I had made both pots of coffee when Troy and the President walked in.
“I was just getting ready to come see you as soon as I refilled my mug. How are things upstairs today?” I said.
“First the coffee then we will talk,” the President replied.
Of course he pulled up a chair by the pastries.
“I received a call from General Fillmore thanking me for your assistance yesterday at Minnesota. He explained that the Army personnel were ready to abandon the site after losing that much equipment right out of the gate. As usual, I hear that one of your teams supplied a solution to the problems,” the President said.
“Always be prepared, hope for the best, expect the worst; good rule to live by,” I replied.
“Speaking of being prepared, we were not prepared for your appearance at Columbia yesterday. We had discussed what would be the appropriate response, then it was put aside and forgotten in the rush to respond to everything else with the raids,” the President said.
“We were reminded after ZNN did two hours of the live coverage that the administration should have done more. You pulled our ass out of the fire on that one,” Troy said.
Ben had arrived just in time to join the conversation, “The world knows what every medal on your uniform was awarded for. The salute to that officer and the conversation must have played a hundred times. Even the news people were commenting about it. Then there was that statement to the reporter on the way out. Are you sure you are not a politician?”
“I have already answered that several times,” I replied.
“You better practice on that; there are at least a dozen Senate and House committees that have sent notification of subpoenas for you to testify,” Troy said.
“I thought they were going to adjourn for Christmas break,” I replied.
“They are soon so there may not be enough time until January,” Troy replied.
“There was nothing on Saif’s phone; his computer is heavily encrypted and may take a few days,” I said.
“Keep us informed,” Troy replied as they left.
My group was making their way in. It was time to start giving orders. I sent an email to the federal attorney and now a federal prosecutor had been assigned to my group.
“Please begin the legal process to immediately seize the six learning center properties, the farm in Minnesota and the New Jersey center. We have connected it to the attacks. I understand through third party contacts that Federal Judge Walter Haynes is receptive and supportive of the move and it is suggested that the writs be completed as soon as possible and processed through his court.”
Curtis Warren had sent me an email describing the procedure for getting the property and his contact with the judge.
Even though there were more memorial services going on today, I sent an email to the DHS and FBI directors for the six areas.
“Please expedite the forensic processing of the sites. Notify me immediately when you are finished. The centers are to remain crime scenes and in your control until the task force completes legal filings for final determinations,” I said in the email.
Seizing the Baltimore center was going to cause a fire storm. It was a large active center and only about half of it was damaged. They already wanted to get back into it and wanted their computer equipment and records back.
Friday morning – before the news conference – I had asked the legal team about seizing the financial assets of the six centers and the one that owned the Minnesota farm.
I found out that all that needed to be done was for me to sign the request and forward it to the Justice Department. That made it easy because now there were two Justice Department officials on my team. Their accounts had been placed in escrow by noon on Friday. I was surprised that there had been no screaming yet.
I called Ben into my office and closed the door behind him. For the next three hours we went through the questions that had been asked of Saif and the answers.
As we went through the information a second and third list was put together. When we finished, these lists were going to the DHS and FBI guys to see if the names were on any watch list.
Then I made a list of questions to ask Rafi Quastri tonight. Ben was working on his own list.
To help things along, Robert sent me the complete set of files after the codes had been broken and translated from Rafi Quastri’s desktop computers. It would take days to go through all of it.
There were several files that stood out; one was a ledger of all the payments to various groups and individuals detailing what the payments were for, including addresses.
Another file detailed payments from the Prince to Rafi Quastri along with account numbers and banks and the money laundering sequence they used from foreign banks.
One file was a whopper; it detailed the training camps with layouts and plans. Better yet, it included the location of the one in New York along with the ones in West Virginia and Monclova, Mexico.
It even included a list of people who had attended and were going to attend, the instructors and the classes they were going to teach. All the classes were terror driven. From kitchen explosives, how to make homemade igniters and detonators to manufacturing bombs using readily available gunpowder extracted from rifle and pistol ammunition.
