Khalid Kelly and me.

ISIS have reported the death of suicide bomber, Abu Osama Irelandi in an attack outside Mosul in which he was the only casualty.

Abu, also know as Taliban Terry or Khalid Kelly was born in 1967, Terence Edward Kelly and grew up in Dublin before moving to London to train as an intensive care nurse. Attracted by the tax free salary, Kelly then took a nursing job in Saudi Arabia. Not long afterwards he began supplementing his nursing income as a bootlegger. ‘I got really good at making drink. I had three stills in my house.’ He was subsequently arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2000 ‘with five cases of Johnny Walker in the back of my car’. He converted to Islam while incarcerated in a Saudi jail and was deported back to the UK in 2002, where he briefly got a job at St Thomas’s Hospital, London.

Without alcohol, Kelly’s life appears to have unraveled quickly. In 2008 he was declared a fugitive and fled the UK. In 2009 he was interviewed in Pakistan stating: ‘Next week, inshallah, I could be in Afghanistan fighting a British soldier.’ In May 2011 he returned to Ireland and was arrested after threatening to assassinate Barack Obama. In 2013 he moved to Ardagh, Co Longford where locals reported that ‘he never came into the pub’. At some point in late 2015, Kelly made a last fateful trip to Iraq.

To my surprise, I find that Kelly and I had much in common. We both have family, a wife from whom we are separated and two children. If Terry’s last photo is anything to go by, we’re both getting a bit too old for combat and we’re both proud to call ourselves London Irish. Thankfully, the comparison ends there.

SPIN ZHIRA: Old Man in Helmand is the unauthorised, unvarnished and irreverent story of one man’s midlife crisis on the front line of the most dangerous district in Afghanistan where the locals haven’t forgiven the British for the occupation of 1842 or for the Russian Invasion of 1979. Of course, all infidels look the same so you can’t really tell them apart.

Amazon Five Stars A JOURNEY OF LOVE, SERVICE AND ADVENTURE. EXCELLENT!

Amazon Five Stars A MODERN WARFARE LITERARY CLASSIC! OUTSTANDING READ.

Amazon Five Stars ENTERTAINING, THOUGHT-PROVOKING AND COMPULSORY TO READ.

Ten reasons why you should read SPIN ZHIRA.

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