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Trapped in a World of Hate and Terror

©2001 204 Seiten


EXIT HERE - TRAPPED IN A WORLD OF HATE AND TERROR - is a thriller about inner and outer freedom and about those who protect it.

A dark age has begun. Ever more, the world is dominated by hate, terror, fear and suffering. Free thinking, human rights and democracy are in serious danger of being taken over by retrograde forces of suppression.
However, a few courageous, idealistic and compassionate men and women are ready to fight for universal values and human freedom, ready to protect them.

It is evident how the power of friendship, bonds and wishes made in another lifetime have remained active from one life to the other, from rebirth to rebirth. These men and women, have the mission of securing the world's freedom and of succeeding to bring this struggle for freedom to a successful close.

Their bonds are strong and unbreakable to the point that even death cannot stop them.




My deepest and heartfelt thanks to all friends on the way who helped to make the realisation of Exit Here possible:

Anthony Hopson, Alexander Press, Astrid Ferrara Santamaria,
Berno Kuerten, Christa Albrecht, Dmitry Kudinov,
Emanuela Agostino, Eva Sencic, Irma Cantoni,
Kai Burmeister, Marco Calipari, Mikel Klein,
Milena Rimassa, Norbert Wolf, Patricia Press-Schaffrick,
Peter Arras, Peter Fasshauer, Renate Schwarz,
Rafal Olech, Sigrid Frank, Stephen James,
Tanja Boehnke, Thilo Schreiber, Vagid Ragimow,
Vanni Ferrara Santamaria, Wojtek Tracewski, Tomek Lehnert,
Victor Shmarkovsky & Jakob Sintschnig.


Death is not a problem.
The problem is a life without meaning.
Lama Ole Nydahl


EXIT HERE was born as an original idea for a feature film based upon Buddhist teachings about Death, Intermediary State and Rebirth as taught by Lama Ole Nydahl.

EXIT HERE is about freedom and the courage of those who protect it. The aim of the film is to show the audience how to deal with the fear of terrorist attacks, in particular, with the fear of death. Due to 9/11, the movie industry either didn’t want to touch Exit Here or just wasn’t interested in a meaningful, gripping and deeply touching story or it could be that the time wasn’t ripe for it yet. For more than 15 years the feature film project exit here lay idle to resurface like a phoenix from its ashes. Now it is available for everyone, everywhere as a thriller and fiction!

Part I
A Sticky Affair

Hostage Taking.

In the summer of 2001, Elista the capital city of the Republic of Kalmykia, Russia, is still characterized by the decay of Soviet-built institutions.

Old-fashioned clothing and buildings unveil life in the south of Russia. Children are playing and laughing in the street in front of the big iron door of a dilapidated three-story school. A nine-year old boy called Ivan pulls at the pigtail of a blond girl named Sveta. She starts crying. The boy approaches her apologetically and hands her some American chewing gum. She stops crying and accepts it with a smile.

A bell rings and a friendly woman, the headmistress, opens the iron door. The schoolchildren run into the building heading for the second floor.

Eight men with dark-bearded faces wrap camouflage scarves around their heads to conceal their identity. They sit in the back of a truck and load their Kalashnikovs. The truck passes the Buddhist Stupa in Elista. One of the dark bearded faces points his gun at the Stupa and hisses:

“Idols. I’ll blow it up.”

The one beside him raises his Kalashnikov:

“Later. God is great.”

The headmistress still stands by the door. A young woman crosses the street and approaches her. They shake hands. The headmistress smiles at the young woman:

“Let's meet with the children and the other teachers. They’re waiting for us in the main hall upstairs.”

The young woman hesitates. The headmistress takes the young woman's hand:

“Don't worry. The children are great. You’ll get along fine with them.”

The street in front of the school is silent and empty now, the iron door creaks in the wind. The muzzle of a Kalashnikov appears around the edge of the door followed by seven dark-bearded faces wrapped in camouflage scarves.

Strawberry Fields Forever.

Russian rock music blasts from the radio of a modest apartment of the Plattenbauten – a large-panel system building in the outskirts of St. Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia.

It is 6:00 in the morning. There are cigarette butts overflowing from an ashtray on the table in the simple living room as well as several empty vodka bottles, half eaten watermelons in the garbage-can in the kitchen, evidence of a wild birthday party the night before.

Two young athletically built men, Sergey and Andrey, are arm wrestling. Sasha and Dmitry, the same type of men turn their heads as an older man named Yuri steps into the room smoking a cigarette and smiling.

Yuri is a medium-sized man, has dark hair and alert bright blue eyes. He wears a tight black t-shirt with an American slogan and black jeans. The t-shirt shows his muscular chest and strong arms. Sergey wins the arm wrestling match. Andrey is a bit embarrassed and jokingly looks up at Yuri:

“Commander, it’s unbelievable, your training methods have really helped. This child has become bloody strong.”

Yuri grins broadly: “Or you just had a glass too many.”

The others laugh. Kirill rubs a deep scar on his neck while Mikhail puts out his cigarette and grabs a guitar. Mikhail asks looking at Sergey:

“What shall I play for you then?”

Sergey, happy to celebrate his birthday with all his friends and his commander answers:

“What about Strawberry fields forever?”

Mikhail agrees pensively:

“Hmmm, an old Beatles’ song. Why not?”

Mikhail starts playing the song.

A World of Terror.

The sun sets over London, the capital city of England and the most populated city in the United Kingdom with a metropolitan area of over 13 million inhabitants.