I had to wonder why so much information about their activities would be in one place. Even though it was encrypted, they had to know sooner or later it would be hacked and broken. I guess they never expected anyone to simply take it as we had done.
I sent Frank and Eric the folders, “Review for tonight’s question and answer session. I would like satellite imagining of those three sites 24/7 for a few days if possible.”
“Where did these files come from?” Ben asked.
“Rafi Quastri’s office computer,” I replied.
“How did you get the computer? Never mind, I don’t need to know,” Ben replied.
I sent the files to my CIA and IRS members; between them they could run down money and international connections. The CIA could seize the international funds and the IRS and the justice department any terrorist connected funds in the US.
I directed the DHS, INS and the FBI men to run down every name on the files, create an active file for each that did not have a file and assigned anyone that was free to help them. I wanted our prosecutor to be able to generate arrest warrants by the end of the week.
Some of the files had videos attached of the individuals while they were training and making motivational videos to send to the fighters in Syria and Iraq.
I started at the beginning of the files and speed reading added more questions for tonight. Ben was doing the same thing.
I went to the State Department fancy GPS and looked at the location for the New York site by the directions in the files.
The training site was in Marion, just 15 miles from Rochester; how interesting I thought. That explained all the special things the group across from the college was doing and raised questions. Were they a welcoming center, way station or supplying rooms for them to stay in while they were at the training center, or maybe all of the above?
I kept blowing the image up looking for anything that would give the place away. The only thing that was out of the ordinary was concrete buildings. Every building was concrete, almost like a military base.
When I looked at the one near Moorefield West Virginia, it was clearly made in outdoor training mode. There were exercise areas with an obstacle course, a clearly defined target range and what looked to be a range for throwing or testing explosive devices.
The site in Monclova, Mexico was very large with multiple firing ranges and buildings. There were also images that indicated they were practicing assault on cars and other cars that looked like they had been used for explosive training.
The Mexico training site was going to be a major problem. I already knew the terrorists were working with the cartel. The world knew a lot of the police and military were looking the other way when it came to the cartel, except when they needed a PR op. The real diplomats were going to have to work on this one.
The numbers I had estimated for the terrorist pipeline had not been revised since I found out about the three ships. My original estimate had been 200; my thinking now was more like 400 had made the trip.
How had that many been able to get into the country and not set off any flags? The fact that so many were not missed as part of the ship crew meant that all the captains were in on pipeline. That did explain the higher number of terrorists killed in the raids.
Ben and I were leaving at three. We were meeting Frank and Eric at Morton field at 1630.
Vicky and I were in Lorrie’s office when Earl Conway of the Baltimore DEA office and Wayne Platt of the Washington ATF office asked for us at the counter. Before we made the counter, Frank and Eric were there. Ben walked in as we were walking out.
The seven of us took two box trucks and went to the locked hangar. We loaded 200 2 kilo bricks of cocaine into the DEA box truck.
“Where did you get this?” Earl asked.
“There are some questions that if answered may jeopardize your health and well being; that is what happened to the people we took it away from,” I replied. Then I added.“Your director has agreed to display this as part of big joint news conference on Monday; before then someone will come up with a statement,” I said.
There was one big news conference planned for next Monday; an entire unexploded vest, guns, ammunition and anything else to further political careers would be there.
Then we loaded up the sixty heavy machine guns and the thousands of rounds of ammunition in the ATF truck. I looked at one of the guns, I thought they would be of Venezuelan manufacture; they were Iranian.
Years ago when Hugo Chavez ran the country, Iran built a factory to build AK47 rifles to supply Central America revolutionaries as part of an aid and exchange deal. I had assumed that the heavy machine guns were built there.
The ATF was under the same agreement; the weapons would be displayed at the news conference.
I was glad to see the guns and drugs leave. JBG had been responsible for the stuff longer than I wanted. Now the only thing left of this caper was to get rid of the trucks.
As far as I was concerned, they could be carried back to the camp for Howie to use for project testing. There could never be any titles to make them worth anything or usable on the highway.
It was time to question Rafi Quastri.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.