On the flight to the embassy, “This is most likely the last time I am going to be able to personally participate in deliveries to Nimule; I guess it will be your option how involved you actually are at going to the camp.”
“I know from the feedback I have gotten that Washington likes the PR. My men have said they would continue unless I directed otherwise. JBG intends to stay active in seeking donations and getting the items to Nimule,” I said to Bernardi.
“As long as there are things to go there, I will be involved,” he replied.
With my portable office in hand Vicky and I went to the communications room to start on the business of today. When Andy and the SUVs arrived, they were going to take the guests on a tour of Kampala.
First was a SVOL to Jenny, Ching Lee and Jason to get things in the works for Monday; they needed to decide who and which attorneys were going to Minneapolis. That call lasted almost an hour.
Then I called Cindy for an update on the rest of the embassies. The South American embassies had finalized the paperwork to send to Victor with their request for JBG security. ‘Good Luck with that,’ I thought.
Then I called Marcy’s office, her administrator said she and Lorrie had left early this morning for the west coast. I had forgotten that 2 PM in Kampala was 7 AM on the island and if they left early, that meant 4 or 5 AM.
Lorrie had been next on my list but I would wait on that. Then I thought better of waiting; after all the C5 was part of her business group.
I made the call to her cell and relayed the conversation I had with Adam; everything except the part about the kind of weapons they suspected they were transporting. I was positively sure that was super top secret.
Ambassador Bernardi had gone with the group to be tour guide. I had given Robin, Rachael, Vicky, Hanna, Sylvester and Phil each five hundred in twenties so they could get some souvenirs for family and friends if they wanted.
When the trip was laid out, there were no openings for a sightseeing tour of Kampala, but with the change to split up the food we had brought into three shipments two weeks apart, we had gained a full day and a half that was open
I gave them a few quick words of wisdom for carrying cash in rough foreign countries and bad places at home. Never carry all your cash in one pocket. Split it up between two or three; that way if someone tried to rob you, whatever pocket you pulled cash from they would assume that was all and run, or you simply handed them the cash out of one pocket. You would lose some but not everything. A pickpocket would be the same way, as soon as he found cash he was leaving; he was not staying around to check other pockets.
That gave me time to visit with the group here at Kampala; they had been brought in piecemeal. There were fifteen after the attack then the rest on the day I left. A little face time was due. I spent time with all the men and ladies who were not in their bunks.
I expected it to be dark when the group returned. The delay would give me time to start on preparation for Monday’s inquisition. Robert had loaded the same files that the Minnesota State Police Office received onto a large portable hard drive.
I had video that the State Police did not have and that was the thermal imagining videos. I flipped back and forth between those and the surveillance cams.
In the communication room I connected the equipment together to use the big 6 x 8 foot flat screen so I could get a good look at everything. With a notepad at hand I started watching, starting with the west cameras.
I knew the three two ladies and a man working the security console would be cranking their necks to look, but it really didn’t matter. They worked for me, were seven thousand miles from home and had also signed secrecy oaths.
12:45 Diya drove into the west entrance and the two women exited the SUV and loitered at the entrance.
12:55 they started walking towards the entrance.
13:10 the women had walked to within fifty yards of the building when they were challenged and blew themselves up. Fifteen minutes to blowing yourself up. What in the hell did they think about in those fifteen minutes? How do you convince yourself to do something like that?
13:12 the thermals showed they were wearing vests and two of my men challenged them.
13:13 the first one stumbled and exploded causing the other to detonate. I watched the video one frame at a time, trying to see why she stumbled.
I wondered if one of Andy’s men on the roof had put a bullet in her to keep them away from the field house. I looked for any sign that had happened. I couldn’t see anything but if the explosion followed milliseconds later, the naked eye would not see it.
The roof cams had audio: there was no sound of a gunshot that was distinguishable by my ear, but again – were they too close to separate?
I sent Robert an email giving the camera number and a range of time stamps. I wanted color photographs of each frame of the video of the two women. Then I wanted the audio run on an oscilloscope to see if it detected a gunshot before the explosion.
I watched it one more time in standard speed; seeing those two brainwashed women disappear in a fiery red blob turned my stomach.
I then looked at several more camera angles; that changed nothing.
12:55 Diya drove in the east gate behind the other two SUVs and let the other two out. Then he followed the first two SUVs to the back of the parking lot where they all got out and had a meeting.
13:00 the two had joined the line waiting to enter the building.
13:03 Ching Lee and I worked the line towards them.
13:12 I began with the first hit on my terrorist and then Ching Lee on hers.
13:14 the video was showing me disarming the suicide belts.
I ran the tape back and forth looking for anything I had missed on them or about them.
13:15 the two SUVs started towards the building.
13:15:30 the firing from the roof of the building started, followed by both of them exploding.
13:19 Ching Lee and I were running towards the entrance to stop Diya’s SUV from leaving.
13:20 I was pouring rounds into the SUV before it went through the fence.
The roof videos told the rest of the story with the massive explosions and a video record of all the collateral damage. Other than my curiosity about why the one on the west side stumbled, there was nothing that changed the events.
I got the pictures Ching Lee had taken of the explosive vest and looked at each one carefully; why, I did not know. It would take an expert in that field to make heads or tails out of the design and to connect it to a bomb maker or a trainer.
I would give Ben-David another day and then call him.
Then I watched the thermals from both East and West entrances; there was nothing there to change anything.
Marcy had included the SAP file for the excursion in my emails. The two weeks had cost JBG almost 1.2 million dollars. This included the five round trip flights from Morton to Minneapolis, all the extra scanners, the thermals, the entire RRT team cost plus the house Andy used a command center and auto rentals.
Even though we owned the rental site and the vehicles, no cost escaped Marcy’s calculator to put the charges where they belonged.
When Cindy’s clerks had time, I wanted a better cost figure of what the thermal scanner setups and manpower cost would be for each of the colleges. I was sure that at some point as the investigation was made public, that question would be asked from all of them.
I ended my research; there was nothing more to be learned from looking at any more video. The only thing that could be done now was to wait for the questions to begin.
The tourists were still not back so after a refill of my coffee mug I took a walk outside around the grounds. The circle and X on the old tennis court had been repainted and boxed in.
The sand on the volley ball court was much deeper; they had added several truckloads and it looked well used. A float was used to level the sand and several rakes were leaning against the embassy building.
As I walked around I noticed that there were still ball bearings lying around in places; we had picked up buckets of them as it was.
I was just stepping to the rear door when Ambassador Bernardi and the group came back; it was almost dark.
We had a feast at the embassy for supper; the cook went all out. After supper the plans for tomorrow’s trip were laid out. An early start was planned for the truck and trailer at 4 AM and the choppers leaving at 0730.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.