In Al Kazimyah, Iraq in 1998, WAFA AHMED ALI (27) sees her family’s house blown up by an American aircraft. Her parents and brother are killed in the bombing. Wafa continues to live in the bombed-out house despite her uncle HASHIM’s (45) objections.
One day, Wafa sees a YOUNG MAN burying an improvised explosive device in the dirt road, hoping he’ll kill American soldiers. She goes to a checkpoint and tells an American troop, JOHN(20s), about it. The terrorist spots Wafa warning the U.S. soldier. After an explosion kills her uncle at the coffee shop, John and Wafa go back to her house, and John finds an assassin’s bomb waiting for her. He tells her that the U.S. military will expedite her to America to keep her safe. She objects at first, but then relents.
When she arrives in the U.S., she is pulled over by a police officer, PAUL (28), because her car is pouring smoke from the tailpipe. Paul gives her a repair ticket. He says he’ll get in touch with a friend from the FBI to see if they’ll interview her for a translator position.
Wafa goes to the interview where BECKY (40) offers her the job, though TOM (55), an agent, doesn’t trust her. Paul takes her shopping, and teaches her some things about what it means to be a free woman in America. Over the next three years Wafa works as a translator.
At an airport, four Middle Eastern men, MAKIN MORADI (25), DUMAN OMIDI (24), ABBUD GOLZAR (22), and RAFI RAAD (22) test security and find they can get on a plane with box cutters.
The September 11th attacks occur, but the four men’s plane (the fifth 9-11 plane) is delayed by mechanical failure. All planes are forced to land. Wafa, Becky, and Tom start to investigate by looking at flight manifests. They see that the would-be hijackers have evaded capture on surveillance footage at the airport. AMR MUHAMMED (50) puts the terrorists up in a tiny apartment.
Wafa gets the idea to see who was checking for flight delays on 9-11. They come up with an I.D. match for Amr Muhammed, who checked all five 9-11 flights. Wafa thinks the men have gone into hiding in Dearborn, MI, so they have cameras installed in hopes that they get a hit on them.
Tom gets suspicious of Wafa. Tom and Becky interrogate Wafa and she confesses that her family were terrorists, and that is why the U.S. bombed her house. They suspend her and place her under house arrest.
Under the cover of stormy weather and darkness, the terrorists deliver bombs to malls and under highway overpasses.
Wafa sees on the news that tornadoes are about to sweep the country. She remembers all the preoccupation the terrorists had with watching The Weather Channel. She calls Becky to inform her that the terrorists are going to strike since there’s a tornado watch and law enforcement will be preoccupied with all the storms taking place nationwide to notice them.
Wafa gets reinstated. The tornadoes hit, and the terrorists start blowing up highway overpasses, shopping malls, and hospitals.
Terrorists set fire to the mountains east of Los Angeles during Santa Ana wind conditions. Citizens work with the fire department to put out the blazes.
Wafa helps capture most of the terrorists, but the leader, Amr, slips back into society.
A new sleeper cell hides in an apartment, waiting for orders to strike.
Rick McCormick, author and screenwriter, was born in Torrance, California. He was raised and currently resides in Newport Beach, California. The seventh of ten children, he taught English in Japan and the U.S. He studied under some of the top screenwriting professors in the world, including Dr. Linda Seger, UCLA’s Richard Walter, and Michael Hauge. He has written several full-length feature screenplays including Everybody’s Somebody, A Dog Named Boo, Inside Out, You Can Take It With You, Nobody’s Perfect, The Last Sand Granules, The Last Goodbye, Larry The Lifeguard, and The Fifth Plane. In March of 2018 he introduced his first novel, The Fifth Plane, based on his screenplay of the same name. He is currently working on The Fifth Plane TV series.