Thursday morning the task force got off to a much better start. First off, the Assistant Director on the team from the FBI received a VCATS from the forensics lab and sent it to the big screens.
“We have a shot up and wrecked 2015 Ford Expedition that was delivered a few minutes ago with a rush tag on it from the Director and you are the contact person, Ambassador Jones. What do you want us to look for?”
“What everyone else has missed; first thing, it is new enough to have GPS factory installed? Pull all the GPS data out of the computer and send it to me. I want to know where it has been for as far as the data goes back. Then strip it; we are looking for SIMMs cards, flash drives, a missing cell phone and computer drive.”
“Pull the headliner, carpet, door panels, seats, remove the seat coverings, pull the dash and check the AC ducting, fuse panels, remove and dismount the tires and anywhere else you think a professional would have hidden something in the thing or where the accident may have moved them,” I replied.
“Ten four; gut it; we got it.” the tech replied as the screen went dead.
To help matters along, my computer had dozens of big files from Len; they were all video files from various public cameras around MSU.
“Kent is supplying four detectives for a week and I have the first four you met working on your request as well. They have a grid of the area and a plan,” the note from Len said.
To help in that line, the two trained investigators from the DHS started today, ready to go to work. Emmett Casey and Wayne Thompson were also trained on how to use the facial recognition programs. They had a lot of work to do and the files were still coming in.
To help them I had six pictures for them to run the base search with, Diya, Saif, and the four dead female bombers. The video cameras had several stills that were good enough to use from just before they blew up. It was not much but it was a start.
The NSA and CIA men were working on the embassy problem in Namibia. To top it off, they were still in the dark almost 24 hours later. But, they did agree that something was happening and now it was 48 hours or less.
I did connect to the embassy cameras and flipped through some of the cameras. I watched some of the preparations Andy was doing. I flipped to the control room and paged. Josie Cantrell answered the page.
“Howdy boss; how are things in Washington today? Are you getting your feet settled into place?” Josie asked.
“Progress has just started, everyday is getting better. How are things there? Packed in like sardines?” I asked.
“It is tight but we are making the best of it. Some of the guys are complaining about hot sheeting the beds but Andy has told them it is that or sleep on the floor in the garage,” Josie replied.
“Hopefully it is only for a few more days,” I said.
“Be careful,” I said as I closed the window.
I called Andy and talked for 30 minutes; the important thing was to make sure he got the manual and understood how to use the devices.
Ambassador Eaton and his family and staff were on one of the G650s due to arrive at Reagan International this afternoon.
The other 650 was sent to Luanda Angola to stand by until whatever was over and in case wounded needed to air lifted out.
It was almost lunch when the FBI lab called, “We finally have the GPS data out of the computer; it has been one challenge. We had to replace the air bag sensors, then clear all the air bag codes and then replace the seat belts and clear those codes to be able to reset the computer. Some of Ford’s better ideas; not,” the agent said.
“After all of that I finally was able to download the data; I ran it through a conversion program to change it from Ford’s proprietary stream to Google maps for you and then loaded into the Trident fleet maintenance program that you use on your rental fleet. The file is on the way. After lunch we will be on the rest of the list.”
“How did he know we used the Trident fleet program for tracking our rentals?” I wondered.
Lunch for me was a loaded salad from the White House cafeteria. One thing was for sure, I needed to spend a lot more time in the gym.
When I was back at my desk, the file from the FBI was on my computer.
I started on the day of the attack and followed the time line back and wrote down the GPS numbers of every stop, how long it was stopped and the route that it took.
Diya had left his father’s home at 0900, drove to Coon Rapids and waited there at the Walmart for 2 and a half hours before driving to the college. Coon Rapids was 7 miles from the college as the crow flies. Just two miles outside of the search pattern I had asked Len to do.
I linked the laptop to the screen, played the route and rapped the table. “New search – narrow your field down to cameras between Coon Rapids, Route 10 and the college, Diya met the suicide bombers at the Walmart in Coon Rapids,” I said.
I called Len, “We got a break; cancel the search pattern you are doing; start a new one. Diya picked up the bombers at Coon Rapids Walmart. Walmart should have plenty of cameras in the parking lots and in the store. The time frame he was there was 0800 to 1100 and then he drove straight from there to the college with no stops,” I said.
I changed days on the program; the previous day he had spent all day at the learning center and the Mosque. I printed out each day’s route as I checked them. There was an active discussion as we looked at each day’s travels.
For a week Diya stayed around the city driving very few miles. It was ten days before he made any trips; route 10 to SR169 and 66 miles north before he turned off and went up a farm lane to a farmstead a mile from the highway. The message that Robert had intercepted was coded. The mileage numbers had been inverted. What we thought were 99 miles was instead 66 miles.
I signed in to the State Department’s high priced earth maps system, typed in the location and waited while it found it.
A large farm house with 3 out buildings; one of those buildings was a large shed, large enough to hide the truck with the 10000 pounds of explosive they had stolen in Canada and several other cars and trucks. The farmland had not been tilled this year it looked like.
“We need to schedule a raid on that place right now,” Armie Ratcliff – the assistant director from DHS – said as he was dialing his phone.
“NO we are not; hang up the phone,” I said.
“General, I need a drone with live operators placed on station over a farm in Minnesota for at least 3 days; a week would be better. Where do I need to start?” I asked.
“What are you looking at?” The general asked?
“I think it is where the terrorist made their bombs, plans and possibly keep the explosives. According to satellite, no one is there now but I want to see if anyone is traveling in and out,” I replied.
“OK, I will get it in the works to get the President to approve it. What notifications do you want?”
“Every time someone goes there and leaves. I am emailing you the location now,” I replied.
It was 14:30 hours when the President and the Secretary of State walked in; everyone became quiet.
“We have made a terrible mistake and we have to rectify it immediately,” the President said.
“Well, I guess this is my last day on this job. I wonder what I did wrong,” I thought.
Edit by Alfmeisterr
Proof read by Bob W.