decided early in their marriage not to have children, he and Rebecca agreed Steven could use the third bedroom as a home office.

The apartment had once permeated with vibrant energy, pleasant conversation, tender kisses, and the sound of glasses coming together in toasts with warm laughter. The stark contrast of the life previously enjoyed here compared to the emptiness now felt in the apartment was brutally severe.

Peter swirled his cocktail and listened to the ice clinking. He sighed and pushed his glasses back on his nose. "You're hiding in the shadows of your office. You've withdrawn and alienated your students and colleagues alike."

Steven stopped pacing. The ceaseless pain still devouring his insides, he lifted his head and turned to look at his friend. He felt tears swelling in his red, swollen eyes. His lips trembled as he tried to speak. Then the emotional reservoir broke and the words burst forth, "Peter, Becky was my wife for twenty-one years! How the hell do I get over that?"

His voice filled with anguish. "She was the love of my life! I walk around the corner and still expect to see her standing here in this room."

A tragic accident took Rebecca's life more than a year before. An exceptional woman, so full of life, the sunlight lit her soul. Her dark eyes sparkled each time she flashed that beautiful but mischievous and seductive smile she would aim at your heart. Her sudden death took all that away.

Peter's voice softened, becoming a whisper. "She's gone, Steven, and she can't come back. She's dead."

Dead. The word hit him like hearing it for the first time. The cold truth swept over him once more. Not just the death of a loved one, it was the death of his soul mate.

Tears now flowed freely down the sides of his face. Steven's heart ached, ripped apart by the sudden death of the woman with whom he shared every intimate detail of his life. And since that darkest of moments, the pain was forever present, a scar upon his soul.

The accident could have happened to anyone, but it happened to her. The pickup driver had a sudden heart attack. Dead before he hit her, his truck veered across the center line and hit Rebecca's car head-on, killing her instantly.

Steven had not been there to protect her. The police said there was nothing he could have done. Had he been in the car at the time, he would have been killed too.

None of that helped.

I miss you, Becky. Pain engulfed his entire being. I will always love you.

Shaking his head no, he said, "Peter, I just don't know how to get beyond it."

Outside, the dark sky filled with gray clouds, crowding together to weep. Laden tears of rain beat drums of sorrow against the windows. Black, gloomy pools of water formed on the ground and gave no reflection.

Peter asked, "Have you thought about some help with this, some therapy?"

"Actually, yes. I got a referral from the insurance company, a Dr. Jonas." Steven grimaced, took a deep breath and exhaled his exasperation. "Supposedly he had several years experience, but he didn't seem that old. He must have memorized some theories in school because he just asked a few questions, then tried cramming me into some theoretical framework. He recited a few quotes and tried telling me about the 'normal' ways to reconnect with life."

"So he was a great help, huh?"

"Yeah, right." With a short laugh, Steven shook his head. "He didn't listen to me at all. There was no emotion, no feeling of any kind. He just fit me into this fractured mold of his."

Steven turned to face Peter. "When the esteemed doctor finished expounding, he stood up, shook my hand and said how nice it was that he could help."

"Yeah, it was nice alright." Peter's sarcasm reflected Steven's own feelings. "So much for that idea."

Steven resumed pacing, shrugged his shoulders and raised his hands, reaching for answers that were not there. "So what do I do, Peter? What do I do?"

"You find a way to get on with your life!" Peter spoke with an emphatic certainty that would not be denied. "Decide that life is for the living ... of which you are."

His tone moderated as Peter's voice betrayed his frustration. "Steven, the only time you get out is going to the gym with me. It's time to move beyond this. Actually, it's past that time."

Peter's voice softened even more as he began speaking with compassion. "My friend, you had an exceptional relationship with Becky. You know in your heart that she loved you. And she knows you loved her. Ask yourself, if you knew at the start of your relationship that it could only last this long, would you still choose to be with her, to marry her?"

"Yes." He paused, looking at his friend. "Yes, of course I would."