The sun setting creates a range of the most beautiful shades of red and the big windows of the stately home at Oxford street appear to be golden.

The entrance of the building is decorated with a brass sign engraved with FireWorks International. Inside of the building on the first floor a young editor of the private television broadcasting FireWorks International is looking at the footage of The Rich & Famous together with a young woman.

It’s the celebration of an international music award in Los Angeles. White limousines drive up in front of the celebration building. The doors of a limousine open. A woman gets out. She is wearing a transparent dress.

A finger, adorned with a beautiful ring belonging to Alba Smith, an Italian-American woman in her late twenties points at the monitor. Her intense green eyes have the same intense green colour as the precious emerald of her ring. She addresses the young editor:

“Vincent, look at her! Do you know how old she is?”

Vincent amusedly answers:

“She looks like she’s 30. But she can’t be. I know that she’s been in the business for some time already.”

Alba makes a comment about the star:

“I think she looks better than ever. At least on the screen. She’s 55 actually.”

Vincent freezes the picture, although Alba continues with her comment:

“She’s living proof that expensive plastic surgery and a lot of hard work in the gym help you look young. Doesn’t she look ageless?”

Vincent pretends to be indignant:

“You may call it ageless! I think she looks like a caricature of herself when she was 30.”

A noise in the back makes Alba turn around.

In the doorway stands Cynthia Broccoli, the head of FireWorks International. She is in her late forties and wearing a provocative party dress. Cynthia edges herself into the conversation saying:

“Ageless? She spends a fortune to look like that.”

Alba who did not expect to see her boss in the TV studio looks at Cynthia puzzled: “What are you doing here? Is the party over?”

Cynthia answers that the party was quite boring and complains that her dress was not appreciated.

Alba reassures Cynthia that her new look is gorgeous and asks: “It's Vandani. Isn't it? It must have cost a fortune.”

Cynthia smiles, looks down at her dress and nods: “Well, Richard bought it for me. He likes me wearing clothes like these“. Cynthia turns around to the frozen picture on the screen saying: “We are more or less the same age. Maybe I should start to have plastic surgery as well”.

Cynthia looks at Alba puzzled. Alba does not react. Cynthia changes the subject:

“Anyway, I am not here for that. Steven had a car-accident. He’s in hospital.” Alba is concerned:

“Anything serious?” “No, fortunately not. A few bruises and a mild concussion. It means he can't fly in case there has been any damage to the blood vessels in his brain.”

Alba looks at Cynthia slightly irritatedly and asks:

“Fly where?”

“To Edinburgh. Steven was due to go to an international anti-terrorism experts meeting. Only a few journalists have been invited to participate.”

Alba nervously replies: “I still have to finish The Rich & Famous. I need to do the interviews with Harry Rocky and Count Carrano. I’m flying to New York tomorrow to see them.”

Cynthia sternly says to Alba: “You’d better cancel your flight until after the meeting in Edinburgh.“

Alba sighs and says: “Cynthia, you know how difficult it was to get time to interview those people.”

“Yes, I know. Well, Major Jefferson is Steven's contact. He’s the leader of the American delegation. He’s agreed to provide you with the missing information which Steven needed for A World of Terror. I can't send anybody else now.”

Alba insists: “You know that I’m not prepared for anything like this!”

Cynthia does not answer to Alba’s objection and instead hands Alba an envelope:

“Here’s a short briefing and your ticket.”

Alba indignantly states:

“I have never had anything to do with the world of terror and besides, it’s my mother’s 60th birthday tomorrow. You know I don’t see her so often because she lives in New York. Look!”

Alba takes a mobile phone from her handbag: “I was going to give her this present. It is her first mobile phone.”

“I’m sorry Alba, but you know how things are sometimes.”

In the background there is a loud bang. Alba jumps. Champagne bottles are being opened.

Cynthia turns around and walks out of the office.

Vincent apologises and freezes the footage tape once more.

Slippery Like A Snake.

Sergey’s mother, who is about 50 years old, comes in with a huge plate of fried potatoes and fish. She puts it on the table and listens to the last bars of the song. Her face brightens up and smiles at Mikhail:

“How wonderful. I first heard this song when I was once in the West with Sergey’s father. Nine months later Sergey was born”.

Sasha is looking at Yuri trying to be serious: “Commander, that means you are going to have to be careful. Stay away from the blondes.”

Sergey curiously asks:

“Commander, are you going abroad?”

Kirill grins at Sergey: “Your commander has been invited to Scotland to report to an international conference. He has to tell them how strong you’ve become!” Sergey seriously inquires: “Is that true?” Yuri answers with a twinkle in his eyes: “Actually, Kirill is right. I am going to talk to them about our Motherland’s contribution to their security.” Yuri clears his throat and rests his arms on the table:

“Ladies and gentlemen, instead of my speech on behalf of the Russian parliament and our president I have to inform you that we are in fact trapped in a very difficult situation. One very dangerous individual is amongst us. He’s slippery like a snake, and we never know where he is. When he has trapped you, you have no chance to get out alive.”

Sasha joins Yuri by saying: “That’s it. It's all over. We may as well prepare to die.” Sergey, still very earnest, addresses his commander: “But Captain, you have never been defeated! And none of your men have ever died. How can you talk like this?”

Yuri shakes his head and now talks about his genuine concern:

“Well, he really is one of the most difficult little toads to catch.”

A guitar string breaks. Mikhail looks up. His eyes meet Dmitry’s eyes. Dmitry expressionlessly remarks:


Yuri’s eyes become ice-cold for an instant then he laughs:

“No, that’s Sergey!”

