Season 17 - Episode 4: Fear America

Law & Order

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After the near-decapitated body of a man is found in an abandoned garage, a television channel receives a video of a balaclava-wearing group of white supremacists, calling themselves ‘White Americans For One America’, carrying out the killing. “The world doesn’t need to see this,” Van Buren says grimly, anticipating an inevitable rise in racial tensions. “Especially in front of our flag.” Cassady and Green break the news to victim Eric Khalaby’s wife, Diane. “We’re Americans,” she sobs. “I was born here, and they still hate us.” The family’s spiritual advisor, Imam Ibrahim, implores the detectives to take the case seriously for the sake of community relations.

Meanwhile, Eric’s boss informs the detectives that her employee recently had a blazing row with a close friend he called Ben. Cassady and Green find Ben –who is Diane’s cousin –working at a restaurant, but he claims that he argued with Eric because he suspected he was cheating on Diane. “He got defensive,” Ben claims. “I never saw him like that before.”

With so little evidence to go on, the detectives decide to search Eric’s home. Imam Ibrahim is furious. “When you search a victim’s house, you make him look guilty,” he argues. “What does this say to every Muslim in the city?” However, Cassady and Green are vindicated when they find a pre-paid, untraceable mobile phone hidden in a wardrobe next to a copy of the Koran that contains extremist literature. There is also evidence that Eric had been accessing anti-American websites from his home computer.

However, the investigation is turned on its head when the detectives learn that Eric called 911 from his phone on the day he died. A recording of the call reveals that he was trying to inform the police about a terrorist cell that is planning an imminent attack on the city. He arranged a meeting with a cop to discuss his concerns, but failed to show up because he was already dead. Could Eric’s terrorist friends have learned about his disloyalty and murdered him, covering up the death to look like a racist killing? And can Cassady and Green unearth enough information in time to prevent a potentially devastating terrorist attack?

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