"Then be happy for the time you had together. Cherish it. And know that because she loved you, she would want you to be happy. She was proud of you, what you have accomplished, who you have become. She would be extremely disappointed if you threw that away."


A long pause allowed Steven to absorb that thought. It made sense. Slowly, it became reality.

Pouring another drink for both of them, Peter said, "Sit down a minute, Steven. I know this doesn't seem like the time, but I have something very important to discuss with you."

He handed his friend a drink as Steven sat down at the small table.

Dabbing his eyes with a handkerchief, Steven said, "I know you're trying to help, Peter. Thanks for being my friend."

Peter sipped his drink and put it down. "This is not the best timing, but we really need to talk about this." He waited.

Steven tried to compose himself, and forced a small, grateful smile. "Go ahead."

"Are you okay?" Peter paused, waiting for Steven's approval to proceed. "I need to change the subject, Steven, and I need to know you are listening. It's extremely important or I wouldn't bring it up right now."


Excerpted from LETHAL CONSPIRACY by GARY FULLER Copyright © 2011 by Gary Fuller. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Lethal Conspiracy 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
`There were three good reasons for them to kill him. He was a Jew! He was Israeli! He was Mossad!' Arizona author Gary Fuller has the credentials to write not only this fine book LETHAL CONSPIRACY, having studied "The Psychology of Terrorism," an in-depth course by the American Psychotherapist Association, intensive research and first person interviews with government officials and individuals from the intelligence operations community as well as earning is BA in Journalism and a PhD in business administration, but he also served in the U.S. Air Force as an Air Force Intelligence Officer, Security Specialist, NATO Air Liaison Officer and as an Air Traffic Controller. He helped write war game scenarios for several joint-service exercises, including simulations involving Iraq and Iran. He has also published articles in over 25 newspapers and 5 magazines and completed an internship with ABC News. He now lives in Lake Chapala, Mexico. Given the above it is no wonder this novel is so compelling. Gary makes us vividly aware of the conditions that swarm around terrorist activities, creating a constant sense of anxiety not unlike that surround his main character. He paints his settings visually with a rich palette that we are there, witnessing the story. Another reason this book rivets our attention is the subject matter - those fragments we hear on the news, see on television, and cause insomnia as the threat of terrorist activities not only persists but increases. The quality of Gary's writing skill is evident from his prologue; `Blood dripped from his forehead. The warm, red fluid slowly crept down his face. He smiled. It had taken a long time to reach this point, but today he had achieved his goal. The blood-smeared face in front of him showed no smile at all as that man dropped to his knees. That man's intense eyes stared back at him. "It is time." The kneeling man spoke in a commanding tone. "Down on your knees. You now have the mark of blood on your head. Take the oath."... The candidate lived alone for awhile in their country, then finally bribes and lavish presents bought favor from elders who introduced him to government officials. In turn, as a reward for his diligence and as a demonstration of their power, he was appointed as Aide to the UN Ambassador for their country. He was easily accepted by the small group of Middle Eastern Muslims working in the United Nations. Becoming close friends with several of them, he felt free to express an occasional comment against Israel and against the United States. He played his role as a fellow Muslim and waited. He was in this position just in case something unusual happened. And now, his actions led to this special invitation. He could hardly believe this was happening, and at this location, only five blocks from the United Nations, in central New York City, USA. The mosque was empty.' The story is complex (in the tradition of fine thrillers) but the synopsis helps- read it. Gary Fuller grabs our attention like a powerful magnet and doesn't break that field until the end. This is very powerful writing form a man who knows both his information and his trade. Highly Recommended - especially now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had read the author's biography before I purchased the book. I knew it would be a good read after I saw the experience he had and being a veteran. The events that happen in this book will make you feel as if you are reading something that is going on in the world today. This is a fiction book but has a great connection with real world events.  It met my expectations more than any other book of this type. The characters and the action in the book are written in a way that you can envision it in your mind as you read. There's different twist throughout the book making it more interesting. It is well-written making it easy to follow. I want to read a sequel to the book. This is the first book I have read by this author, but I look forward to reading more by him in the future. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lethal Conspiracy by Gary Fuller is an interesting blend of sophisticated dating alongside a terrorist plot. In the opening pages, we are introduced to a new terror cell that has not only forcibly aligned the smaller terror organizations of the Middle East into one coordinated unit, but has also planted members into the hierarchy of the United Nations. Their mission is simple; destroy the Little Satan and the Great Satan: Israel and the United States. The method the group plans to take is much more dynamic and terrifying: use the UN to force the United States to remove all troops from the Middle East while sparking a nuclear war between Iran and Israel that will wipe Israel off the map. Caught in the middle are Steven and Sam. Steven is a political science professor and consultant at the UN in New York. Sam is a high level psychiatrist who uses her skills to help political figures. The two meet through a discreet dating site and are whisked into a romance almost as fast as they are whirled into the lethal conspiracy. Lethal Conspiracy takes the reader from the war torn streets of the Middle East to the sky rises of New York City. The story is very well researched and the writer has a strong understanding, not only of the desires of groups in the Middle East, but also of the fears that Americans face when thinking about terrorism. It is a different story from others like it because it does not focus on a military organization of federal effort to stop a terrorist plot. Rather, it takes a real character with real problems and puts them into an extreme situation. I feel this is a fresh approach to the conspiracy story idea.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It shot but missed scoring in my book. The first quarter of the book was painfully uncomfortable to read. The next good part was better. Packed with intrigue. Yet the hero, Dr Grant did far too much talking about national secrets. The balance of power swung back and forth between the terrorists and the white knights. The hero chose a selfish self absorbed woman to lavish his fledgling new love upon. Disappointing ending in every way. Best thing I can say is that it left the door wide open for a sequel. The best line in the entire book was, " We keep trying to kill him but he just won't die!".
Richie1 More than 1 year ago
After a long depression caused by his wife's death, Steven, a professor, Middle East expert and UN official, finally meets Samantha (Sam), a clinical psychologist, and they hit it off. His friend, Peter, a professor and CIA agent, convinces Steven to help uncover a plot inside the UN to destroy Israel and start a nuclear war. The conspirator's plan unfolds while Steven is in Baghdad to help negotiate the U.S. withdrawal and they are in Sadr City building bombs to strike Iran and blame Israel. Mossad also has agents working undercover to expose the plot. As the scheme is close to fruition, Sam is kidnapped in an attempt to silence Steven. All hell breaks loose in an effort to stop the conspirators and rescue Sam. But wait, there is surprise ending
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Valerie Rouse for Readers' Favorite Lethal Conspiracy by Gary Fuller is a fast paced story about an insidious plot by a group of terrorists. These terrorists called themselves the Soldiers of Allah’s Victory. Unfortunately, their leader Zakir Almahdi was connected to the United Nations as he was aide to the Yemeni delegation. This plot to overthrow the world was thwarted by Steven Grant, a political science lecturer, and other government agents. Steven was innocently drawn into this debacle through his post as advisor to the United Nations. On hearing a rumour concerning the growth of a new terrorist group, Steven began asking questions of delegates within the UN. Of course, Steven was targeted and attempts were made to kill him. His new girlfriend Samantha was even threatened and abducted. Steven made a journey to the Middle East in an effort to thwart the threat of a nuclear attack. Will he succeed and will he find Samantha in time? Lethal Conspiracy is a good suspense novel. It is a topical story as nowadays talk of terrorist threats is rife in current affairs. Author Gary Fuller did a good job in developing his main characters. I like the fact that he sought to portray the personal lives of the characters.  This tactic allows readers to view them in a more realistic and humane light. The language used is semi-formal to blend in with the plot. The reference to technological advancement in the communication realm is a good move. This signifies that, wherever you are in the world, the ability to contact other persons is a welcome feature. This story clearly demonstrates the ease with which the terrorists especially maintained contact with each other across the globe. Obviously, the theme of good overcoming evil pervades the story. I loved the book, especially the action. I recommend it to all readers
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