“I, for the life of me, cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked
our food supply, because it is so easy to do.”
—Tommy Thompson, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, December 7, 2004
Just before he was killed, Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al Zawahiri, meet with al
Qaeda’s Shura Council in an abandoned house in Pakistan. They discuss plans for a new holy
war, a large-scale bioterrorism attack on the US. For this war, they will partner with their former
enemy, the Iranians. The plan includes collecting samples containing infectious agents such as
cholera germs from patients seen in hospital emergency rooms in Pakistan and Bangladesh. The
samples are then sent to a makeshift laboratory in North Waziristan where the pathogens are
propagated and packaged for shipment to the US. Meanwhile in the US, a network of American-born
radicalized teen-agers is recruited and deployed as bag boys in supermarkets.
When Winston Sage, M.D., an offbeat, retired epidemiologist living in Santa Fe, was invited to
serve on a boondoggle State Committee on Bioterrorism, the last thing he could have imagined
was that he would unravel al Qaeda’s planned strike on the US; be enlisted by the FBI; and be
personally commended by the President at the White House. Sage’s unorthodox thinking clashes
with the FBI, but ultimately helps abort the attacks—well, almost.
Praise for The Bag Boys’ Jihad:
“As in Grufferman’s (The Warring States Conundrum, 2017) preceding novel, Win is a likable
protagonist. He has strong opinions but is open to others’ suggestions; consequently, people
listen to him, even if his early declaration of an epidemic sounds far-fetched. The author astutely
shows the intricacies of the terrorists’ plan, especially the multitude of participants. Some are
devout while others are horrified upon realizing the leaders consider certain individuals
expendable. Intelligent dialogue makes discussions about various strains of disease perfectly
comprehensible, aided by a steady momentum via brief chapters. Humor comes primarily from
Win’s wife, Julia, whose sardonic comments are endearing. Once Win is entangled in the
potential terrorist plot, she simply says: ‘I told you not to get involved with this dumb project.’
An absorbing jihadist thriller bolstered by complex villains and a winsome, levelheaded
About the Author
His life-long research interest has been on the question of whether human cancer is caused by infectious agents and can be transmitted from person-to-person. After being invited to participate in conferences on U.S. food safety, he became deeply concerned about the startling vulnerability of U.S. food supplies to terrorist attack.
He is retired and lives with his wife and dog in the hills outside of Santa Fe, NM.