TANNER COUNTY, GA—A pair of Islamic Shi'ite terrorists, wanted in connection with a string of airport bombings dating back to 1983, broke out of Tanner County Jail Monday, escaping justice by crossing the county line, sources close to the sheriff said.
Cousins Ahmad and Gamel Farouk, longtime Hezbollah members and internationally wanted terrorists, are believed to be hiding out in neighboring Calhoun County, beyond the jurisdiction of Tanner County authorities.
"We'll never get 'em now," said Deputy Clem Pickett, who fell asleep while guarding the Islamic extremists and woke up tied to his chair. "Once somebody crosses that county line, it's over."
"Them boys done hijacked that Pan Am Flight 140 and killed 11 passengers back in '92," Sheriff Buford Colfax said. "That ain't right."
At 2 p.m., Colfax received an emergency CB transmission reporting that Ahmad and Gamel Farouk had escaped from jail and were headed for the county line in their souped-up Mustang, the affectionately nicknamed "General Habib."
Colfax then chased the Islamic fundamentalists to Crooked Creek. "I thought I had them trapped there," he said. "After all, everyone knows that ever since the bridge washed out in the big flood there's been no way to get across Crooked Creek."
The Shi'ites, however, were not deterred by the missing bridge. Using nearby road construction as a makeshift ramp, the pair jumped all the way across the creek. Stunned by their bold move, Colfax drove into the creek, wrecking his car and soaking himself and his lethargic bloodhound, Willie.
Witnesses said that Colfax then crawled out from under his overturned police cruiser and threw his hat to the ground, shouting, "Ooh, them Shi'ites!"
After landing on the far side of Crooked Creek, the Shi'ites easily penetrated a county-line roadblock set up by the sheriff's department by driving the General Habib on two wheels, squeezing through a gap between two parked patrol cars. Deputies gave chase, but were forced to stop upon reaching the sign for Calhoun County.
In a statement from his compound in Beirut, Hezbollah leader Mahmoud al-Aziz praised the two fugitive terrorists. "Allah straightens the curves, and in his might, hills are made flat. Sooner will the mountain catch the Farouk boys than the law."
Ever since the escape, federal anti-terrorist agents have been working closely with Sheriff Colfax on a plan to lure the Farouks back to Tanner County. Though details of the plan have been kept a secret, it is widely believed to involve the planting of a fake treasure map that purports to lead to a stash of machine guns, plastic explosives and more than 40 million dinar buried behind Old Man Potter's place.
Tanner County law officers are also preparing for any potential tricks the terrorists may play on them. In 1995, Deputy Pickett almost caught the two Islamic fundamentalists, but lost them when Fatma al-Qaawi, the pair's sexy cousin, clad in a skimpy outfit of cutoff jeans and a knotted, midriff-revealing blouse, asked him to help her fix her broken truck. She then distracted Pickett by bending over the radiator while the General Habib drove off behind him.
"Them Farouk boys won't be so lucky this time," Pickett said. "Maybe they can get away with this stuff over and over again with the Israelis, but we won't fall for it here in Tanner County."
Calhoun County Sheriff Duane Parsons could not be reached for comment, as he was cleaning hay and chickens out of his car after chasing the Shi'ites through an abandoned barn.