The men turn to Sergey and slap him on the back laughing. Sergey is embarrassed but flattered at the same time. Yuri pacifies: “Luckily for us he has recently joined Spetsnaz. Those terrorists don't stand a chance. Okay, the conference is over. Let Sergey get to work.” There’s much applause from Yuri’s men. Yuri grins, grabs Sergey by the shoulder, brings him to his feet and hugs him warmly. The men thank Sergey’s mother for the food and start to eat. Yuri’s pager beeps. He gets up, walks to the phone and dials a number:

“Hello, this is Captain Sokolov speaking. Yes, Sir. Immediately.” Yuri hangs up and turns to his men:

“We’re leaving.”

Immediately the men stand up, grab their jackets and leave the apartment. With a deep sigh Sergey’s mother looks at the breakfast on the table. Yuri embraces her saying:

“I’m sorry that we have to leave so soon. Sergey should be back this evening.”

No one can escape death.

The headmistress and the young woman enter the big hall on the second floor. The children get up from their chairs and look at the new teacher with curiosity. The headmistress and the teacher walk to the stage where the other five teachers stand lined up behind a table. She motions to everyone to sit down. Smiling at the young female teacher then at the children and finally at her staff she says:

“Lena Parilova is our new teacher. She has come all the way down from the north, from Murmansk, to marry Dr. Batra. Would you like to know more about Murmansk in the north of Russia?”

The children nod. Pleased, the young teacher smiles:

“Okay, children. First I will draw you a map and show you where it is.” She turns around toward the blackboard. A picture of a strange-looking beast with three blood-shot eyes and enormous fangs and holding a big wheel in his hairy paws stares down at her. Lena Parilova is surprised:

“What's that?”

Sveta stands up and responds seriously:

“That’s Yama, the Tibetan Lord of Death.”

The young female teacher looks at the headmistress. She nods. Encouraged, Sveta adds:

“He reminds us that all people and animals have to die. No one can escape death …”

The girl can’t finish the sentence. She is interrupted by seven black masked men who burst through the door, shouting commands and pointing their Kalashnikovs. They force everybody to go to one corner of the hall.

Ivan, the little boy, breaks away from the others and runs to the open door. One of the black masked men, obviously the leader moves quickly and fires into the body of the boy. The others cry helplessly with horror as the dead body falls to the ground.

The masked man who has just killed Ivan shouts:

“Shut the fuck up! On your knees, I don't want to see the faces of pigs! Heads down! Turn to the wall!”

The headmistress tearfully tries to make the children understand that they must follow their orders.

The masked man who has just killed Ivan takes out his mobile phone and says with a malicious grin:

“Good morning Mr. President. Sorry for disturbing your important business but we have a difficult situation here. Maybe you can help.”

Hostage Freeing.

Yuri and his men have arrived at Elista airport. Dressed in black combat overalls they jump out of the aircraft carrying their equipment in worn-out bags. Three officers escort the head of the local police as he approaches Yuri. They salute each other.

The head of the police informs Yuri: “Commander, the terrorists have changed their demands. Now they want six of their people to be released from prison in exactly 15 minutes. If we don’t comply, they’re going to shoot the first hostage, the second one 15 minutes later, then the third in three quarters of an hour.”

Yuri sums up:

“250 hostages, 6 teachers, 8 terrorists. The hostages are all on the second floor?” The head of the police agrees:

“That is correct, Commander. Seven terrorists are in the building and one is on the roof. We’ve heard shots already.”

Yuri inquires:

“Is there a three-story building nearby?”

“There’s one in the back of the school.”

The head of the police hands Yuri the floor plan of the school building and a map of the town.

Yuri asks: “Are the helicopter and ambulances ready?”

“Comrade Commander, everything is here and at your disposal”, he responds.

Followed by his men, Yuri climbs into one of the waiting police cars of the mechanized division driving the unit to the waiting helicopters.

On the way to the helicopter he studies the floor plan of the building and the map of the town.

Before the police car of the mechanized division can stop in front of the waiting helicopters Yuri’s men put on their bulletproof vests, harnesses, guns, knives, balaclavas and ready their headsets for the hostage rescue operation. They jump into one of the waiting helicopters.

Sergey is stopped by Yuri. He looks at him pointing on the map:

“Go on top of that roof! I need you to take one of the terrorists out of action. You’ve got 6 minutes from the moment you are on the roof. Use your silencer.”

Sergey salutes: “Yes, Commander.”

Sergey and two of the local policemen drive off.

The Head of Police hands Yuri his mobile phone. Yuri passes it to Dmitry. He jumps into the helicopter followed by Dmitry. The helicopter takes off.

The Sniper.

The terrorist on the roof of the school building sees the police cars in the street and, using his mobile, calls the terrorist-leader to come downstairs in the big hall, the second floor, where the hostages are kept:

“The police are gathering behind the building.”

The terrorist leader answers: “I don't give a shit. Anyone from Spetsnaz?”

The terrorist on the roof responds:

“I don’t see any.”

The leader orders: “Keep watching!”

Sergey’s masked face appears at the edge of the roof on the building opposite the school, and within seconds he is up, takes aim and a dull sound comes from the silenced gun.

Still holding his mobile, the terrorist slumps to the floor on the roof of the school. There is a bullet hole in his forehead.


The helicopter with Yuri and his unit aboard flies up to the 3-story building behind the school complex.

