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Ali Muhami and the Forty IEDs

Ali Muhami and the Forty IEDs

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Ali Muhami and the Forty IEDs

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Lançado em:
Mar 31, 2020


Ali Muhami, the American attorney, the trusted infidel, invited to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to manage the security of the oil pipeline and the industrial city, was bestowed with the highest government security clearances for which he was blackmailed by Colonel Abdullah leading the military coup d'etat to overthrow the King and the Royal family in order to hold democratic parliamentary elections and institute reforms of religious freedom and pluralism, thus transforming Saudi Arabia and Islam forever.

Blackmailed into betraying the leaders of the Islamic terrorist group, Al Jihad, so the Colonel could kill them all on Christmas day and foil their plot to sabotage the oil pipeline, incite a holy war and behead the King and the Royal family, Ali was tortured by the fear of losing his own head videoed at the edge of the Red Sea, a humiliating spectacle of his ear-to-ear decapitation shown to the whole world.

The guilt he felt, loathing himself while he deceived everyone...Jalal, Ali, Sahir, Bilal, Marwan, Aziz, Steve, Dave, and Jerry, the friends he would lose. And what of Diane, Alya, and Jennifer...and the love he would lose ? The day he was first told by the Colonel they knew from his own words his thoughts, his opinions and what he believed in, began the paranoia that crept deep into his mind. There was no escape from a country you couldn't leave without permission.

From the honest, trustworthy man of integrity they believed him to be, above reproach, to the fateful day when they began to suspect him and distrust him, the seeds of discontent began swirling like sand in a desert storm...plotting a tale of blackmail, betrayal, palace intrigue, Islamic terrorism, sabotage, and a coup to overthrow the King. How Ali was proclaimed a patriot, awarded the civilian Medal of Honor leaving the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a hero, is a story you would not believe, except so much of what you'll read was true.

Lançado em:
Mar 31, 2020

Sobre o autor

Anthony S. Petruccelli, Esq. was born in 1950 in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  He received his B.A. in political science from Fordham University and his J.D. (Juris Doctorate) from Gonzaga University  School of Law. Through the 1980s, he lived in Saudi Arabia as general manager of a Saudi Arabian establishment, administering the security contract for the trans-Arabian east-west oil pipeline and Yanbu industrial city.  As managing attorney of a NY firm's Saudi legal consultancy, and as an associate attorney with Ismail Nazer, he served as  legal counsel to multinational corporations in foreign affairs, joint venture, capital investment, industrial and commercial licensing, and advised the Ministries of Commerce and Finance, drafting Saudi Arabia's first commercial bankruptcy law.   He also served as legal counsel to the U.S. Consulate Dhahran.  After repatriating, Mr. Petruccelli served as special legal counsel and expert witness on Saudi Arabian law in litigation involving U.S. companies from their activities in the Kingdom. He has lectured at seminars, colleges and universities on developing international business, foreign country risk analysis, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.   In the interests of higher education, he organized and incorporated the International School, Lake Washington School District, serving on its executive board and as its legal counsel.

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Ali Muhami and the Forty IEDs - Anthony S. Petruccelli, Esq.

Ali Muhami


Anthony S. Petruccelli, Esq.


1663 Liberty Drive

Bloomington, IN 47403


Phone: 1 (800) 839-8640

© 2020 Anthony S. Petruccelli, Esq. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without the written permission of the author.

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, names, incidents, organizations, and dialogue in this novel are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Published by AuthorHouse 06/15/2020

ISBN: 978-1-7283-4916-9 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-7283-4914-5 (hc)

ISBN: 978-1-7283-4915-2 (e)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2020904206

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.


Chapter 1 Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Chapter 2 The Boys

Chapter 3 Al Aman

Chapter 4 The Pipeline

Chapter 5 The Danes

Chapter 6 Wheat Farmers

Chapter 7 Kaia Fire & Rescue

Chapter 8 Gail

Chapter 9 Let’s Make A Deal & Party!

