See Phuket And Die, Chapter Seven
The Safari Beach Hotel lobby was a small outdoor affair with a swimming pool and a restaurant nearby.
Hussein asked the desk clerk if he could speak to the manager. When the manager came, he explained he would be having a party in his room and did not want to be disturbed after the young ladies had arrived. He was expecting a dozen girls and anytime before six-thirty he would need to have sent to his room: twenty-four towels, two bottles of Johnny Walker Black, two bottles of tequila, two dozen bottles of mixed sodas, extra glasses, ice buckets, two dozen bottles of beer and a large bag of ice to be put in the bathroom sink. Hussein pressed five thousand baht into the manager’s hand to insure good service.
It was going to be an expensive night but it would be worth it.
He had not mentioned the clitoral cleansing to his father even though his father knew and approved of female circumcision. It has been practiced in the Middle East and Africa long before the birth of Christianity or Islam, as long ago as 163 B.C. in Egypt and that was where Doctor Hussein lived with his parents. He was twenty-four years old, had a good start in life, going to school to be a doctor. His family was rich and privileged. He was already blessed to have made the obligatory trip to Mecca. Soon he would perform the ultimate act, God willing.
The practice of FGC or female genital circumcision had been good for both of his sisters. They were more desirable to male suitors. Their bodies were cleaner now and more healthy and more importantly there would be a marked decrease in the risk of female promiscuity as FGC reduces sexual pleasure. Circumcised women are considered of a higher status than those who are not and the parents can demand a higher bridal price.
Hussein had a very important job to do in Thailand and his father would be afraid that his mission might be compromised if he was found to be doing these cleansing acts which had only a small part to do with their sacred religion of Islam.
FGC was part of a social, family, religious and political cohesion – a bond of solidarity in a new society gone mad.
Hussein and his family were Islamic fundamentalists. They knew that the battle for God had to be brought to the world and they were willing to do it. Hussein’s older brother Muhammad had gone to fight the infidels in Iraq and had been martyred.
Hussein had a great deal of work to do before he would be able to join him in Paradise.
It was seven o’clock and the girls started to arrive at the hotel. They all made the obligatory stop at the front desk to leave their identification cards. It was just usual procedure for the safety of the guests. They made their way to the room and the boldest of them, one of the English speaking girls knocked on the door. This was going to be easy, there were twelve of them; how much attention could this man take? They would all crowd around him and have some fun. Hussein opened the door wide and smiled. ‘Please make yourself at home. Have a drink.’
The women were delighted to see the large bar and the liquor. They were also relieved to see that he was young and well built. The girls had heard that he was a foreigner from possibly the Middle East and had visions of a fat smelly man. The girls were quite happy as they made their way to the bar.
Some were attractive and others were just average. At the massage parlor they had all worn gowns but now they were relaxed and in regular street clothes. Hussein encouraged them all to help themselves to as many drinks as they wanted.
He found a girl that spoke English and asked her to make an announcement for him. He told her to speak in Thai so everyone understood and at the same time he fanned out a fat wad of thousand baht bills. He already knew that money got everyone’s attention.
‘Please everyone to relax and change into a towel to cover yourselves. As soon as you do this I will give you six thousand baht each and then another six thousand before you leave. In the mean time put some music on, take another drink and have fun.’
Hussein took a bottle of water from the refrigerator and sat down to wait. He was interested to see that the girls were a bit shy. There was a huge stack of towels on the sofa and some went into the bathroom to change and shower and the others wrapped the towels around themselves and slipped out their clothes from underneath. He had to admire how neatly it was done.
Within an hour, every girl was fast asleep. The doctor had purchased a total of nine hundred vailums from various pharmacies in town. The laws here were pretty lax. He had ground them up and dissolved them into the sodas, beers before the girls came. The good part was that it’s impossible to overdose with this relaxant. One might sleep longer than usual, even for a few days but a person would always wake up so there was no danger involved. He went from girl to girl, shaking and poking them but none stirred. He had bought a hammer in case anyone revived at an inopportune moment.
Jip had sent one man to immigration to go through the records while he stayed near the front desk in the police station. There were hundreds of hotels to call and Jip’s plan was to stay at the station house to interview every person brought in.
‘Hey, how do you like this one?’ The desk sergeant held up a slip of paper. It read, Safari Beach Hotel,
Thawiwong Road, Doctor Sayyid Hussein. ‘Checked in last week.’
‘That’s him. I know it is. The hotel’s right around the corner from Soi Bangla and the victims were found near by.
I’ll take this one. Call you when I get there.’ Jip rushed for his Honda.
‘I thought you said two man teams.’ The desk sergeant shouted after him.
Doctor Hussein made sure the door was locked and then laid out the bandages, antiseptic and scalpels.