Yuri looks at his watch, then announces to his men:

“I want this over and done within 8 minutes exactly!”

He and his men set their watches.

It is very hot in the big hall where the hostages are kept. The big windows are closed. The headmistress is still on her knees. She moves slightly:

“Please, we do need some water.”

The terrorist-leader hits her on the head with the butt of his Kalashnikov:

“Shut up, you old bitch!”

The headmistress collapses to the ground. The terrorist-leader kicks her in her belly while checking the time on the clock on the wall. Only now he sees the thangka. Disgusted and raged he shouts:


He points his machine gun at little Sveta and jabs her in the back:

“Turn around, pig face, and get the demon!”

The little girl is petrified. She looks at the young female teacher beside her for help. The young teacher is too scared to look at her and doesn't move.

The headmistress jumps to her feet, puts herself in front of Sveta and says to the terrorist-leader:

“It belongs to me. I will …“

“Shut up, old bitch“, the terrorist-leader shouts aggressively.

The thundering noise that sounds like a helicopter flying on the building is getting louder and louder and makes him hesitate for a moment as he is about to pull the trigger of his Kalashnikov. Instead, he grabs his mobile to call the terrorist on the roof. There is no response.

The terrorist-leader gets nervous. He yells at one of his henchmen to fetch the pig face and find out what is going on outside.

One of the terrorists grabs the petrified Sveta and uses her as a human shield dragging her to one of the big windows which looks out to the street.

Meanwhile, Yuri and his men fast-rope down onto the roof of the school building. They fix lines to the structure of the roof, fasten their harnesses and start to walk backwards very quickly down the walls of the school building.

Dmitry presses a few keys on his mobile phone. The terrorist-leader's phone rings. With a flash of rage he answers and shoots at the headmistress. The bullet grazes the headmistress’s arm and she collapses to the floor once again.

Simultaneously Sergey takes aim of the terrorist standing at the window. A dull sound comes from the silenced gun. The glass of the window breaks. The terrorist slumps backwards to the floor. There is a bullet hole in his forehead.

Sveta is free. Without missing a beat she disappears behind the heavy window curtain.

More glass breaks. There is an explosion, a bright flash and a loud bang. Yuri and his men jump through the windows.

Yuri shoots the leader, who drops the mobile phone and collapses to the floor. There is confusion and fury among the terrorists. Yuri’s men are shouting on top of their lungs: “Drop your weapons! Hands on your heads! Get on your knees. On the floor!“

The furious terrorists start to shoot at random. Two of them are hit by bullets coming from Dmitry’s gun. Lifeless they fall to the floor. Another two are disarmed by Kirill and Andrey and their hands are tied. The firing stops.

Black bags are pulled over the heads of the surviving terrorists. One of the surviving terrorists cowers on the floor shivering. The smell of terror and urine permeates the air. He is crying like a child.

The head of the police, his men and the doctors run into the room.

“Five of the terrorists are dead, three are wounded. You can find them crying in the corner over there”, Yuri says and points to the dead boy:

“This child was trying to escape. One woman is wounded.”

No Bonds are Broken.

The children are gone from inside the big hall of the school building. One of the doctors gives a signal to carry away Ivan's dead body covered by a plastic body bag. Ivan’s father stares at his son’s dead body while Ivan’s mother cries in the arms of the headmistress. The headmistress' right arm is dressed and there is a bruise on the side of her face. She gently strokes the woman's hair and leads her to her husband.

The young female teacher from Murmansk can't stop crying. The other doctor gives her an injection to calm her down. The young female teacher confesses to the doctor with a tearful voice:

“I am so ashamed! I was a coward. I didn't help Sveta, I was so afraid of dying.”

The headmistress approaches and with compassion says to the young teacher:

“Don’t worry. Most people are afraid of death.”

Yuri, still masked, enters the hall with Sveta, holding the girl's hand.

The headmistress approaches Yuri and says:

“Thank you for saving our lives.”

Yuri nods: “It looks like you are one of the few people I know who aren't afraid of dying. Sveta told me that you saved her life. They could have easily killed you. You must have a good protection.” “Yes, Captain. I do.”

The headmistress produces a plastic-coated photograph that she wears next to her heart and hands it to Yuri.

He takes a look at it. It shows a man with bright blue eyes, short blond hair and who looks very strong. Sveta, raising her eyes to Yuri, and asks:

“Do protectors always have blue eyes? I think they do.” Still with the photograph in his hands, Yuri slowly takes off his mask. His bright blue eyes look first at Sveta and then at the headmistress who says smiling:

“This man brought back the religion of the Kalmucks that Stalin destroyed. He can protect you just as he protects me. He is a perennial protector.”

Yuri answers firmly: “Perennial protector? I have this to protect me!”

He points at his gun and shows his bullet-proof vest.

The chief of the police approaches Yuri with his mobile phone in his hand: “Commander, the President would like a word.”

Yuri nods and hands the photograph back to the headmistress. She stops him:

“Keep it, please. As a soldier you have no idea how long you will live.”

Yuri’s eyes catch the picture of Yama. He looks at it for a moment, thanks the headmistress and slides the photo in his pocket while answering the President’s call.

The video is designed to intimidate.

A car goes from Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, up a narrow road to a castle converted to a luxurious 5-star hotel. At the steering wheel is a young woman with short dark hair. Her name is Liz Crawford. Liz is a photographer and cameraman employed by FireWork International. She is wearing a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and worn-out sneakers.

