“Not only do I not want to ever play poker with you, add your mates to that as well,” Ben-David said.
“Why, you might win some money,” I replied.
“Lose my ass may be more like it. All of you have poker faces and voices made of stone. I was at Camp Smith Saturday and Sunday; when I asked where you were, the only thing they said was you were away on business for a few days and nothing else. Not even a change of expression,” Ben said.
“Balthazar gave away the two Iranian spies in Polokwane when we questioned him on Saturday. I sent people to look for them, only to walk into a hornet’s nest at the airport, barely getting away with their lives,” Ben-David said.
“Not only were the two spies gone, everyone connected with them is dead. Two Princes and every terrorist’s favorite arms dealer are dead. A Chinese arms dealer dead, his plane burned,” Ben-David said.
“There were remains of bodies in half a dozen places in the game reserve; the reptiles did not even leave enough to identify. Just how many people did you kill there? Everybody in Africa is out looking for blood,” he added.
“First, all the reports I have seen says it was ISIS. Second, it sounds like a Mossad operation to me. Third, what makes you think I was in Africa at all?” I replied.
“What was left of the Prince’s plane was found in Mexico today,” Ben-David said.
“Yes, I saw that report. The Prince was dealing with the cartel; we already knew that and so was his arms dealer. It looks to me like ISIS and the cartel turned on him for something. Blackmail, maybe blood money? Both are heavy into that business. Did ISIS just send the Kingdom a message to keep sending money or else?” I asked.
“BJ, you are throwing a good smoke screen; it may work with others. You expect me to believe the most wanted on your list is dead the same weekend you are out of town and you had nothing to do with it?” Ben David asked.
“I have no problem sleeping at night,” I replied.
“Look who you get sleep with, no wonder,” he said.
“You can feed me the juicy bits of the mission when I see you,” Ben-David said just before the phone went click.
At the office I ran into Robert. “Burt and I want to wait until next month to take the extra two weeks off. There is a convention on the gulf coast we want to go to then, if that is OK?” Robert said.
“That’s fine, just note it on your time sheet and block the weeks you want to on your schedule,” I replied.
“How are things in EIT land?” I asked.
“Very busy trying to keep up with all the email connections associated with the Prince’s computer. Stop by on your way through the tunnel and look at some of the more interesting ones,” he replied.
“I want all the emails printed out of the Prince’s account as far back as you can go, before the account disappears. I want a hard copy record. Make sure that laptop does not accidentally get online doing automatic updates or the like. Take the battery out of it,” I said.
“Already ahead of you on that. All his accounts were copied to files and everything printed. Burt did the same thing with the financial transactions. You may want to take a close look at Burt’s printout. I’m sure that you have not tracked down everyone he was dealing with in the US,” Robert replied.
“I put the printout on your desk with the computer. We have already cloned everything on it. I left the bank transfers making it look like he did them by leaving the computer online for an hour after he was dead. I figure at some time you may want to turn the computer over to someone. There is a lot of very good information on the first few pages you should look at. I am sure it will help you,” Robert added.
I put the folder, printouts and computer in my portable office; I would look over them later today if I had the chance.
I sure hoped that we or the task force was getting to the end of some of the trails! I wanted things to slow down.
Of course I was wrong, those things were not going to be slowing down for a while. Acknowledging that we had Balthazar was a mistake. The Prince told me that Iran has hundreds of agents in the US. As soon as the IRG knew, orders for all of them to get mobile would go out.
Within hours they all would know and scatter, destroying any Intel that we could use against them or to find them covering their trails.
The FBI had Balthazar’s computer along with all the other evidence collected. As usual their IT department was slow, actually more than slow. Their lab had the computer for two weeks and still nothing.
As soon as I walked in Section Twelve I cornered Mike Doyle, our FBI rep, “I want to see all the evidence collected at Balthazar’s apartment, rental unit and car. I want all the electronic devices delivered to the task force before noon today; ALL OF IT; ‘Get on it’,” I said as I put my portable office on my desk.
“Wow, somebody is in a bad mood today,” it was Troy who came for his morning mug fill up.
“You have not seen a bad mood yet. Oh, wait a minute, you have at that,” I replied with a grin.
“How did being on the receiving end feel?” I asked.
“It was not a feeling that I want to repeat any time soon,” he replied.
“What’s got you in such a bad mood?” Troy asked.
“I should have fought harder to keep Balthazar a few days longer. I have indications that Iran may have as many as two hundred Balthazar’s in the US; he may be able to give us names of a few,” I replied.
I had more faith in Robert finding names in the Prince’s computer. If they were there, it may give an indication on just how long Iran and the Prince had been working together.
Then there was Balthazar’s computer; what was on it? Two weeks and the FBI IT department still could not tell us. Why?
I spent the rest of the morning with the group of the task force which were working on the college funding reports I would need next week for my appearance on the hill. The numbers were a mess but were beginning to come together.
The White House chef sent down one of his signature salads to me for lunch. In fact he brought it down himself along with my favorite dressing. He also brought a big mug.
“Do you mind if I get a mug of your coffee? I hear rave reviews on it; I would like to try a cup for myself,” he asked.
“Help yourself, thanks for the salad,” I replied.
I had seen the mug before. It was one of a kind and was usually being carried by someone else who always came with a mug in each hand.
As I ate I read the folder that Robert had left on my desk at the office. The more I read the more I would like to have had the Crown Prince at Camp Smith for a few days.
The Crown Prince’s ledger – from his account only – included payments to terrorists and terrorist organizations or individuals that were above two hundred fifty thousand dollars. I guess anything less was play money.
The good thing was they were broken down by area. Another thing was there was a note column by each entry.
There were almost four hundred entries for the US and over five hundred worldwide. Some were marked as closed. When I read the names I knew why. We had either killed them or arrested them.
The six learning centers and the leader, Saif, the New York and West Virginia training centers and the leaders all were marked closed. All told there were almost a hundred marked closed in the US. I recognized some of the names from the list of federal employees who had been arrested earlier.
I wondered why some of them were being paid the larger amount, but not for long. They were in positions to influence policy and government actions. As I sorted out the names, more issues and difficulties became apparent and answered several questions at once.
As I looked through the names I felt my chest tighten. I saw two Army LT. Generals and one Air Force Major-General, all three stationed in Saudi Arabia. There was one staff member on the President’s inner circle.
One name at the FBI stood out like a beacon, Ormond Mohammed Patel was listed with five entries of two hundred thousand or more in the last six months.
Ormond Patel was the supervising director of the FBI’s IT department and its computer lab.
“CRAP,” that’s why we were not getting any real information on any computers we sent there and why my EIT group was faster and more accurate. He was scrubbing the data and informing the Prince of what we knew before he was sending the data to various agencies.
My lunch was interrupted by a courier from the FBI IT department. “This ought to be good,” I thought.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.