He would do each girl where she lay. It would be easy now that they had all undressed themselves
It was interesting to see that most of the girls had shaved themselves down there. He put on his surgical gloves and sprinkled the antiseptic liberally on the first girl and started cutting. It went as quick and easy as pie. He sliced off the hood neatly and easily but the clitoris itself was a more involved procedure and took extra time. Still, it did not take long to do all twelve, more alcohol on the wounds and then a fat gauze compress laid on top. He kept the hammer hooked on his pants; if anyone woke up screaming it would be now but they were all out cold. He could imagine the pain, the panic and the howling when they came to in the morning. It would be complete pandemonium.
He showered, dressed and simply walked out of the hotel. No sense in formally checking out was there?
He left his clothes and suitcase behind, only carrying his passport, billfold and a fat stack of cash. His beard was neatly trimmed; he was just another tourist on a rented motorbike. He had bought a cheap ninety-nine baht helmet and discarded the larger one with the face shield. The police might be looking for just such an identifying sign. He drove out of town towards the warehouse. A year's rent had been generously paid in advance and a bank account set up by the owner to pay for the electric, paid in excess by the renter to cover any expenses. Privacy was important and money could buy cooperation here.
In fact everything cost money. Just the same as back home. A little tea money was good for everyone.
Lieutenant Jipthep drove his motorbike into the hotel driveway but could not get far. It was filled with parked cars.
He ran to the front desk. ‘Doctor Hussein. What room?’ He shouted.
The attendant did not have to look it up, so many visitors tonight were going to the same room, all of them girls.
‘Room 609, second floor. Down that way,’ she pointed past the swimming pool. ‘Up the stairs to the second floor then go right.’
‘Do you know if the doctor is in his room?’
‘I’m almost sure of it. Let me call to check,’ she picked up the house phone.
‘No, no. Don’t call.’ Jip took the receiver from her hand and placed it back on it’s cradle.
‘Give me a house key to the room.’
The desk clerk handed Jip a plastic card. He grabbed it and ran towards the stairs. The hallway smelled of mildew and there were gecko drippings on the walls as if the walls themselves were crying small black tears. He heard the sounds from a few televisions as he walked quickly towards room 609. He listened at the door. All was quiet.
Jipthep slipped the card into the slot and slowly turned the door handle, pulling his revolver from his holster as he stepped into the room. A strong smell of alcohol pummled his nostrils, more like a hospital but there was also the odor of whisky in the air.
His hand slid along the wall for a light switch. When he found it, he couldn’t believe his eyes, girls sprawled all over, their legs open, all with a white bandage covering their privates. Gun still out, he checked the bathroom. There was a girl on the floor in the same condition and no sign of Doctor Hussein.
He put two fingers on one girls neck and then another one. At least they were alive. Jip flipped open his phone and called the station house. ‘Get every hospital on the phone. We need all the ambulances they have. There’s about a dozen people down and they need help.’
Jip ran down to the driveway and collared the parking attendant. ‘Get all of these cars out of here. Put them across the street. I want this driveway cleared.’
‘That’s the no parking side.’
‘Get moving. I’ll take care of it.’
Jip went back to the front desk. ‘Has the doctor checked out?’
‘Do you have his passport?’
‘No, but we have a copy.’
‘Give it to me.’
It was not a clear copy but clear enough. A young man with a dark beard, looking right into the camera.
His name and address clearly visible on the same page.
‘Do you have a scanner on your computer?’
‘Good, copy this photo and put it on the desktop and then connect me to the internet.’ Jip sent the copy to the police station and called the desk sergeant. ‘I just sent you an email with a photo of our man. Send it to all the immigration offices. This man is not to leave the country. Then send it to every police station that you can with an arrest order warning that the man is dangerous.’
But would the man attempt to leave the country, fly out, back to Egypt? He might if he was on the way to the airport not knowing that the girls had been discovered. There was a chance that could happen. If the man was in the area he would see the ambulances and know that the game was up and either go into hiding or try to flee – which?
Jip waited until the ambulances arrived and then drove back to the station. He was mildly surprised to see the front area crowded with mid-Eastern looking men. Jip had not called off the search and the room was quickly filling up with Egyptians.
‘Copy all their passports and send them into my office one at a time.’
He would make this quick. A fast interview for each man and he would show them the photo copy of the doctor.
It took almost an hour and he did not gain any additional information. By now all of the officers had a copy of the doctor’s passport photo. Jip had already posted two men in the Safari Beach Hotel; one in the lobby and one in the doctor’s room.
You never knew.
‘Everyone out on the street. We know who we are looking for. I don’t have to tell you that this is a high-risk assignment. Let’s be careful out there and let’s get this guy.’