Alba elegantly dressed sits beside her and is looking up to the castle: “Wow, what a location! The hotel with its towers, peaks and bays looks like like a fairy-tale castle.” Liz smiles: “Yes, the Castle has seen much history and many kinds of fairy-tales. I was born a few steps from here. King Edward I (Longshanks) stayed at the castle on his way to meet Sir William Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk. In 1400, Sir Alexander Ramsay withstood a six-month siege at (Dalhousie) by English forces led by King Henry IV. Oliver Cromwell used the castle as a base for his invasion of Scotland. The castle is situated in a strategic spot overlooking the River Esk. The drum tower, the oldest part of the current structure, an L Plan Castle dates to the mid 15th century. It is magical and so is Scotland.”

The car comes to a stop in front of a gate guarded by security personnel. Alba steps out. She shows their invitations to the Security. Alba and Liz are asked to enter another car and are driven up to the castle. The big hall in the castle decorated with knights’ amour, coats of arms and paintings of battle scenes on the walls is set up as a conference hall.

David Jefferson, an athletically built, tall blond American, in his late thirties delivers a speech to his audience. He stands in front of on old oak table and points to the screen on the wall. The other international experts on terrorism as well as the delegates and journalists are following David’s speech with interest.

David requests: “Next slide please.”

The picture shows the face of a dark skinned, long black bearded man with cold and lifeless dark eyes. He is in his early forties. David says: “The man you see on the screen is Ali Moussa. He is from Jordan. During the last 25 years he has killed hundreds, or possibly thousands of men, women, and children. He is a member of a worldwide network of terrorism and we know that they are focusing resources in Chechnya and that Ali Moussa is using the Caucasus as his base to direct their operations, their Holy War from there. There is also definitive evidence that Ali Moussa is connected with two terrorist acts in Africa where the US embassies were bombed in 1998.”

David pauses for a moment before he goes on:

“He is extremely dangerous. Our expert on him and on his organisation is Captain Yuri Sokolov from Russia. The Captain will be joining us after lunch. He will arrive directly from Elista in Southern Russia, where he has recently rescued 250 schoolchildren and 6 teachers who were being held hostage by a group of 8 terrorists. Ali Moussa has claimed responsibility for this act.”

The screen goes blank.

David tells his audience: “We’ll take all your questions after lunch. See you in about an hour.”

With a polite applause from the audience, the meeting adjourns.

Alba stands with a security guard in front of the closed door of the conference hall. Sounds of applause come from behind. The doors open. David steps out with a group of experts. The security guard approaches him. David looks at Alba, finishes his conversation and approaches her: “Hello, Mrs. Smith, I am David Jefferson. How’s Steven?” Alba answers in a friendly way:

“Fortunately, his injuries are not too severe. He should be out of hospital in a couple of days.”

Other experts walk by. David is tapped on his shoulder and congratulated on such a well-received event. A small group of Americans talk to him in the background. One of them says: “Well done, Dave!”

David nods gratefully, then notices a figure approaching. It’s Yuri accompanied by Dmitry.

“Well, Mrs. Smith, I’m sorry but I have to excuse myself. Have a nice lunch and please join us for our afternoon program. I think it will be just perfect for your work.”

David bows off and heads towards Yuri and Dmitry. Alba watches him. Alba and Yuri's eyes meet for a moment. David puts out his hand. “Captain Sokolov, Lieutenant Koval. Welcome to Scotland.” The men shake hands.

“Major Jefferson, thank you for inviting us,” Yuri replies. David inquires: “Is there any news from Moussa?”

“We have received a copy of a new video he is selling in Chechnya. It is designed to intimidate Russian soldiers,” says Yuri. David is interested: “Do you think it would be suitable to show it to the press this afternoon?”

Alba slowly approaches the three men. Yuri watches her with one eye and answers:

“Well, many grown-up men have fainted watching it.” Alba comes closer, smiling at Yuri:

“Excuse me for interrupting you. The material you are talking about might be of great interest for the feature I am working on.”

David is not very pleased about the interruption but kindly explains to his Russian guests: “Miss Smith is an American journalist based in London. She’s working on a series about terrorism”. Alba specifies: “Actually I’m here looking for material to complete the pilot-episode. I’d like to know more about the video you mentioned.”

For a second David looks at Yuri questioningly. Yuri states in a friendly way:

“We will be showing it later on. But first, I’d like to invite you to participate in one of our training sessions this afternoon.”

“That sounds very exciting! Thanks for the invitation. I will be there”, replies Alba with a radiant smile.

I am ready for anything! I can do anything! I will endure anything!

Army tents are set up in a secluded area nearby the castle, the Hotel. A group of 30 American, English, German, French, Israeli, and Australian soldiers from Special Forces in combat gear warm up. They have applied camouflage on their faces, covered their hair with special head-scarves and wear their heavy equipment on the back.

Dmitry enters the scene providing the soldiers with written instructions for their task. He tells the soldiers:

“Read the provided instructions carefully. Start working right away.”

Shortly afterwards Yuri arrives with another three men in uniforms. The soldiers form up in front of Yuri and the four officers.

Yuri greets the soldiers: “Good afternoon, everybody! I am Captain Sokolov. I will be leading this exercise with the assistance of Major Russell. Major Gutenberg, Major Bassett and Lieutenant Koval you have met already.“

He points to Dmitry and continues: “Some parts of our training will be shown to the press later on. We intend to demonstrate how well we perform on a professional level in an international collaboration. Let’s show everybody what we can do together.”

