09 Aug 52%
The plan was as simple as it was effective. Both Americans and Israelis were too good with intercepting ICBMs. That game could not be won, so they needed to change the game. The new slim warheads needed much lighter and smaller missiles that would suffice if the travel distance is short enough. And the new shielding would allow them to fit into a standard shipping container form factor, slipping undetected to their ultimate destinations. The Russians have produced something similar for years, but despite their notorious recklessness they were not suicidal enough to start an all-out nuclear war. Mujahideen had never had that problem: they were always prepared to die for Jihad and sacrifice any number of their own people. After all, they would automatically become shaheeds and go to heaven, so they should really be thankful. Official Iranian leadership was much more sane despite proclaiming radical views, but as it often happens in the upper power circles of tyrannical regimes governed by an extreme ideology, there were always insanely radical radicals who thought the “moderate” radicals were not radical enough. There was enough of them to make it work “unofficially”.
Several container-based nuclear-tipped missiles were secretly moved to Syria, where with the Hezbollah’s assistance were loaded onto the Azov – Russian Neopanamax class container ship on its way from Tartus to Sevastopol. After loading more cargo it would set sail to the port of New York and New Jersey. Generous bribes were given to appropriate people so enough Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps soldiers would be on board to ensure everything went smoothly. The new shielding would prevent the nuclear warheads from being detected in time. When the ship enters the New York harbour, the containers would open, rocket launchers would deploy, and several short range ballistic missiles would be launched to strike the US East Coast’s larger cities, with no time to react. The warheads were small and low yield, by modern standards. They would explode with an energy of about 25 kilotons, making them just slightly more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb. But that would be more than enough. Millions would be dead. If 9/11 had provoked US to methodically dismantle Iraq and Afghanistan regimes, something like this would inevitably provoke a total war of the Western civilization (or the Crusaders, as seen by Islamists) with the Islamic world, a war doomed to be lost by the latter, thus fulfilling the conditions of the prophecy, forcing the Mahdi’s coming.
However, that was only the part of the plan that the Iranian terrorists were aware of. They’ve been used. The real plan was more complex. The Horsemen have hacked into Russian GRU networks and had easily subverted one of their most trusted agents to unknowingly provide to Russians a fake blueprint for a special version of a Stingray device – an instrument that can impersonate a cellular tower and intercept communications even from hardened mobile devices used by the CIA, NSA and FBI. This was an immensely valuable asset for the New Russian Empire, and as soon as they were able to reproduce this device GRU had initiated the operation called “Russian Doll” to smuggle a bunch of such devices to be used by GRU spies on the American soil, concealed as control modules inside heavy farming equipment. The Horsemen then made sure that the NSA picked up the increased chatter consistent with a major GRU operation, which they could partially decrypt. US would know enough to expect Russians trying to smuggle something called a “Russian Doll” into the New York harbour on the Azov, but finding out what exactly would prove elusive. They would be waiting for the enormous Neopanamax monster ship to arrive, triumphant and sure of themselves, ready to seize the whole shipment of whatever is coming – and they were ready to go through the entire cargo load with a microscope and a toothbrush to find out what it was – and get some medals and promotions for the brilliant counter-intelligence operation.
So when the largest terrorist attack in the history of mankind happens, Iranians would think that they are provoking the US retaliation strike on them, but the US, expecting a major Russian covert operation to happen, would inevitably assume that it was an attack by a crazy and megalomaniac Russian tzar and will have no other choice but to retaliate by launching a nuclear strike on major Russian cities. Russian ballistic missile defense was for the most part non-functional. In accordance with the age-old Russian tradition, most of the money budgeted for maintaining its capabilities was stolen. The strike would be devastating, but whatever Russian ICBMs could still fly – will end up releasing their multiple nuclear warheads above the US of A. Reagan’s “Star Wars” program was mostly a bluff, and nothing worth mentioning was created since, so nothing will be intercepted in space, and missile interceptors would only be able to reach warheads during the re-entry stage, after each ICBM releases multiple warheads, including many decoys. Interceptor missiles would only be effective at around 70%, and there won’t be enough of them to intercept everything. Enough warheads would make it through. This would be a full-blown nuclear war, the twentieth century Cold-War propaganda horror style. The real thing.
According to the Twelvers’ prophecy, Jews would have to be involved in the final battle (aren’t they always?). So to make sure they are, several hours after the New York attack, a very similar scenario would play out in the port of Ashdod, Israel. Israeli three-tier rocket shield defence was too tight to reliably penetrate. Israel’s own David’s Sling, Arrow IV and Iron Dome systems can intercept virtually everything from intercontinental ICBMs to mortar rounds and artillery shells, with effectiveness of up to 95%. They’ve had many years of practice on a variety of targets. The country is so small that covering it by a triple shield in its entirety was quite possible. But with a nuclear bomb it did not matter. The warhead would detonate right on the docking ship, devastating the coast, which was naturally the most densely populated area, triggering a giant tsunami and obliterating a sizeable chunk of the country. This would provoke an immediate Israeli nuclear retaliation strike. It was well-known that while Israel has always “neither confirmed nor denied” the existence of a nuclear arsenal, the Jewish state had possessed at least 300 nuclear warheads. Some of those were mounted on long-range ballistic missiles deployed on Israel’s aging fleet of German-made Dolphin class diesel-electric submarines. Israel would retain retaliatory strike capability even in the event of a massive nuclear attack on its soil. And so it would strike back with everything it’s got, ensuring the ideal conditions for the fulfillment of the prophecy.
I know it sounds too crazy. You might think that a modern person could not believe such a weird and unrealistic prophecy and such a twisted theory about rushing in its fulfillment. But millions believe it and do not find it even a little bit strange. Google it, you’ll see…
So essentially, the plan was to provoke two nuclear exchanges that guarantee a full-blown nuclear Third World War. Although human predictions for casualties and nuclear winter apocalypsis are somewhat exaggerated, the much more accurate Horsemen’s projections are not very optimistic either: over 1 billion dead from the war, radiation sickness, famine and civil unrest. Just enough to guarantee an emergency alien takeover, and the uplifting of humanity to an immortal era – many generations before this would otherwise happen. So when the nuclear winter finally ends, and people stop dropping dead en masse, accepting new alien overlords would not be such a bad deal. Over time this would mean far less total deaths than allowing humanity to develop for a few centuries longer until it achieves immortality independently.
As crazy as it sounds, the math was actually correct, or so it seemed to me.