Chapter 10 Windsurfing

Chapter 11 Colonel Abdullah

Chapter 12 Paranoia

Chapter 13 Big Jim Gettes

Chapter 14 Yanbu

Chapter 15 Blackmail

Chapter 16 Alya

Chapter 17 The Little Prince

Chapter 18 The Farm In Hail

Chapter 19 Ramadan

Chapter 20 Midnight At The Oasis

Chapter 21 Muhammad Ali

Chapter 22 Holy War!

Chapter 23 Cocaine

Chapter 24 Al Jihad

Chapter 25 Back At The Al Aman

Chapter 26 Rendezvous With Alya

Chapter 27 Summertime

Chapter 28 Surreal

Chapter 29 Procrastination

Chapter 30 Schwaiba Rendezvous

Chapter 31 Kaia

Chapter 32 Gold In Wheat

Chapter 33 Master Of Ceremonies

Chapter 34 Saeida Sabotage

Chapter 35 Coup D’etat


Glossary Of Words

About The Author

For my loving parents,

Theresa and Guido,

who worked so hard to give me an education,

inspiring me to aspire in life,

from an ever grateful and loving son.


Ahlan wa Sahlan

There they were at the Sheraton Hotel, an American attorney about to meet two Saudi oil officials for the first time who were going to ask for his help to manage the security of the trans-Arabian east-west oil pipeline and the industrial city of Yanbu on the Red Sea. An invitation made to whom they believed was an honest, trustworthy man of integrity who was above reproach...absolutely critical because a foreigner, an infidel, would be given the highest government security clearances, have access to the pipeline, the industrial city and could travel unimpeded throughout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

And this was true, until that fateful day when they began to suspect him, to distrust him and no longer treat him as a guest, that the seeds of discontent began swirling like sand in a desert storm...plotting a tale of blackmail, betrayal, palace intrigue, sabotage, a coup to overthrow the King, and murder.

It was November 1981, on the longest flight Ali had ever taken, from New York City to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. What was he doing? What had he done in accepting their honorable invitation...leaving his law practice behind...venturing half-way around the world, to one of the most secretive, security-minded countries in the world with a culture and religion so foreign, so opposite from his own? Granted, his old Saudi friends from law school days would be there at the airport to welcome and take care of him. And so the trust was absolute, both ways, Ali entrusted his life and well-being into their hands and those of their friends who had traveled half-way around the world to meet him, and to propose what they did, relying on how well his friends had spoken of him. Quite the honor, entrusting so important a task as the security of the pipeline, the safety valve to export Saudi oil should the Iranians ever blockade the Persian Gulf at the Strait of Hormuz, to someone who knew nothing about security, industrial or otherwise.

Although Ali didn’t know anything about security, he did know something about the Strait of Hormuz and its geopolitical significance, having majored in political science and history in college. The ‘Tangeh-ye Hormoz’ or Strait of Hormuz between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman provides the only sea passage to the open ocean and is a strategic choke point militarily and commercially where a third of the world’s liquefied natural gas and a quarter of its oil passes through, making it one of the most strategic locations for international trade in the world. Ships pass through the territorial waters of Iran and Oman according to passage provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Law of the Sea 1973-1982), and by 1972 they had expanded their territorial waters to completely cover the Strait of Hormuz, asserting claims in the 1980s altering the legal status of the strait, enacting laws which conflicted with the Law of the Sea, resulting in the United States not recognizing and contesting their claims. More broadly, the Arab-Iranian conflict between the Arab League countries and Iran is on the surface geopolitical but at the heart of the hatred are historic ethnic disputes between Arabs and Persians and the religious Shia-Sunni sectarian split. The two countries are in a proxy conflict, aptly referred to as the Iran-Saudi Arabia Cold War with each influencing struggles in surrounding regions, providing varying degrees of support to opposing sides in nearby conflicts, including civil wars in neighboring countries. As in other cold wars, the conflict is waged over geopolitical and economic dominance as Iran and Saudi Arabia pursue regional hegemony, exploiting religious differences and sectarianism in the region. Similar to the dynamics of the Cold War era, the United States supports Saudi Arabia and its allies, while Russia and China support Iran and its allies. In 1979 post-revolutionary Iran, Iran saw itself as the champion of the Shia Muslims in the Middle East, while Saudi Arabia saw itself as the leading Sunni Muslim power.

