With the folders on the rear seat I made the drive to Washington. Traffic was always heavy and was getting heavier as the date moved closer to Christmas.
I guess the word was out to the transit authority who I was or what kind of vehicle I drove, or else someone in the office had flagged my easy pass. Almost every morning and evening one of their officers pulled up beside me, hit the light package then waved or gave me thumbs up and then drove on.
I started coffee and then sat at the big meeting table with the copy of the files, a hi-lighter and a pack of small sticky notes to mark pages.
I was doing that when the rest of the force came in. I started checking off the things that looked interesting and marking the pages.
“What are you working on?” Emmett asked.
“The data off of the computers we brought back from West Virginia; hasn’t the DHS tech department sent you their break-out yet?” I asked.
“I don’t have anything in my mail box. I’ll call them,” he replied.
I worked another hour on what I had, then found several interesting things.
One was interesting enough that I emailed Special Agent Patrick Pine of the DHS Charleston office; ‘Have you interviewed or arrested, or searched the property of Balthazar Khamini?”
The second name in was noted as coming from New York so I had Emmett call the DHS assistant director there for an update on Raed Jabbour.
“He is not on any watch list,” Emmett replied.
“I found a note that indicated that he and Balthazar Khamini each picked up 4 of the new suicide belts on the Monday before the raid,” I said.
“The Balthazar Khamini entry has Washington DC written off to the side. We need to find him,”
Kathy Shellman responded, “I will issue search and seizure warrants for them and put out a national all points bulletin to pick them up.” Kathy was the special prosecutor assigned from the Justice Department to the task force.
Finally Emmett replied, “DHS IT says they have not broken through the codes yet on the computers.”
“Well we can’t afford to waste time. What’s on those computers is on these thumbs. Do not send the files outside of this office. I want to compare what your IT finds to my group, each of you take one and run it on a flat screen if you see something interesting yell so we can all look at it.” I said as I slid the thumbs out on the table.
“Eric, where are the computers you collected from the New York raid?” I asked as soon as he answered the phone.
“The IT department has them; I haven’t seen any reports about what was on them,” Eric replied.
“Eric run an investigation on your IT group; something’s not right,” I replied.
“Why do you say that?” Eric replied.
“Because my people broke the encryption and did translations yesterday on the ones we had. Why are your experts so slow? Is someone intentionally delaying or are they scrubbing as they go?” I replied.
“Both camps were communicating with each other; the encryption should have been the same for that to happen. It may be complicated but apparently it’s not that complicated,” I said.
I wondered just how far into our government and how high into the intelligence areas ISIS, Al-Qaida and the other terrorist groups had made it?
At ten Troy called to tell me I was needed for a meeting in the Oval Office.
When I walked into the Oval Office Troy, AG Dunne, Eric’s counter part that had direct responsibility for the border patrol, Nelson Lewis and General Garcia were sitting around the President’s fancy desk. There was one empty chair for me.
For two hours the discussion centered on terrorism, illegal immigration, the illegal drug trade and cooperation between the two border control groups. There was a long discussion about direct communications and we finalized an agreement to form joint patrols on both sided of the border in sixty days. There was also an agreement for a direct line between the two border departments.
We worked until lunch was announced. I was going back to Section 12 but was stopped by the President. “BJ, please join us; we can continue informal discussions.”
Well I guess I would find out if my table etiquette was up to this level. The appetizer was crab soup. The real meal was blackened flounder, with apple pie a la mode for desert.
An extra hour in the gym tonight to offset that meal was going to be required, maybe more.
When I returned to Section 12 there was news, they had found an entry in the accounting page from the Moorefield training center for an ongoing rental unit payment.
DHS Pine from Charleston was sending two agents to the rental company with a warrant. Agent Pine called as soon as the agents reported in.
Ten of the twenty new vests were in boxes and the ten unaccounted for 155mm artillery shells were in there. It was a little bit of relief.
There were also some horrifying upsetting items in the locker. There were ten still sealed canisters marked IRG (Islamic Revolutionary Guard) Sarin with the skull and crossbones in black. There were another ten marked VX; both were very deadly warfare agents, along with five more marked Ricin.
This was a major escalation in the terror war. The fear for a long time was for terrorists to acquire nuclear materials to make a dirty bomb. There was so much nuclear material at power plants, hospitals and research facilities – with poor security and record keeping – that it was a concern.
That was one of the features of the Yucca Flats storage site; get it in one very secure location. Politics had ended that and now it was just everywhere. Many of the sites were easily located on Google.
With the discovery of those chemical weapons I made the walk back to the Oval Office. It was best that kind of news was delivered personally to the President.
He was in a meeting, Troy met at the door and I explained the information and then explained it to the President. The discussion turned to if the White House press corps needed to be called.
“Mr. President, wait until we have confirmation; better to be a little late than to be wrong with this and have to retract. I do have pictures you can use,” I said as I showed them to him.
The chemical warfare disposal group from Aberdeen Proving Grounds was already on the way by helicopter. They were the zombie guys in the white sealed suits. Once they determined for sure what it was and that it was stabilized and transportable, it would be placed in special sealed containers that were on the way by truck. The area was closed off until they got there.
Just when I thought we were making progress it seemed to take three steps back and this was a big step back.
My group stayed at the files the rest of the afternoon. We found no more information in today’s search; there was always tomorrow. I called the DHS office at Rochester
I explained what had been found. “Cross check all rental storage units against the names of all the dead and ones in custody. Also check to see if there was any storage available to them at the apartment complex,” I said to the assistant Director.
It was time to leave for home. I could use some time in the tub and gym to relax.
I had just come through the security gate to the highway from the White House parking lot. The agent had barely closed it behind me and was watching, when three Suburban’s blocked me in; men in gear and machine guns jumped out, “Get out of the truck now!”
What the hell is going on?
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.