DAY 876 - AUGUST 1, 2013


Buoyed by the ISIS takeover in many parts of Eastern Syria, Al Qaeda members perform a daring prison break at Abu Ghraib, the famed US jailhouse used during the American occupation in Iraq. Consequently, Al Qaeda frees more than 500 high-ranking terrorists into the Iraqi desert and Israel's Director of Military Intelligence warns that Syria is becoming a hotbed for global jihadists. Britain and France confirm that Sarin gas was used in Syria during the spring. In response, UN weapons inspectors say they will visits three locations where chemical weapons were allegedly deployed. Iran, one of Assad's strongest allies, extends a $3.6 billion credit line to Syria while Russia pushes forward with arms shipments to the regime, despite intense international pressure to break ties with the Syrian government. Furthermore Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, promises to propel Syrian President Bashar Al Assad's forces to victory. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon says that the situation in Syria has now claimed over 100,000 lives.

You and Jalal Al Din are bound, with plastic ties at the wrists and ankles, and prodded into the back of a black Hyundai while people from the Badr Martyrs Brigade collect your valuables. The abduction just reinforces how anarchic the streets of your city have become. When the car stops you're escorted into the first floor of a building whose bullet holes in the walls have been bandaged with corrugated tin. You aren't scared so much as you are concerned you won't be able to track down your father in time. In time for what? You ask yourself silently when you are shown a place to sit by one of the thugs. Eventually one of the guys in the masks empties both of your pockets haphazardly but stops when he comes across the USB stick in Jalal's jeans. He holds it up to one of the holes in the building, a part that the ruffled tin doesn't fully reach. The man in the mask blows on it once and then inserts the USB stick into a dusty computer, which rests on the floor by his chair. You have no idea what's on the drive, only that, if this starts down an ugly path, you are prepared to deny all association and complicity with Jalal and the USB . The man plays something you can't quite hear and then brings the laptop over to you. He sits down in one of the empty chairs, and spins the computer around. There on the screen, is the American, Eric Harroun, firing celebratory Kalashnikov rounds into the air, while standing amidst a group of Salafi fighters. You forgot you had Jalal make videos of the American, but you did not forget how they would come in handy. And like clockwork the man in the mask is now asking slowly, do you know this man?  And slowly, in return, you are nodding back at him...