The terrorist of John Updikes title is eighteen-year-old Ahmad Ashmawy Mulloy, the son of an Irish American mother and an Egyptian father who disappeared when he was three. Devoted to Allah and to the Quran as expounded by the imam of his neighborhood mosque, Ahmad feels his faith threatened by the materialistic, hedonistic society he sees around him in the slumping New Jersey factory town of New Prospect. Neither Jack Levy, his life-weary guidance counselor at Central High, nor Joryleen Grant, his seductive black classmate, succeeds in diverting Ahmad from what the Quran calls the Straight Path. Now driving a truck for a local Lebanese furniture storea job arranged through his imamAhmad thinks he has discovered Gods purpose for him. But to quote the Quran: Of those who plot, God is the best.