Without Warning: Joel Rosenberg
Our world is comprised of many people of different races, religions and nationalities. All too often we get bogged down with stereotyping people and assuming because they are of one race, religious belief of country they are dangerous. Without warning takes the reader by surprise when ISIS takes center stage taking over the thinking of one man J.B. Collins a New York Times foreign correspondent dealing with a religious madman named Abu Khalif who creates, orchestrates and executes terror attacks that take our country by surprise, storm and won’t end until the last person in our country is dead. A religious lunatic, apocalyptic Islamic terrorist attacks begins as the author starts the novel with the State of the Union speech for the join session of Congress. Hoping that President Taylor will come clean, be truthful and finally state that he is going after Khalif and not leaving any stone unturned, meeting with him before the speech is given leaves J.B. angry, cold and frustrated by the words and thoughts of a president who is indecisive, divisive and refuses to face the realities of the situation and put it all on the line. Taylor’s ratings are raising after his the author shares what happens when he is kidnapped by ISIS, held as prisoner and finally saved and released. You would think that almost become beheaded he would go after the one person who jeopardized the lives of everyone in our country and has just begun his reign of terror on the American people and countries around the world. President Taylor has underestimated his adversary, does not understand him and his quest to destroy our country, inflict his own beliefs on all Americans and countries around the world and this ISIS Leader, Abu Khalif will not stop killing crucifying, burning, beheading and capturing men, women and children and anyone that fights him, disagrees with his ideology who dares to block his way. Collins is a tenacious, impetuous and astute reporter who takes chances and who has come face to face with Khalif and understands him and cannot comprehend why the President is not doing everything to take him down. Khalif is smart and has many cells working in the United States and other countries; the president seems more concerned with fighting in many other places and is not taking an active stance to rid the world of someone worse than Bin Laden. As all those related to ISIS Khalif stands firm in his belief, that he is the one that has been chosen by Allah to bring about the end of the world and then the prophesied Islamic messiah will rise: Mahdi. Collins sat with an interview with this man and during it assured him that he would manage to raise the black flag of ISIS over the White House. Hearing Taylor speak you realize that our president’s commitment to what he defines as political correctness and the fact that he does not seem to see past the fog in front of his eyes and clouded thinking to take down this horrific religious sadistic mastermind who before it’s over will kill millions. We hear J.B. taking to the President and directly comes to the point by asking what his plan will be or if he has one to take Abu down? The response is seriously difficult for any sane person to believe and the research into writing this book; the religious connotations and overtones are extensive. How do you tell the President he’s wrong? How can he awaken him to what will happen and did happen as a result of his blindness to the truth? The Middle East is within the circle of terror, the prime minister of Israel is dead, Amman, Jordan in ruins and Collins realizes as we all will soon enough that America will be next and you won’t believe to what magnitude. Telling him and other authorities that they need to have an all out manhunt to capture or kill Abu Kahlif, the ISIS leader in order to save lives goes to deaf ears. Things get more dangerous as the capital is hit during the State of the Union Address, exits are blocked, J.B. along with Harris his FBI security guy, and his brother Matt fight their way to safety but for how long and will they finally be able to take a solid deep breath. What follows are numerous attacks on schools, churches, cities, towns, buses, trains and much more and before all gets quite thousands are killed but the President still turns a blind eye. But, when Matt and J.B. want to weather a huge snowstorm so that they can go to see their mother and Matt’s family what happens next is right out of a news bulletin and ripped from the headlines as Matt’s family is attacked, his mother and son are killed and his wife and daughter are fighting for their lives. When FBI agent Harris offers him, Matt, Katie and Julie protection and to the witness protection program they think about the offer, realizing that they would not longer be able to connect with anyone from their pasts but refused the idea of being killed in a tragic accident. Things spiral out of control when they wind up in the Caribbean but J.B. is reckless, refuses to stay and somehow winds up in Israel finding his old girlfriend now in charge of the team to get Abu Khalif, working with the head of Mossad and no longer remaining where they placed him. Learning more about Abu, hearing his words and seeing him on a video he posted, Yael the one in charge and the rest of her team realize that something is going to happen as he spells it out in detail that he is going to strike, where they do not know when the day of Ascension mentioned in the Quran and the day is April 3.
Things take on many different turns when Yael and J.B. team up and pair up to go to Egypt, Jordan and other hot spots in order to meet with the three names given to him in a letter left to him including a huge inheritance by his friend Robert. Three men would offer help he hoped to find Abu, bring him to justice and take the threats away from the public in many different countries. But, just how far will he go and whose lives will be sacrificed as the author takes us deep inside the world of ISIS and other terrorist groups and we learn more about Mossad, their connection and how J.B. asks for help from sources you won’t expect.
Ari Shalit is the head of Mossad and deciding to include J.B. presented great risks. Two of the operatives that he was to contact one, Prichard who was thought to be dead and the other Walid Hussam was jailed but somehow things about both would change Mohammed bin Zayed, the UAE intelligence chief and the only name on the list that was an active intelligence agent. But, when J.B. wanted to go to Cairo first he was sent to Dubai as Shalit was in charge. Learning more Intel they realized that Khalif could hit anywhere and that he does not have to hit the Pope not directly but bomb some churches around the county all soft targets yet the point was clear. ISIS according to their sources in Intel is plotting to major hits against the theme parts across the U.S. where school children would be on their Spring break. Cairo was next and dealing with President Mahfouz would be quite interesting as J.B. hoped that he would work with the U.S. to capture Abu Khalif. Mossad provided targeting assistance and other aid at times but this was a high-risk operation and the outcome could be deadly as he finally meets Hussam. Hussam and El-Badway betted him and when they met with Wahid Mahfouz the President of Egypt things would change. The U.S. president was not taking ISIS seriously but this man was and believed he wanted to take down the Islamic extremists. Khalif has the notion or thought that mankind can speed up the coming of the Muslim Messiah-Mahdi and hastens the establishment of Allah’s Kingdom’s on earth. This might be foolish talk but there are many men, women and others that were taken in by this and Khalif has convinced himself that committing and executing as the author graphically describes his mission, an outright genocide would be the best and surest way to speed up the coming of the caliphate. Think about the ramifications if he succeeds!
Thinking about his mother, niece and those that lost their lives and the fact that something was about to happen as he was the main target of Khalif’s actions, threats and that someone close to him helping him would lose his life because of him. Guilt reigned and J.B. and Yael talked over many other places where this man could be hiding when they decided to allow him to speak with Ari and he would speak to the president of Egypt and allow him to know J.B.’s connection to Mossad. This was huge as Intel would be gotten from numerous sources and somehow they learned about his four wives and seven children and his father-in-law.
The author ties it all together as they decide their targets were wrong and not the wives and children but the man known as Al-Siddiq but just how did he fit in and why was he holding up in a hotel for days doing nothing? What will happen if he comes face to face with this man? Who if anyone will take him out and will Matt, Katie and their daughter ever be safe? Will they resume their real identities? What happens at the end is startling, surprising as the fate of one man is unknown and the end result did they take out Abu Khalif? Would the American President finally realize the everlasting threat of ISIS and other terrorist groups? What is the fate of J.B.? More to come I am sure when author Joel Rosenberg pens the next J.B. Collins novel. Events, scenes, discussions that are heart stopping and will make you hold your breath as you the reader will feel the tension rise in the entire group of many countries working in unison to take down this deadly man. But, will it ever end even if he dies? Every country in the world has to be on the alert every minute of every day or you too will be caught in a deadly attack: WITHOUT WARNING!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine