Two powerful men in Beirut plan an attack on the oil industry of the United States, which they theorize will bring the 'Great Satan' to her knees. They already have several sleepers in place but smuggle a vicious killer through Mexico and manage to get him inside the Consolidated Oil and Chemical complex in Baytown, Texas where he bides his time awaiting the signal to begin the coordinated destruction of four major refining plants.
Joe Locke, security chief for the Baytown site suspects something is amiss when a shift supervisor, who happens to be a veteran of the Iraqi war is sure that 'Juan' is really an arab and not hispanic. There is no apparent reason for the deception so he calls his old marine buddy Nathan Stone, who is the FBI special agent in charge in Houston. An investigation begins and they are sure than some sort of attack is planned for the anniversery of 9/11. An illicit love affair between Nathan's right hand man, Frank Callaway, and the wife of a Mexican drug runner complicates matters. Time runs out and and chaos brings out the worst in people as fuel and food runs out.
Ishmael and two other terrorists escape to South Texas where the agents pursue them in planes and helicopters. The chase involves a hostage standoff where the lawmen's skills are put to the test as they match wits with men who have nothing to lose.