After making coffee I made the trip to the President’s office. Troy met me at the door. I cut him off before he could start.
“I have recording of all the calls over the weekend. There was nothing drastic in them; just a lot of anxiety after the cartel war. Do you want a private briefing or want to join in with my groups?” I said.
“We will be down. For some reason, the President likes to go down there; I think it is the coffee, or that he can freely express his opinion without political ramifications. You do realize that there have been no leaks from your group,” Troy said.
“That because they know I back my threats up the old fashion way, and I have the means outside of the government to find them,” I replied.
I held off running the DVDs until the President’s group was there, then I played them. I listened to a lively debate about the coincidence of all this happening at the most beneficial time; and stayed out of the conversation.
Then there was the debate about what the calls on Tuesday could bring. Whatever it was, we would only have two and a half days to days to adjust our plans.
The other thing that all the calls solidified was where Rafi Quastri was located. The center he was operating out was in Woodbury NJ, just a stones throw from Philadelphia.
Sunday I gave Lorrie a mission to put one of her administrators on; that was to look for houses for sale or rent near the center.
At 0900 Lorrie sent a text, “Plenty of houses for sale in the area, apparently people are wanting away from there. There are two perfect for what you want. One is facing the east entrance and one facing the west entrance; both have had substantial price cuts.
“Buy and settle on both of them today, fly there if you have to. I want two men and two women from the OPS team acting as husband and wife moved in there tonight or tomorrow morning early,” I said.
The girls and I had talked about the possibility of getting houses yesterday in an idle moment. Marcy handled the financials over the phone. Both owners had moved away in a hurry and left everything in the hands of their lawyers. Email, fax machines and electronic funds transfers are a modern day business friend.
Vicky chose the men and women from the teams to go. Bill Townsend and Ed Dean because they were team leaders, Jackie Deere and Gail Dexter because they spoke excellent Arabic; they were packing to go immediately.
Lorrie was sending them to Philly International by King Air; from there it was a 20 minute drive in a couple of MAAR rental cars. They could be in the houses tonight. Both were supposed to be partially furnished. Along with their go bags would be the latest in surveillance equipment.
Tomorrow friends from the OPS and RRT would show up to help them move in. Four of them would be the ladies from Israel who had a much better understanding of the workings of a learning center and what went on there. Of course they would stay overnight.
I walked out of my office just in time for the crap to hit the fan.
DHS regional directors were meeting with all six of the colleges to inform them of the changes that they were going to make starting Thursday morning.
They were informed about all the preparations taking place before then and the training for the scanners and additional security personnel who were going to show up.
We had drawn up all the changes taking place at every college. We knew that entrances were to be closed so that long lines were going to form. The plan was to give the scanners and thermal units multiple chances to find the people with suicide belts and vests, and then identify them to sharp shooters to keep them out.
The theory – as bad as it was – there would less collateral damage this way. It made me sick to my stomach but the consensus was this was the best worst scenario of all possible evils.
Bradberry promised to have 30 more units delivered to the colleges by Thursday afternoon.
Five of the colleges complained but went along; they understood that something was going on. The sixth was adamantly refusing to go along with any changes.
The Purdue Boilermakers hosting the Hoosiers at West Lafayette were adamantly demanding that no changes were going to interrupt their extravagant pregame fanfare and halftime shows. In fact, they told the director to get out; their security could handle any issue.
The directors did not disclose any real facts other than there were threats. I would personally go and discuss the treats and explain their options.
As luck would have it there were no Air Force private jets at Andrews for my team to use today. A quick call to Lorrie and a G5 was on the way. Marcy had to love all the charges going to the FBI, who had agreed to cover any JBG cost associated with the task force.
My group arrived at Reagan International just as the G5 taxied to the general aviation terminal. This G5 was set up in passenger configuration with all 18 seats installed and all of them were taken.
All the alphabets of the task force were going, my secretary and the rest of the seats were filled with secret service agents and FBI special agents in case this went nasty. I told the agents to expect to have to get rough.