Yuri raises his voice: “Repeat after me: I am ready for anything!I can do anything! I will endure anything!”

The entire squad starts to repeat the words in a focused manner:

“I am ready for anything! I can do anything! I will endure anything!”

Then Yuri announces: “You have exactly 1 hour and 45 minutes to fulfil your task. Good luck!”

The soldiers run off in two columns.

Meanwhile the delegates and journalists are driven in different jeeps from the castle down to the training camp to a parking area in front of a tent.

Alba sits next to a young man who introduces himself as Vladimir Dudkin, photographer and journalist for Ogonyok, in Moscow. Alba comes to know that Vladimir is the only Russian journalist invited to report in the Russian media about the international meeting of anti-terrorism experts. They exchange business cards.

David and a group of other experts are in the tent ready for the afternoon program. As soon as the last ones of the group of the delegates and journalists have entered the tent, David motions to everybody to sit down:

“We will start the afternoon program with some clips of terrorist acts carried out by extremist organisations.”

Everybody turns to the screen. David starts to comment on the documentary:

“October 19, 1994 . A powerful bomb, apparently placed by a militant faction opposed to the Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, blew up a crowded bus during the morning rush hours in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel, killing 22 people and wounding 48.

July 18, 1994. A huge bomb placed by an extremist group exploded destroying a seven-story down-town building housing two Jewish groups in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At least 26 people were killed and 127 were injured.

February 26, 1993. A tremendous underground explosion believed to be caused by a bomb placed by a terrorist network, shook the 110-story twin towers of Manhattan's World Trade Center, in New York killing at least five people, injuring more than 1000, and sending tens of thousands of workers fleeing for their lives down crowded smoke-filled stairs.

May 4, 1992. 13 Egyptian Christians were shot dead by fundamentalists in Mansheit Nasser, Egypt. Ten Christian farmers were ambushed and murdered while working in their fields. A Christian teacher was shot in a local school while teaching a class of ten-year olds. A Christian doctor was shot outside his home.”

The screen goes black.

David remarks: “These are just a few examples of thousands of terrorist attacks all over the world.”

“It seems that violence committed by certain extremists far exceeds that of other groups. Major Jefferson. Why do you think they behave in such a way,” Vladimir addresses himself to David.

“To understand the motivation of different groups we need to understand the teachings that they follow. There are religions that advocate the killing of those whose views differ from their own. In certain circumstances this can lead to Holy Wars. In the case of a Holy War, those people who die for their cause are promised a life in a paradise and they do not believe that they are maliciously hurting others, but rather obeying the words of their Gods,” David explains.

An officer in uniform enters. He speaks for a moment to David. David nods and continues: “Now, to our next point of the agenda: We have organised a training exercise with a group of soldiers from a variety of special-ops task forces for you all to observe.” Alba raises her hand: “Yes, Miss Smith?”

“What’s the reason for this exercise,” Alba inquires.

“Terrorism is no longer the problem of just one nation any more. It has become an international problem, a problem of the free world. Therefore, governments have started to work together more closely and have decided to share intelligence and information. This sharing also includes the Special Forces, who exchange experience and methods to be able to protect our freedom.

There may soon be a possibility, in fact a very real need, for such an international anti-terrorist squad,” David responds.

“And how would such a task force function,” Alba asks.

“The same way that Delta or any other Special Forces services function in the world. But this one would act solely in response to UN mandates”.David looks at his watch: “Well, our soldiers have finished the first part of the exercise. The cars are ready to bring you to up to the cliff to follow the second part.”

Perfect Weapons.

Alba, Liz and the other journalists are led up to the top of a cliff. Alba steps towards the edge of the cliff and looks down. She turns around to Liz holding her stomach: “I always feel sick when I look down like that.” Liz looks over and nods.

The soldiers are approaching. They are heavily armed and covered in mud. Now their painted faces have a war expression on them. Some of them are bleeding from their noses. Liz and the other cameramen get ready to film.

Yuri appears. His eyes and Alba's meet for a second once again. Yuri orders the soldiers:

“You will do 500 squats, then spin around 300 times. Put your climbing gear on, fast rope down as quickly as possible and run to the boats waiting for you. Be aware that the enemy could strike any time. Your life and the lives of the hostages are on the line!”

Yuri holds his hand up, signals to them to prepare, pulls his hand down and shouts: “GO!”

The soldiers then quickly break up into two groups, put their climbing gear on and check each other’s equipment. One of the soldiers tells another one to tie his shoelaces of his right boot. Then they form up in two lines, do the required repetitions of squats and spins, take the ropes, tie them around their bodies and fast rope down the cliff.

The delegates and journalists are taken down to the riverside. They arrive just in time to see the last soldiers coming down the cliff. Now everything happens very fast. As soon as the soldiers have reached the shore they run to the boats. Yuri and the other senior men start running beside the soldiers.

Yuri shouts: “Take the boats, run to the water and paddle 1 km out. Turn around and come back to the shore again.”

Yuri looks at his watch: “You are still in time. For every minute longer a hostage will be killed and that is your responsibility. Do you want to be responsible for the deaths of women and children? Go, go, go!”

The soldiers lift the boats onto their shoulders, run to the beach, throw the boats in the water and climb into them. Suddenly masked men emerge from the water around them. Hand to hand fighting breaks out between the two groups. The international team works well together, disarming their opponents while protecting each other.

Alba, absorbed by the performance of the soldiers, suddenly feels something close by. She turns around. Yuri is standing beside her.

Alba says impressively: “That looks like pure torture. How can their bodies stand such extremes?”

Yuri answers: “The body has to be trained in this way. It is the most precious tool we have for protecting others. Otherwise we would die and the hostages would certainly also die. Our aim is to make the men invulnerable, so that they will become perfect weapons.”

“Perfect weapons …”Alba pensively says.

“Yes. Eventually, everything is very simple,” Yuri responds.

The soldiers arrive at the shore. Yuri smiles at Alba, then he walks to the soldiers. He commands:

“Now do another 100 squats with your trainer inside the boats. After that, climb back up the cliff.”

The trainers jump into the boats and the men lift them up.

How does it feel to be a hostage?

The press and delegates are picked up and driven to an old ruined house. Yuri appears and steps in front of the press and the delegates: “At the end of the training, after all the physical exertion, the soldiers will now liberate some hostages. Please follow me.”

The group enters the decayed building. Inside there is a large dusty hall with several broken windows and a majestic but dilapidated staircase that leads to the upper floors. As soon as everybody has entered the hall Yuri points to five masked and armed men at the back of the hall: “These are criminals who have taken some hostages. Now we need six people who would volunteer to be the hostages.”

Yuri looks around. Three men and two women step forward. One of the men is Vladimir. Alba notices that Vladimir nods to Yuri with a friendly smile which Yuri returns before he looks around asking:

“We need one more hostage. Miss Smith. How about you?” Alba takes a peek at the masked and armed men and at Vladimir and agrees:

“Sure, why not?”

Yuri points at a dark corner of the dusty hall: “The five of you, please walk to the corner.” Yuri turns to Alba:

“Miss Smith, please stay with me.”

The five hostages walk over to the corner of the hall whereas the remaining delegates and journalists are directed up the stairs to watch from the balcony. Alba stands beside Yuri who observes everything. He turns to the five hostages:

“Sit down. Avoid every eye contact with the criminals. Stay down with your head slightly bowed.”

Yuri says to Alba: “Miss Smith, please come with me.” Yuri guides Alba a couple of steps down to a room, which leads into the basement. A masked criminal is standing there. The press and delegates look at Yuri, Alba and the masked criminal with interest.

Yuri pointing at the masked man explains to the audience:

“This criminal will use Miss Smith as his living shield. Miss Smith, do you mind?” Alba replies nervously:

“No problem. Just as long as I don’t get shot.”

The masked criminal quickly grabs Alba, and holds her head in his left arm. Alba can’t move. She looks uncomfortable. Yuri leaves. The masked criminal touches Alba’s hair and remarks to the audience:

“Nice hair.”

The hostages are now on their knees with their heads down, looking towards the dirty wall. The criminals point their guns towards them. Liz and the other camera operator start to film from the balcony.

Outside the run-down building six masked hostage rescuers are ready for the hostage-freeing operation.

Yuri puts on his black balaclava and gives some signals to his men. Three of them make a staircase with their bodies in front of one of the broken windows. The other ones get ready to jump over them and into the building.

There is a big bang. A canister is thrown through the window and covers some of the room with smoke. The audience looks a little shocked. The hostage rescuers jump through the broken window, one following the other, into the hall. Very loud shouting comes from the hostage rescuers. Shots ring out from both sides of the combatants.

The rescuer with brilliant blue eyes, runs towards the staircase leading down to where Alba is being held. The masked criminal reaches for his knife and holds it at Alba's throat. Alba becomes very nervous but keeps looking at her rescuer. In a fraction of a second he jumps high and flies through space towards the criminal, he grabs hold of the knife and hits the criminal on the throat with his foot, pushing Alba behind him at the same time. The criminal falls to the ground. The rescuer takes out a sackcloth and pulls it over the criminal's head.

Slowly, Yuri takes his mask off. Alba sits on the ground trembling. Their eyes meet. He reaches for her, takes her in his arms and holds her tightly, asking:

“Are you okay?”

Alba is shaking in Yuri’s arms: “Yes. I think so. You are with me!” Alba is smiling at him in gratitude and continues: “What an experience! It all seemed so real! Thanks.” Alba takes a deep breath:

“Being taken as a hostage must be one of the worst experiences in life.”

“Well”, Yuri says, “most of the people who have been taken hostage can’t live a normal life anymore.”

Yuri asks Alba to follow him. Upstairs, smoke still fills the air. The criminals are lying on the ground. Their hands are tied and sack-cloths are pulled over their heads. The cameramen of the press of the different TV Stations and news-magazines are still taking pictures.

Yuri beckons to the press and the delegates to follow him.

Outside, the soldiers acting as rescuers are waiting for Yuri at parade rest. Their faces show both excitement and fatigue. Yuri happily addresses them:

“I am very proud of all of you! You made it once again. Congratulations! Your timing was excellent. The hostages are safe. The terrorists are in the hands of the authorities. You are a good team. Well done. Go and get cleaned up.”

The soldiers smile, turn and head toward the showers.

The Cruel Footage.

Yuri stands behind the big table in the conference hall with a screen behind him. The other experts are alongside him with the delegates and journalists seated facing them. Yuri explains to the audience:

“What we are about to show you now concerns one of the most prolific terrorists operating at the moment. His name is Ali Moussa, but he uses a number of different aliases”, Yuri pauses for a moment:

“Many people have had problems with the footage and have been unable to watch it. If you don’t think you can watch the film, please feel free to leave the room. The video contains some extremely violent and cruel footage and it will leave some hard to digest impressions in your mind. There will be no problem if you decide not to participate and we will welcome you back into the hall afterwards.”

