An alienated American young man becomes an Islamic radical and joins the nascent Al-Qaeda, eventually a trusted lieutenant of Osama bin Laden.
Merritt Bradley Thiessen grows up in North Dakota but after failing to graduate from high school and being thrown out of his home by his mother's boyfriend flees to New York where he eventually converts to Islam and becomes radicalised. Joining the Mujahideen in Afghanistan he meets Osama bin Laden and gradually becomes part of the inner circle of the future Al Qaeda terror network. Throughout the 1990s he fights in the many insurgencies and minor wars around the world including Bosnia and the first Chechen war. Thiessen is more and more fanatical as time goes on, increasingly hanging on his leader's every apocalyptic word and is willing to take any chance for the cause and die for it if necessary. Despite an attempt by a sympathetic CIA agent to offer him a way out Merritt goes on, ultimately volunteering to be one of the 911 hijackers on the plane that attacked the north tower of the World Trade Centre.