This espionage thriller describes how MI6 was able to place a special non official under-cover agent in the Pakistani Al Qaeda organization, with the aim to finding Osama Bin Laden. His name was Naeem Fiazudin and before being recruited, he was an ex SAS soldier of Pakistani origin with an exceptional fighting record in Afghanistan. He discovered that Al Qaeda was currently being run by a far more powerful man in the background. After the CIA raid in Abbottabad, in which Ben Laden was killed, Al Qaeda and their Taliban allies, decided to use the skills of their new recruit to mount a raid on the Pakistani atomic bomb factory near Islamabad. MI6 came up with an ingenious and supposedly fail safe plan, which allowed the raid to go ahead and expose the danger that both MI6 and the CIA had for years feared, with the aim of forcing the Indian sub-continent to put their nuclear arsenal under international control as a step towards disarmament.
Mike Sander, the new MI6 director had recruited Naeem Fiazudin together another ex SAS soldier, John Sebastian, who was severely injured and took up the position of an Al Jazeera investigative journalist. The two of them were close friends and took part in the Tora Bora raid in Afghanistan at the beginning of the hunt for Bin Laden. The journalist was the convert contact man for Naeem.
The story relates the Odyssey of Naeem Fiazudin, starting with his recruitment in a Mosque in South London leading to him joining the Red Crescent organization in Pakistan and subsequent contact with the Taliban and Al Qaeda in the Swat Valley, where he had to prove himself. He was first asked to organize and mount a raid on the Pul- e-Charkhi prison in Kabul, where a brother of the Afghan Taliban leader Omar was being held and due to be executes. The raid was successful and he got the attention of a man known as the Sheikh in Dubai, who was the de-facto leader of the world wide Al Qaeda network, under the cover of a wealthy and successful businessman in the building industry.
The Sheikh decided that his new recruit should train a team of the best Al Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban fighter and mount a raid on the Pakistani Kahuta bomb making factory and steal four small portable atomic bombs. They would be aided by an inside man, who was an engineer in the end control, who was a devout Muslim and Taliban sympathizer. His job was to build in a GSM triggering device, so the bombs could be detonated anywhere in the world, in particular US and Europe. To this end the Sheikh had an ingenious plan. However, MI6 had also a high ranking Engineer in placed in the PAEC, which oversaw the Kahuta plant. His job was to disarm the bombs and place a small tracing and tracking device in them. Naeem would only be given the go ahead if he successfully accomplished this, just before the bombs were due to be collected.
Something went wrong, and although the Sheikh and the top Al Qaeda leaders, were captured or killed in a meeting in Dubai, the control of the bombs got into the hands of the IS leader. Mike Sanders, together with Naeem Fiazudin and John Sebastian had to stop him using them before it was too late, because one of the bombs had not been neutralized. This bomb was traced to London.
Stuart Craigie writes an action packed thriller in The Pakistani Connection. After 9/11, Bin Laden disappears. The government leaders of the UK and the US want Bin Laden and his top leaders found and eliminated. The war on terror escalates; Special Forces from both nations deploy task forces to seek out and destroy Bin Laden and his cohorts. However, the real mystery is who is running the show while Bin Laden hides? The world is on the brink of Jihadist Armageddon. Al Qaeda claims they are going to "unleash on the free world a horror that far exceeds 9/11." Two men, Naeem Fiazudin and John Sebastian, go undercover to try to stop it. Under the guidance of MI6 and with the aid of the CIA, they infiltrate the world of Al Qaeda. What they discover is beyond frightening, it is the world's worst terrifying nightmare. Once they were part of the British Army's SAS, now they are the world's only hope.
The Pakistani Connection by Stuart Craigie takes you into the heart of the terrorist world. The story's plot takes you behind the scenes, deep into the mindset of Al Qaeda. Keeping you on the edge of your seat, Craigie pens the struggle to overcome the IS movement with intrigue and fear. The mixture of these two emotions runs rampant throughout the narrative. The idea of soldiers turned spies is not new; regardless, it makes for an exciting plot. The two main characters are an exceptional team; their characters are equal and vital to the plot's outcome. Craigie buffets the heroes' strengths against each other, creating an 'iron sharpens iron' effect. I appreciated that they were real, feeling emotions in thought and action. They were not portrayed as larger than life, superheroes beyond belief, but as courageous, daring and vulnerable. The setting changes frequently, creating a steady flow of movement. Page upon page, the action rises to the climactic turning point, and then descends rapidly into its conclusion, leaving the reader out of breath and satisfied, knowing all is well with the world once again.