Excerpt from Infamy

When the waiter had brought their drinks and left them, Raquel leaned forward over the table. “Well, as you know, our assignment is to stop a terrorist attack.”

“Before you go any further,” he said, “can you tell me your source of information?”

“Sure I can. You probably know that the men accused of being involved in 11-M are still on trial”

“I read that in the newspaper.”

“A few days ago one of them offered us information in return for a more lenient sentence.”

“What kind of sentence is he facing?”

“Almost certainly life in prison.”

“And you’re willing to bargain with him?”

“Why not? If his information helps us to stop an attack, then it’s worth bargaining for.”

“But what if he gave you false information?”

“If he did, we’ve been conned.”

“It sounds like you’ve already made a deal with him.”

“We have. And we already have his information.”

“What did he tell you?” Fenly asked.

“He told us about an attack they’re planning. If you look at a map,” Raquel said, drawing an imaginary line on the table with her index finger, “you’ll see that Spain is a natural bridge between Europe and North Africa. We were conquered by Islamic armies from North Africa, and we were under their rule for hundreds of years. We finally drove them out, but now after more than five hundred years they’re coming back.”

“You mean as immigrants.”

She smiled. “Yes. But also as merchants and financiers.”

“Are they involved in international trade?”

“They’re involved in the drug trade. North Africa is a main source of drugs for Europe, and Spain is where these drugs enter the European market.”

“So money from drugs changes hands in Spain.”

“A lot of money. Some goes back to North Africa, some stays here, and some goes elsewhere. We’re interested in the money that goes elsewhere.”

“Where does it go?”

“We don’t know. But we know what they’re doing with it.”

“What are they doing with it?”

“They’re buying weapons.”

“What kind of weapons?”

“Presumably weapons of mass destruction.”

“What are they planning to do with these weapons?”

“They’re planning to attack a target in New York City.”

“Did he tell you the target?”

“He doesn’t know.”

“Well, we don’t have to know,” Fenly said. “If we could find the money we could follow it to the weapons, and we could stop them from being deployed.”

“We could,” Raquel said, “but we don’t know where to look for the money.”

“So my job is to find the money.”

“That’s your specialty, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, but I can’t guarantee success.”

“You have to,” she said urgently.

“You really believe what this guy told you?”

“I have an instinct about it.”

“A cop’s instinct?”

“A woman’s instinct.”

“Can we talk with him?”

“We can give the interrogators questions to ask him, and we can watch the interview.”

“How soon could that happen?”

“Tomorrow if you’re ready.”

“I’ll be ready. How much time do we have?”

She frowned. “He doesn’t know the exact date, but he says the attack is scheduled to occur in about two weeks.”

“Two weeks? Then we better get off our fucking butts.”

From the look in her eyes he knew she had understood what he meant, but he also knew she wouldn’t have put it quite that way in Castilian Spanish.