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Milan's elite anti-terrorism DIGOS police receive a tip that a sleeper cell of Muslim terrorists have received toxic chemicals from Pakistan to make deadly sarin gas. But they have no names or leads to identify the terrorists. Months of investigation to infiltrate the cell are stymied until they learn that the terrorists are using stolen cell phones to communicate.

Hours before a major cultural event in Milan, DIGOS discover that the terrorists are targeting one of Milan's iconic landmarks with the potential for hundreds of high-profile political, diplomatic, and corporate casualties.


Giorgio Lucchini, DIGOS capo, and his deputy, Antonella Amoruso, protagonists in Thirteen Days in Milan.

Simona De Monti, one of the few single female DIGOS agents. Dario Volpara, a more experienced older agent. De Monti and Volpara are appointed as a team to search for the terrorists. In the initial days, they squabble, bicker, and tease each other, but they learn to appreciate their differences as they identify and track the terrorists.

Kareem Hussain, a well-educated Pakistani-Italian mechanical engineer with access to many of Milan's corporate, cultural, and governmental office buildings. When Hussain was a boy, his father took him to the turbulent border areas near Afghanistan to meet his Pakistani relatives. Hussain returns several times, growing close to his Pakistani family. After 9/11, he becomes disturbed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the deaths of cousins who joined the Taliban.

The Kidnapping of Abu Omar


In February 2003, an Egyptian imam, Abu Omar, was kidnapped from a Milan street by CIA agents as part of President George W. Bush's "extreme rendition" campaign. Omar was beaten, tied up, blindfolded, and driven to Aviano Air Base in northern Italy. He was flown to Germany, put on a CIA chartered plane, and taken to Egypt, where he was imprisoned and tortured for two years.

Under Bush's extreme rendition campaign, American intelligence officials kidnapped suspected terrorists in Europe and the Middle East and transported them to countries where they could be imprisoned and tortured to reveal information about al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist plans.

Twenty-six American CIA agents who kidnapped Omar were indicted, tried, and convicted in absentia by Italian courts in 2006. If any of the agents return to Europe, they can be arrested and imprisoned in Italy.

Details of the Omar kidnapping can be found in the book A Kidnapping in Milan: The CIA on Trial, by Steve Hendricks, W. W. Norton, 2010.

Review Excerpts 
"This is a well researched thriller about a very current threat. If you want to read about how someone well schooled can turn into the leader of a terror cell, this does the job. Erickson did a great job in looking at behind the scenes police specialty work in Milan and ways the good guys try to make us safe."
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