The flight to Tel Aviv was four hours long; it was dark when we arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport. I had called Ben-David before we left Madrid so he could inform his friends that I would be seeing them tomorrow morning.
I wanted another night of rest. The ribs were better as long as I was careful.
We landed on the main runway and were headed for the general aviation terminal when we were diverted to park in front of what was obviously an IDF (Israel Defense Forces) hanger. As the plane engines shut down and the APU fired up the place was flooded in light; I wondered what was going on.
Police and Mossad agents were assembling outside as Ed and my security detail exited the plane first to set up positions – as was now the new order of the day. Ed located the agent in charge for discussions and then the VIPS began to appear.
While that was going on I called the office on VCATS to talk with the girls. Marcy was first, “I just got off the phone with Ben-David, and he booked rooms for me, for all of your team at ‘The Norman Tel Aviv’ on the top floor. I approved payment,” Marcy replied.
I asked Jenny how the boys were doing and was glad to see them recognize me on the VCATS. It was amusing to see them trying to tell me the things they had done today in little boy gibberish. One day soon they were going to connect thoughts to words and make real sentences and then we would be in trouble.
I got to see Takeo and Sara napping in Ching Lee and Lorrie’s arms after just nursing.
“Robert said he wants to talk to you if you call in. I just paged him,” Marcy said.
“BJ, can you talk for a minute?” Robert asked.
“A quick minute, yes,” I replied.
“You were right, the sex site is coming productive. The initial part of the planning was made today. We have figured out the part of the sequencing patterns they are using.”
“Some of the travel plans for the women were arranged today. They are going to be interviewed in Paris France for poise and charm in two weeks. They have a training facility in the Muslim only section of the city. The best ones will be kept there for enhanced training,” Robert said.
“They made mention that the other sites would be announced soon,” Robert added.
“OK, that keeps things moving forward. Keep up the good work!” I replied as I closed the window.
Adriyel Dorin, who was deputy director of Mossad and Ben David’s boss, was one of the people. Eli Distel was director of the secret police was the other and they were the first to come into the plane. Both of them treated me like I was a long lost friend, lightly shaking my hand for the longest time and a gentle hug.
“Ambassador Dansky, Ben and others speak highly of your cunning, determination, skills and no fear attitude. Also, there were the rumors of the exploits of your organization. I’m looking forward to spending time talking with you,” Director Dorin said.
“That conversation can go both ways; it will be a pleasure,” I replied with a smile.
Another was US Ambassador to Israel, Mitchell Brown; after talking with Ed he came into the plane.
“We will have a security convoy take you to your hotel; I expect that you still need some rest after your ordeal yesterday. I was told your office has made the necessary arrangements,” Eli said.
“Yes, they have and I appreciate the escort,” I said.
“I still expect to follow the schedule that agent David and I worked out for my stay,” I said.
“I will see you at the embassy tomorrow Ambassador Brown,” I added.
The cars had pulled up to the plane to take us to the hotel. Vicky and I rode in a limo with Adriyel and Eli. Ed had worked out the schedule for his men to guard the plane while we were here.
“Never trust your enemies but watch friends with an open eye just as closely,” was a saying a distinguished diplomat once told me.
The Norman Tel Aviv was another five star hotel. The service was impeccable. As soon as I walked in the door and confirmed who I was there was a rush of busboys to carry our bags; one for each of us.
In the room they demonstrated how the TV, internet and everything else worked. Then they went over how to order from room service and an explanation of the menu items.
A very long hot shower and Vicky and I were out to meet the men in the restaurant for a late supper. I just did not want room service tonight. I guess that I was feeling a lot better. I was looking forward to doing things at the Mossad training center.
In that light I had the doctors in Portugal send the electronic scans to Doc Burns, so I called him.
“BJ, what they indicated was a crack is a healed crack from a previous fight you have been in. It is in x-rays from four years ago. There is calcification that indicated that had it has healed. I don’t know why he thought it was a fresh crack. Let’s see how sore you are from the bruising and let that determine what you can do,” Doc Burns said.
“One other thing BJ, I have used your Fort Smith first aid center to assist in an interrogation for the task force. Marcy approved it. We are to finish tonight. They want to pay me directly; I would rather you pay me and have you bill them. I do not want payments from the government intelligence services to show up on my books. I work for you only with this kind of project and want to keep it that way,” Doc Burns added.
“No problem, I will take care of it. We need you to continue working with us,” I replied.
Dinner was fabulous! Vicky and I both slept soundly. At 0500 we were in the restaurant having breakfast with a group of VIP’s from the Mossad, the US embassy and my men.