Yuri looks around. No one leaves. Yuri asks for the video to be started.

Ali Moussa appears on the screen. He is wearing a modern uniform and holds a Kalashnikov. In front of him stand a group of mostly young long-bearded and dark-skinned males. Many of them are still only boys.

30 heavily armed bodyguards who are masked surround Ali. At a distance of 15 meters, 20 men in Russian uniforms are chained to poles. Ali yells in the direction of the young dark-skinned males:

“Mujahideen! What is the greatest deed one can do other than to believe in God?”

The young males shout: “To fight in a Holy War, for his cause.”

Ali continues: “Mujahideen! Everyone who participates in a Holy War, when not compelled to do so except for his belief in God, will be rewarded by him either here or be admitted to paradise if he is martyred.”

Ali points to the Russian prisoners and orders:

“Strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of God and into the hearts of your enemies!”

He raises his Kalashnikov. All the others lift their rifles as well and shout: “God is great!”

Ali walks slowly along the row of young dark-skinned men. He grasps a slightly puny looking one and forces a knife into his hand: “Mujahideen, come along!”

Ali and the young man approach one of the chained Russians. A deep wound is gaping across his face. The prisoner can hardly keep his head straight. Ali pushes the Russian’s head to the side, showing his throat.

He turns to the young men who are eagerly observing the scene, raise their Kalashnikovs and again shout:

“God is great!”

Ali runs his eye down the row:

“Mujahideen, this is the throat of a prisoner.”

He smiles into the camera, holding the heavily wounded Russian by his head. Then he looks at the young man to the side whose eyes glitter feverishly:

“Kill him, and God will punish him by your hands, cover him with shame. Cut his throat!”

Alba turns her head away from the screen and covers her eyes. Liz looks at her, a worried expression on her face. Alba hears Ali shout:

“God will instil terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, smash everything above their necks and crush their fingertips. It is not you who slays them, it is God who slays them.”

Alba gets up, heading toward the big door without looking at the screen. Yuri looks over at her, then back to the screen.

The young jihadists jump up. They keep their rifles high, run towards the Russian prisoners, thrust their bayonets again and again into the stomachs of their enemies.

Ali looks with approval at his men: “God is great! What a day!”

After having carried out the massacre, the young jihadists fall into two lines with their weapons slung over their shoulders and walk away.

On their way back to a run-down wooden building they see posters of a long-bearded man with a white turban which are pasted everywhere.

A million dollars on my head.

There is complete silence in the room. For a moment the delegates and the journalists remain in a state of shock.

Yuri gets up from the table: “Still today, Ali Moussa and his followers use live targets to train their soldiers in cruelty. As you can see, it is our men that they use. Moussa’s videos are not only sold to intimidate our army but also to prove how many men they have killed or taken hostage during an attack. They are paid for each man they kill or take prisoner. For example a Russian army general is worth forty bulls, a major sixty rams. For Special task officers like Spetsnaz they pay even more.

I am honoured to have a price tag of a million dollars on my head. Russian army officers are usually exchanged for their captured fighters. But Spetsnaz officers are always tortured and then killed. Terrorists pay large sums of money for foreign mercenaries and instructors. The mercenaries are often recruited in London and other places in the West. The instructors come mainly from Pakistan, Egypt and Afghanistan, but they also have Russian instructors.”

Yuri pauses for a moment before going on:

“That is very difficult for us to understand. Do you have any questions?”

A German journalist gets up: “Captain Sokolov, what role does Ali Moussa play in the Chechen war?”

“He plays a leading role. He is responsible not only for organizing the war in Chechnya, but for personally carrying out hundreds of atrocities against the Russian army and against the Chechen people. To put it quite simply, he is a terrorist”, Yuri answers the question.

A journalist from Italy comes up with a question: “Captain Sokolov, how is it possible that these terrorists can train their people in Russia?”

“The Caucasus is a very convenient location – mountainous and isolated”, Yuri explains.

The Italian journalist continues: “What else can you tell us about their training program?”

“Well, it’s quite cruel but effective. If recruits shoot off target once, they are punished with twenty or thirty lashings on the soles of their feet. It is a very rigid structure. Very often people think that terrorists are like a flock of sheep. That is a mistake. They have a very well organised hierarchy and are very disciplined.”

The next question comes from a woman journalist from Austria: “Captain, what different types of training do they receive?”

“They are taught subversion tactics, the details of guerilla warfare, marksmanship, and psychological training. I could go on and on. The only thing they can’t do in the Caucasus is parachute jumping because the terrain is too inhospitable. They copy the methods used successfully both within Russia and abroad. A recent bombing of a railway in Chechnya closely mimicked one from France. They also show their recruits films with scenes from funerals of former fighters. They show how their coffins are carried on the shoulders of other potential martyrs, through the town where they came from. They celebrate them as heroes and the highest clerics and generals are present to honour the martyr's families”, Yuri lists up. “Any last questions, please.”

Vladimir stands up: “Captain, is there a possibility to capture this criminal?”

Yuri looks directly at Vladimir: “Yes. There is always such a possibility.”


überarbeitete Neuauflage
ISBN (Paperback)
2015 (Oktober)
Terrorismus Terrorbekämpfung Buddhismus Lama Wiedergeburt terrorism buddhism rebirth Militär military freedom liberation hate terror courage heroes compassion suppression dark age hostages-freeing danger struggle death human rights universal-values protection unbreakable-bonds wishes