The room was dark.
The only light coming in was from the window at the top corner of the wall to my right. It was a small room; that stank of sweat, human waste and fear. I stood by the door to the room, and observed him. He was seated. Both arms bind behind the chair, his head facing down. His legs were fastened together to those of the chair he sat on. He was topless, with blood dripping from his lips and onto his chest. Trailing down to his navel where it formed a small pool. He was heaving, breathing raggedly and wheezing a few times. Before him stood a soldier, well built with arms the size of both of mine put together. He was bald, and had a cigarette hanging from his lips. He wore leather gloves on both hands. Gloves that had been doctored with to contain hard materials at the knuckles, which aided in the interrogation that was going on that evening.
“What is your name?” Kazeem asked the man again.
The battered man did not answer…a decision which would only anger the soldier more and result in him being punched again.
“What is your name?” Kazeem repeated the question, his fists clenched and about to connect with the captive.
A low punch to the abdomen followed the unanswered question, and the man screamed, then coughed. More blood spilling out of his mouth. Kazeem held him by the jaw and brought the cigarette to his left eye.
“TELL ME YOUR NAME!”
“You will rot in hell, you infidel.” The prisoner spat with bloodied lips. Kazeem got angered by that reply and press the burning cigarette just below his left eye. The man screamed for a while. Kazeem whacked him across the face with his left hand and gave him another blow to his belly. The man coughed again, and spit out more blood. The sight had become gruesome enough for me to bear.
“STOP!” I ordered Kazeem just as he was about to throw another one of his punches. Kazeem gave me a look that scared the shit out of me. His eyes were bloodshot and his face contorted. Like an animal seeking to maim and kill which could not be satisfied even after the death of its prey.
“Wait outside” I told him. He grudgingly left, the departure of his massive hulk suddenly made the room appear less small. I walked over to where the battered man sat and squatted just before him, making sure not to step on the blood and spittle all over the floor. I looked at him for a while, before speaking, the words coming out of my mouth like I was giving some kind of a speech.
“Ibn Yakob Ahmed. Born in Libya to Nigerian parents in 1984. Left Libya at the age of 12 to join the Al Shaqri of Egypt, a group of trained fighters who did private jobs for people who could pay for their services. Private jobs like assassinations, heists and robberies, guerrilla warfare, kidnaps and abductions, and most recently… terrorism. Rose through the ranks of the Al Shaqri, proving to be a man of great determination and expertise at whatever mission he set out to accomplish. His actions fuelled by the eternal hatred he has for the Christian religion. Over a hundred churches destroyed by bombs all around Africa, with the latest being in Nigeria, the very country of his origins. Thousands of Christians massacred and mutilated. A wanted man, he is. A man who does not fear death, it seems.”
At that moment, I saw a smile form on his lips. Then a chuckle followed. But he didn’t speak.
“Tell me, Yakob. Uhh…can I call you Yakob? Or Ibn? Or by your codename, Hussein?”
With that his eyes raised to find mine and I knew I had him. “Oh, you didn’t think we would find out all about you, did you?”
A frown formed on his face. The man stared at me, with darkness in his eyes.
“You are the leader of the Al Mahagi. A cult following of the late terrorist, Osama Bin Laden. You had the opportunity to meet him once. And on that occasion, he called you Hussein. And he gave you his blessings, to cause havoc in the name of Allah.”
His face had become an ugly scowl. He surely hadn’t hoped we would find out about his Al Quaeda connections. He thought he had been very discreet. Finally, he spoke.
“You are all fools. All of you. FOOLS! And you will all die. It might be this night, it might be the one after it, but it is an assurance that I am making to you. And your deaths will not be pleasant.”
“You’re making threats while being bound to a chair in a dark room in a place where you don’t even know? Nobody knows where this place is, Yakob. You are here all by yourself. If anybody is going to die this night, it is going to be you. But we might decide to spare you, if you tell us were your other members are hiding. We know they plan to bomb another church soon so they can force us to release you. You know we cannot do that.”
He laughed at me. A wicked laugh. “You would prefer that hundreds more die for the sake of one man who you refused to let go?”
“I would prefer that we end this whole mess once and for all. Tell me where your men are.”
“You must be a fool if you expect me to tell you such a thing.”
He spoke like he was In control. I looked at him. He returned my stare. I knew we had to do the unthinkable if we were to get any information out of him.
“KAZEEM!” The soldier stepped into the room. “Bring the electric chair.” I told him without looking away from the terrorist. His face became downcast once more as he realized what we wanted to do to him. He was resilient still, and chose not to plead.
“Kazeem enjoys torturing people. He is a muslim, but he married a Christian wife. He hates terrorists, especially the ones who massacres Christians. He is going to make you suffer.”
The terrorist just spat at my feet and gave me another scowl. He was ready to suffer.
I nodded at Kazeem to commence the procedure and left the room. I had taken just four steps towards the elevator before I heard his first scream. It was a violent scream. One which came with a kind of pain no human should ever want to experience in his lifetime. By the time I had reached the topmost level and stepped out of the elevator, I received a call. A call from Kazeem.
Hussein had finally spilled the beans.