Two hours into a twelve to thirteen hour flight, downing one drink after the next, Ali began sweating, thinking about what a colossal set-up for failure he had gotten himself into. Of course he told them straight-away he knew nothing about industrial or commercial security. He was just a small city lawyer, and so how on earth could their search lead them to him, even if mutual friends had vouched for him?

With all due respect, Ali made a point to ask, why me?

Bilal, the senior of the two Saudis, laughed heartily and said, Among the three of us, we know you’re the smartest man in the room, you’re the one who became a lawyer and whatever it is that you don’t know, we believe you’re smart enough to figure out, Inshallah, God willing. But most important, Ali, is we believe you are honorable, that we can trust you and that you have the principles, ethics and integrity to reject any attempt to bribe you, to compromise you, that could lead to the pipeline or Yanbu being sabotaged. The security of the pipeline is critical, as well as the refining facilities in Yanbu. We know we took a big chance to fly half-way around the world to meet you, not knowing who you are, but knowing what you did for Jalal’s brother, saving him and his family, to propose that you leave your famliy, your business, your country – leave everything and everyone behind – and begin an Arabian adventure. You will be our honored guest and we’re prepared to make you an offer we hope you won’t refuse, all expenses paid, everything, five figure monthly salary, insurances, car, paid vacations, and so on! Well, you probably know better than we what international employment contract terms and conditions are since you’re the attorney! You can write up what you need. In the meantime, we’ll be here at the Sheraton a few more days, and you’re staying through the weekend. We were hoping you might decide by then to accept our invitation. Inshallah.

Ali had another drink. Huh, Saudi Arabian airlines and all the booze is free...including my Jack Daniels. What had he done? Was he out of his mind? Never got to wind-up his law practice and pretty much left all his cases to Fred. Never got to sign a contract. Within two weeks, whoever Bilal and Sahir were over there, he had his visa, and could he come as soon as possible? Jalal called. They had everything prepared for him. This was the guy he ran around town with, drinking and chasing girls. He and his brothers, whom Ali knew from school, were all looking forward to his arrival. It would be their honor to have him as their guest, to thank him for all he did for their youngest brother, Marwan, and keeping peace within their family. Going to a place like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), all alone, by himself, was daunting, but only because of those friends did he feel safe. Most Americans work in the Kingdom through their home company doing business there, not directly for a Saudi company, let alone at a personal level within a family close to King Saud himself. And all of this was happening on a hand shake! God help him, he prayed.

And for his family, Ali prayed too. They were all worried, his parents, sisters and friends. Others like his colleagues, less so, who expressed best wishes for Ali’s catch-22 predicament. If he didn’t go he’d always regret not knowing what might have happened, what adventures and opportunities the world might have presented him, like this one, flying first-class to the KSA. He finished his third drink, couldn’t sit still and started walking about the 747. Around the upstairs bar, other insomniacs were gathered, trading stories about where they had vacationed, now returning to Saudi to go back to work. What was he going over there for, he was asked? As he told his story to a couple of Aramcons, others were listening intently, to a story they could hardly believe. The question on everyone’s lips was, who was this Saudi family close to the Royal family, that invited Ali to the Kingdom? How embarrassing it was for Ali. He didn’t know the family’s name. It certainly wasn’t Petromin, that was the oil ministry Ali understood Bilal and Sahir were from, although he had only Bilal’s executive-VP business card. He hadn’t gotten anything from Sahir. If Sahir wasn’t with Petromin, then who was he, and was it his family that was close to the King?

After a few more drinks at the bar hearing unbelievably scary stories of what can happen to foreigners over there when you run afoul of Shariah law, Ali retired to the restroom. When he opened the restroom door, some water flooded out onto the floor. The bathroom floor, sink, toilet, mirror, and walls were all wet, like water had been splashed all over. What the heck was this about? He had no idea because he didn’t know anything about Islamic customs. Maybe he should have read-up? Things were moving so fast...like the 747 he was on, as he made his unsteady way back to his seat.

