Friday, August 19, 2016

Location: Classified

“Allah will see you in hell,” Fardousa said.  

“I will take my chances with Allah,” I said. “He’s my miraa-chewing buddy.”

 Fardousa greeted her teeth and growled like an animal. The Smith & Wesson Belly Waist-chain handcuffs restrained her.

“You infidel,” she screamed.

I shrugged. She scowled at me.

“If you think I’m going to break,” she said. “You’re wasting your time.”

“I know…”

“Then I will see you in court. As far as I know, torture is illegal in this country…”

“Who said I will torture you?” I said. “But I know what will torture you more.”

A tic ran through her face. For an instance, anxiety clouded her expression, but she recovered immediately.

“I thought by now you knew that waterboarding, sleep and food deprivation, and pain don’t work on me,” she smirked.

“When you and Khalid left the University of Nairobi, you went to Mombasa. Someone who believed in your cause took you in…” I started.

Her face turned pale. She looked at me with frightened eyes.

“They took in your children… oh, you didn’t think we’d know about them? Dear me.” I paused to let that sink in, then continued, “Despite what those human rights activists and their greedy organizations tell you, Fardousa, they don’t rattle the snake that is the government. Why? Because the government registers their organizations, waives taxes on them, gives them grants, and finances them to yell about human rights violations to keep the opposition relevant. So, those NGOs who claim to expose human rights violations by the security agencies don’t like being linked with terrorism.”

She looked at me stonily.

“Fardousa, no Muslim for Human Rights lawyer is coming to defend you. Same as Kenya Human Rights Commission. As far as MUHURI is concerned, you are a terrorist. They have distanced themselves from you. Prevention of Torture Bill has never being signed into law. Know what that means? I am the law now…”

“So what? You’ll kill me? The better. Allah will hold a party for me in Jannah…”

“As I told you, no one will torture you, or kill you.”

I snapped my fingers and they were marched in. They were handcuffed, and gagged. When she saw them, she was like a demon, possessed. She lunged at me, but that is as far as she went.

“Don’t you hurt them,” she screamed. “Don’t you hurt them, you heathen, infidel…”

When they saw her, the children started crying.

“You cannot do this, they are children…”

“What about the thousands of children you will be killing? Are they not children?”

I signaled for the oldest, the boy, eight years old, to be put on the table in the far end of the interrogation room and strapped, facing up. I was ready to do anything to stop a bioterror attack in Nairobi even if it meant torturing children.

I placed a towel over the boy’s face and took a jar of water. I started by letting the water trickle slowly, but when that did not move her, I poured the whole jar. And another one. The boy jerked up, and began to spasm.

“Stop! Stop!” she screamed. “Stop, I will tell you what the target is.”


Fardousa was a nursing student at the University of Nairobi when she was arrested three years ago for conspiracy to commit a bioterrorism attack in Kenya. She was found with weaponized botulinum toxin when the National Intelligence Service intercepted communication linking her to a planned attack in the country that year. Investigations established that her husband, Doctor Khalid, a medical lecturer at the university, was the leader of the bioterrorism cell that was planning the attack.

Fardousa, her husband, and five other medical students from different universities and colleges, were arraigned in court; but they had no case to answer. Lack of evidence. The other students went back to school, but Fardousa and Dr Khalid went underground till yesterday when someone fitting Fardousa’s description was spotted at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi.


“Promise, please, that nothing will happen to my children,” she said.

“I can’t promise because I don’t know how your children will turn out to be, they could be terroristlets for all I know.”

“They don’t have to suffer because of me…”

“Don’t worry about that. We are not all savages as your radicalized jihadi mind thinks,” I told Fardousa. “Believe me, when your son thinks of this day and what he felt when I waterboarded him, he’ll think twice about becoming a terrorist... now, what’s the target?”

Fardousa stared at me. She took a deep breath, then said, “It’s Ngethu. Ngethu Water Treatment Plant…”

“When? How?”

“Today, that’s when,” she wet her lips. “And for how, what do you think? It’s the botulinum your corrupt justice system took money to release me with…”

I did not wait for her to finish. Over six million people in Nairobi could die by just turning on their water taps. 


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