Slow Burn by Stephen Leather

Slow Burn

Slow Burn (Spider Shepherd Series #17) by Stephen Leather
English | 2020| Mystery/Thriller| ePUB | 3.5 MB

Should we bring them back?
There are thousands of jihadi brides in refugee camps in the Middle East.
Some of them were once British before they were stripped of their citizenship.
Were they brainwashed or simply naive when they set out for Syria as teenagers?
And, if they were allowed to return, would they pose a threat to our country?
Spider Shepherd is about to be sent on an extraordinary mission to the Syrian border by his MI5 boss.
There he will have to decide which of the women he meets is still a threat, and if not, which of them has information useful to the Secret Service and can be allowed back.
His are life or death decisions.
But there is one bride he must take back to the UK whatever her circumstances.
She is the wife of a notorious ISIS bombmaker, Salam Jaraf. Jaraf is an asylum seeker who has information on terrorist cells in Britain.
But the bombmaker will only tell MI5 what he knows if his wife and son are brought to him.
However, it soon becomes obvious that hostile forces are following Spider and Mrs Jaraf across Turkey.
Bringing this woman back from the warzone will become one of the most dangerous missions Spider has ever undertaken.

Shepherd picked up one of the brochures. It was in English and Arabic and detailed various terrorist acts, including driving into crowds, poisoning products on supermarket shelves, and attacking uniformed servicemen with knives and acid. Possession of such material was enough to guarantee a prison sentence for Karim, but as with the cannabis, they had bigger fish to fry.

Weston walked around the perimeter of the room, running the scanner along the skirting board, then checked the walls.

Singh finished copying the laptop’s hard drive and he unplugged his portable drive. He took his MacBook from his briefcase, booted it up and then inserted the thumb drive into the USB slot. There were dozens of files on the drive, including a file of photographs of the Bullring shopping centre, one of the largest in the country, and another file of pictures taken around Birmingham Airport.

‘Possible targets?’ said Singh.

‘The obvious ones,’ said Shepherd.

Singh flicked through the files. There were screenshots of Google Maps and satellite photographs, mainly of government buildings and public areas. One of the files was named ‘BANKS’ and Singh clicked on it. Inside were details of three bank accounts.

‘Nice,’ said Shepherd.

‘I’m copying it all as we speak,’ said Singh, tapping on his keyboard. ‘Including all the porn, and there’s a lot of it. There’s enough kiddie porn on his computer to put him away for a long time, never mind the terrorism files.’

Shepherd picked up the copy of the Koran and flicked through it. Towards the end there were several phone numbers written in the margin. He took out his phone and photographed the numbers, then picked up the dictionary. There were no notes in it, though dozens of words and phrases had been underlined, presumably ones that Karim had difficulty with.

Weston finished checking the walls. He stood in the middle of the room, the scanner at his side, and looked around. There was a faded carpet on the floor speckled with crumbs and stray hairs. It didn’t look as if it had been cleaned in years, if ever.

The curtains were just as grubby as the carpet, stained from years of being pulled open and closed by unwashed hands. Weston went over to the curtains and ran his hands down them. He smiled when he felt something at the bottom in the hem. ‘Naughty, naughty,’ he said. He gently pried out two keys attached to a fob and held them up. ‘Keys to a storage locker,’ he said – the name of the storage company was written on the fob.

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