Lifting the window shade, the sliver of the rising sun far in the East above the clouds was blinding. How long had he been a sleep? Ohhh, his head hurt, his mouth tasted like cardboard and he was so dehydrated. And then there was the announcement they would be landing soon. In a flurry many of the Arab passengers jumped out of their seats, fumbling with their belongings in the overhead bins. It was a chaotic scene with too many people trying to maneuver in the overcrowded aisles. It seemed no one was willing to wait and take their turn...a rude practice or custom Ali would see repeated over and over again not only in Saudi Arabia, but throughout the Middle East. Disembarking from the plane were many bleary-eyed, just-awakened passengers shuffling along to customs after a long thirteen hour flight. The Saudi customs hall was intimidating, with many armed soldiers and police, walking up and down, suspiciously eying everyone. It seemed an interminable amount of time was spent on line because the customs officials searched many of the large, oversized suitcases, taking forever for just one passenger to get through the customs’ check. And then if they found someone suspicious, all hell broke loose and the customs operation came to a standstill.

Over the crowded lines, Ali was on his toes, craning his neck to see if he could find his friends. Miraculously, they spied him way in the back, and when they had made eye contact and waved to each other, he could see Jalal talking to a military officer and police officer, who then instructed others to bring him up to the front of the line. Not only that, but none of Ali’s bags were checked. It appeared that the soldiers and police were acting very deferentially to his friends. In a second, the brothers and Ali were all hugging and kissing Saudi style, before speeding out of King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in a caravan of black Mercedes.

Ali was falling asleep on the drive from the airport even with the Arab music turned up loud, conversations going on in English and Arabic, speeding down the highway into Jeddah. He didn’t remember much until after they deposited him, half-asleep (it was the middle of the night) in the suite at the French Sofitel, the newest hotel in the city. They practically carried him along until Ali collapsed on the king bed, fully-clothed, in the darkest room ever...so dark he couldn’t tell with his eyes open if he was seeing.

Sometime later, Ali heard a sound so strange, so mysterious, never having heard it before. Was he awake or was he dreaming? Over and over the eerie, melodious sound seeped into the room quaffing like vapor from a genie’s bottle. In an instant something startled him, and he lept from the bed, fumbled in the dark to the black-out, floor-to-ceiling drapes, threw them open to the outer, see-through drapes to partially make out several adjacent and surrounding buildings, all in white cement. When he opened the outer drapes to enormous glass windows, he could clearly see a rounded-top building with a tower, at the top of which was a man calling out the strangest sounds he’d ever heard. He had his open hands by his ears. Oh man, what the heck is this he thought? He had to get back to sleep as he closed the drapes, undressed and jumped between the sheets, frustrated because he couldn’t find his earplugs!

Thinking he wouldn’t get back to sleep because the moaning-like sounds would keep him awake, he slowly drifted off until a young boy’s voice began shouting,

Ali, Ali, wake up, you’ll be late for salah (prayer). Baba (father) said to get ready and come to the mosque (Islamic place of worship) quickly, the young boy admonished.

It was close enough for Ali to faintly hear the mu’adhdhin call the adhan (Islamic call to prayer) from the minaret (manara) of the mosque. Ali remembered his uncle who, as a servant of the mosque, a muezzin, chosen for his good character, would call for Muslims to come to prayer five times a day to offer namaaz prayers (ritualistic prayers to God) at dawn, noon, early evening, sunset and nightfall. Like it was second nature, what Ali had learned in the madrasa (religious school) from radical imams, he began performing Wudu (Ablution) to mentally and physically prepare for prayer by making niyyah (intention) to purify himself for the sake of Allah by internally stating he was performing Wudu for the pleasure of Allah and to seek closeness to Him, then washing his hands and quietly focusing on why he was about to pray. Without ablution, you cannot read the Qur’an, pray, or make tawaf (pilgrimage). Muslims do not pray for the benefit of Allah. Allah does not need human prayers because he has no needs at all. Muslims pray because God has told them that they are to do this, and because they believe that they obtain great benefit in doing so. He gargled water in his mouth three times to remove any food, inhaling water into his nose to clear his breathing passages, then washed his face three times spreading water from his right ear to his left ear, and from his hairline down to his chin, finally washing his feet and forearms three times, cleaning his head and washing out his ears.

He was ready to stand facing the Qibla, the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca which all Muslims face when they pray during salah, as he lined up behind his Baba, taking a few moments of silence to think about what he was about to do, muffling his ears with his index fingers then covering his ears with his hands, to help set his intention and to focus on the words he would say. Why was Ali calling the adhan, what did his faith mean to him and to the ummah, the community?

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar...Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar!

Allah is the greatest (God is great)

I testify that there is no god but Allah.

I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.

Come to prayer.

Come to success.

Prayer is better than sleep.

Hasten toward the best thing.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar...Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar!

Allah is the greatest (God is great)

There is none worthy of worship except God.

Right after completing the adhan, Ali went into a du’a, or personal prayer or meditation.

Deep in his mind, he faintly heard the moaning-like sounds, as if coming out of a dream, and woke up to the hotel manager knocking on his door. It was the afternoon!

The manager was delivering a message from Jalal that they wanted Ali to rest, eat, relax, exercise, swim, and enjoy all the amenities of the Sofitel for the next couple of days, and to get his body-clock adjusted. There was nothing that had to be done, and they would come to the hotel on Saturday. Enjoy the weekend. And Ali did just that, reveling in room service...room service...room service!!!


The Boys

On Saturday, Jalal and his brothers took Ali to their company’s offices where Ali was treated like an honored guest by the office staff, catering to his wishes for gawa Turki (Turkish coffee), shi (tea), cookies and cakes. Business in the Kingdom was booming and their office was a flurry of activity, the latest of which involved negotiations with one of the finest woodworking companies of Denmark, to enter into a joint venture for bidding on multimillion dollar Saudi government contracts.

But for now, they all sat around, almost in a circle, laughing and carrying-on about the many good times they had at school, and the partying they did around town. Jalal and his brothers were dressed in white thobes, they said, and two of them wore a white guthra (headdress) and two, a red and white checkered shimak (headdress), and all of them wore colorful leather sandals. In the heat of Saudi Arabia, Ali was in his usual attire, black slacks and white, open-collar-no-tie, short sleeve shirt, black shoes.

Do you remember when we first met at school, it was at the law school, Jalal asked, in the lunchroom, lounge area next to the library?

Oh yeah, how could I forget, Ali reminisced, I was ‘holding court’ on the ping pong table, dispatching my classmate challengers, until it was your brother, Ali’s, turn to play."

Well, the fact that both their names were Ali was an immediate ice-breaker, although it was a strange moment when something was said in Arabic, and Ali said,

Don’t ask me man, I don’t speak Arabic. I was named after Muhammad Ali!

Everybody in the lounge roared with laughter. After a very friendly game, they moved on to playing foosball, then adjourned to the hamburger joint off campus to greet and eat. They were serious students and preferred to study at the law school library because there were less distractions and it was quieter. Law school students were serious, they said.

So they walked together from the law school building, across the street, then half-way down the block to ‘Yakey’s,’ the hamburger joint between the law school and the main university campus. As they walked, Jalal asked Ali where he was from.

I’m from back east, New York, where before I began law school, I taught special education in the south Bronx. I’ve got one more year of school, then its the bar exam, Ali said, how about you guys?

Jalal, who appeared to be the older of the two, said, We both have a year to go, and then we’ll go back to Saudi Arabia, and our younger brothers, Marwan and Yousef, will come to start their schooling in this area beginning with studying English at one of the community colleges, like we did, Inshallah!

Ali learned that there were many students from Middle East countries going to the university and surrounding colleges because the area was one prominent in academics for English as a second language. They had attended smaller area colleges for ESL studies for several years, before applying to the university.

What did you study in college? Ali asked.

I majored in political science and minored, if you will, in history and religion, Ali replied. How long have you both been here?

About five years now, Ali answered. How about you, how long does law school take? he asked.

Three years, I’ve got one more. But its not like college, its a lot of studying, and with interning at Legal Services, there’s not much time for anything else, Ali lamented, as he opened the door to Yakey’s.

The place was busy and they got the last available booth of hard, dark wood carved up with initials

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