An hour and half later we were on the ground at Purdue University Airport; thirty minutes later we were in a big meeting room full of people who did not need to be there. There were not any seats for my group to sit on; another power play by someone who thought they were important.
I started at the end of the table, “Who are you?”
“Orson Block, Media consultant,” he replied.
I snapped my fingers and pointed to the nearest agent, “Escort him out.”
He started to object; I threw my cuffs on the table that I still habitually carried, “We can do this the hard way or the easy way. Your choice,” I said.
The process went on until there were only six left in the room; the president of the athletic association in charge of the game, the college chancellor Joe Spears, two board members, the college attorney and the head of the college security.
Then I held the empty trash can, “Cell phones, pagers and radios in here.” I put the can in the closet and began my speech.
“First, I want to make it perfectly clear I have the authority to cancel your football game. I do not give a rat’s ass for your loss of revenue, football heritage or loss of prestige,” I said.
Then I slid a copy of the federal order signed by the President, the senior director of the DHS, the director of FEMA and the Attorney General over to the school’s attorney; the order only required my signature to put it into effect.
Then the secrecy statement and I waited for them to sign before I continued.
“What you are about to hear is the culmination of weeks of intelligence gathering; some from reliable sources.”
“I must stress that it is classified Top Secret. If any part of this meeting becomes public – a tweet from your son’s or daughter’s phone because they heard you talking or anything else – you will be arrested, processed in the secret terrorism court and you will go to jail.”
“We have reason to believe that a group of terrorists trained and equipped by Saif Alawai al-Jawfi plan to attack your game with 10 suicide bombers along with others using assault rifles on those fleeing for their lives,” I said.
I waited for the information to sink in. Then it looked like someone pulled the floor out from under the six of them.
“What do we need to do?” Joe asked.
“The plan for your college was presented to you this morning but I will present it again.”
“These entrances are to be closed,” as I pointed them out.
“Jersey barriers are to be placed in rows to guide fans into single file rows. We will scan these rows at various points with thermal and imaging scanners that we are confident will detect the explosives and metals.
“We also have experts that will read the crowds looking for telltale signs of bombers,” I said.
What I had not told anyone other than Frank, and Eric was that Ben-David was sending me 30 experts at reading potential suicide bombers by their actions to watch the crowds. I had them for three days; a day to fly in, a day to work the crowds and a day to fly home.
It was a deal in lieu of payment for flight time on the helicopter in Uganda. Mossad was using it a lot and Sikorsky had done a couple inspections and repairs because of the number of hours they were being flown. The FBI was still going to get a bill for the exchange bartering.
It was going to be no secret that there were Mossad at the games, guaranteed to make the terrorists nervous and hopefully give themselves away.
“When you identify them, then what,” Joe asked.
“Sharp shooters will take them out,” I replied.
“Oh God, no, there has to be a better way,” Joe replied.
“Are you volunteering to walk up to them and ask if they are wearing a belt and would follow you to a safe location?” I replied.
“This is the best we have come up with to keep them out of the stadium and avoid mass causalities like in Arizona. The jersey walls – the separation will reduce the collateral damage. The best case scenario would be that they stay together and plan to split up after getting in the stadium. That would allow us to get all of them at once,” I replied,”
“But innocent people are going to die,” the security guy blurted out.
“Innocent people die in war – and make no mistake – this is a war that intentionally targets the innocents,” I replied.
“The jersey walls can be put up Wednesday when they are delivered. The cover story will be new pedestrian entrances to speed up getting into the stadium. The scanner locations will be decided on and tested tomorrow. The sniper teams and positions will be chosen tomorrow,” I said.
“There is to be no public announcement of any changes until Friday morning. That announcement will be to advise fans to come an hour early because of a water flooding issue in the stadium,” I added.
“Our biggest fear is they change their plans and send the bombers into malls on Black Friday,” I said.
“Do not tell friends or anyone to stay away from the game; it will start a whisper campaign that destroys the plans,” I said.
We flew back to Washington; it was one quiet flight. After all the campfires, internal debates and bull sessions; the reality was setting in on what was going to happen and what we had ordered.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.