Doctor Hussein could be anywhere by now. At least they knew who this maniac cutter was and what he looked like. But why would he do this here? Risk jail time doing this to girls against their wills. Why not stay home and exercise his options safely? What was he trying to do? His coming all the way to Thailand? True, the country had the reputation of sexual freedom but one man could not make a difference doing this kind of thing. It would just be a bit of bad press for Thailand and for Egypt and then people would forget about what had happened to a dozen or so bargirls.
The warehouse that his father had rented last year was just an hour out of town. Hussein had been there often in the past month. He had a huge truck and a fork lift in the building. He had flown to Chang Mai and purchased fertilizer months ago. Fifteen barrels of it. The problem with the ammonia nitrate based material was that it was too dense, it had to be removed from the barrels and mixed with ground aluminum, zinc or potassium sulfate to lower the temperature threshold or it would not explode; it would only burn slowly or melt. It was labor intensive work and he had to do it alone. The nitrate in the material would supply the oxygen when combined with something like diesel fuel and would allow the mixture to burn or explode even when no air was present.
With all the ships and trucks coming out of Ko Sire, the shipping port on the south side of the island, there was no problem to buy twenty five barrels of diesel fuel. Hussein had picked it up himself. He alternated the barrels in the truck with the fertilizer and when he found he had some room left, he bought large ten tanks of propane gas. The truck was loaded and ready to go. It was bigger than the truck that Timothy McVeigh had used at the Oklahoma City bombing. A half dozen sticks of dynamite with a simple fuse also purchased up north would set it off.
The lethal combination would easily destroy a city block, reduce it to rubble. Hussein climbed into the cab of the big truck and lit a cigarette. He wanted to arrive in Patong Town at one-thirty in the morning. Prime time. Soi Bangla and the Tiger Disco would be packed with people. He would annihilate everyone inside and within a one block area in all directions. It would shatter the Thai economy, tourism would stop the next day. His father had made arrangements that documents and flyers would be released exhorting the Muslims in the South to rise up against the government and demand their right to a free state.
He had traveled to South Thailand last year. He went to the mosques, spoke to the religious leaders, the imams.
He could not find anyone really in charge, only many groups of dissatisfied Muslims who were content to shoot policeman from their motorcycles, explode small bombs and kill the occasional school teacher or Buddhist. The insurgency was loosely put together with no clear goals. Of course, they wanted their land back but that was as far as their thoughts went. They were more ethno-nationalists than true Islamic believers. Hussein was sure he could exploit their separatist goals into a great jihad.
But he was wrong. He finally realized that the Thais were too damn stupid or just not interested. There were some firebrands down there, leaders that welcomed violence but their vision extended only to killing as many Buddhists in their area as they could. In the end he gave up and vowed to carry on alone. They just couldn’t see the big picture.
Hell, if the great Hambali, who organized the Bali bombings, could not convince the leaders of the mighty Jemaah Islamiyah, whom he met with in Thailand, to bomb the embassies and tourist spots in Bangkok, why did he think he could convince these stupid southern farmers to join the fray?
Hambali stayed around too long trying to organize resistance in the North. He was arrested in Ayutthaya and was currently a guest at Guantanamo. Hussein vowed that this would never happen to him.
His thoughts floated back to the women in the hotel, their smooth skin and round breasts. He was fascinated to see them naked in his hotel tonight and felt aroused but he could not have sex without being married and it was forbidden for him to drink alcohol. It didn’t bother him because soon he would be in the arms of seven beautiful vestal virgins.
He would be a martyr and a hero to his people. This would make the Bali bombing look like a few firecrackers being set off.
Hussein considered driving along the beach road and turning on Soi Bangla which was closed to traffic and that might seem to be a good way to go. Race up the street with no cars in the way and drive right into the bars underneath the Tiger Disco which on a night like this would possibly hold two thousand people. But no, he wouldn’t do that because the dance floor was in the back of the building on the second floor, not in the front.
He would wait patiently in traffic on Rat-U-Thit Road until he arrived at the rear driveway which was long and lined with restaurants but was also closed to vehicular traffic in the evening. There was just a thin red and white metal bar blocking the way. It would be no trouble at all. This would give him a good head start. He would light the fuse, gun the big engine and smash his way as far into the first floor as he could. Doctor Hussein turned the key in the ignition and the huge vehicle rumbled to life. He shifted into gear and drove into the night – to his destiny. Paradise would be his. Praise be to God.
Lt. Jipthep’s men were patrolling the entire beach road, the bars and Soi Bangla. Jip slowly drove his motorbike through the area, checking on his men, searching for someone or something out of place, a small clue of some kind but with the menagerie of locals and visitors of all kinds who could say what was normal and what was out of place in Patong?
He needed some luck tonight but would he have any?
There is only one word for this story – EXCELLENT!