After breakfast we were carried to a secret facility in a closed meeting on terrorism. The meetings lasted all day and into the evening. I was careful what I shared and I know they were. We both had levels of classification restrictions we did not cross.
‘Trends’ was a repeated word in the talks; it was the new focal point everywhere. We all faced them because the terrorists were sharing the design of the things they were making and communications that also worked.
They were using social media, Twitter, Face book, YouTube, x tube, adult video sites – anywhere they could post and get away with it even for a short time before the agencies shut them down. Complete instruction on homemade explosives and how to build bombs were online on multiple sites.
When one site was taken down the information was posted elsewhere in a matter of hours. The task force had been lobbying for laws to allow sites to be taken down faster but Congress and the courts were stonewalling.
As soon as a new tactic appeared, in days or weeks multiple countries faced them. There were stabbings, shootings, attacks on groups of people by cars, the motorcycle bombs and a number of others that were kept from the media until they could be properly researched and evaluated.
The motorcycle bombs had been improved with help from a chemist somewhere; before they were a nuisance, now they were extremely powerful. They had not shown up in the US yet but France and Germany had seen six in the last two weeks.
I was surprised at the number of attacks that were not making the media. I was even more surprised at the growing list of materials that were easily available in the supermarket and hardware stores that were being made into bombs and chemical weapons.
The days of chlorine and battery acid were long past even though they were still being used.
It wasn’t just the homemade explosive components; there were also methods of getting them into high traffic areas where there would be high numbers of casualties.
Backpacks and pressure cooker bombs were losing out to more sophisticated methods in the coming attacks in developed countries.
Another advance the terrorists were taking advantage of was the big step in electronics for timing and triggering devices. The wind up dryer timer with limited set time had lost out to miniature programmable triggers the size of a thimble that allowed devices to be put in place days in advance without large batteries and bulky wiring and were easily concealed.
Super explosives were being supplied by China, Russia, Iran and North Korea that made even very small devices even more deadly.
Then there was the big advance in wireless technology that was transferable from TV remotes and other domestic appliances. The garage door remote and cell phone were no longer alone. Components were being taken from remote control toys or even being bought as kits from hobby shops, Amazon, eBay and others to trigger bombs. They were small, reliable, effective and cheap.
The world was led to believe that with the downfall of ISIS that the labs had been destroyed and their scientist and weapons experts killed or captured. That was clearly not so; somewhere there was an extensive lab providing research for the terrorists.
I was sure I knew where it was originating, it was the same organization that was building the dark web sites and partnering with the remnants of Al Qaida, Hamas and Hezbollah and others.
I had boxes of samples, pictures, and instructions to take back to Maryland with me. The JBG training programs were going to require massive updates as well as finding suitable countermeasures for the embassy security groups.
Some of the information would be shared in an appropriate time and manner with the federal agencies. The issues and problems were doing it in a fashion so that the hackers couldn’t determine the source of the information. I knew the federal agencies would be hacked.
Wednesday evening there was bad news from Ben. In Chicago there had been a large house explosion in the slums. At first it was thought to be a meth lab explosion. The investigation revealed some chemicals not used in meth production.
When he read me the list I knew they were making bombs. The chemicals were the new combinations I had learned about today. The meth lab was used to generate money to build bombs. I suspected the interactions of either disposing waste in the same container or vapor interactions caused the explosion.
Either way, we would never know; everyone in the house was dead, either burned to death or killed by the explosion. The rooms where the office was had burned up completely. The investigation would take months that we didn’t have; if there was one there, how many was any one’s guess.
Thursday we spent the day at the Mossad training center; I had recovered enough to actively participate. I learned a lot and so did my men; the trainers had new things to teach in the retraining and recertification at Fort Smith. It was a productive and rewarding day. Tired and sore, I had a state dinner and an hour on VCATS with the girls ending the day.
Friday was sightseeing. We started early; there were dozens of places Vicky and I wanted to see, the Western wall, the Temple Mount, the historic ruins, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem and the many old cities. We spent all day on the road under the watchful eye of the Mossad.
To see those places and to walk the paths of prophets, I could feel the history. To see the places in the bible stories from when I was little was moving. So many people had died over such a small piece of ground and would continue to until the earth burned to a crisp. Wars and the rumors of wars till the end of time.
It was well after dark when we called it a night at the motel.
Friday morning we started again going first to the US embassy and then to IDF facility to meet our escorts for the day who were from the IDF and Mossad. Today’s equipment was Israeli modified Humvees and a couple of recent additions to the IDF fast response unit.
They looked like a cross between the newer American wheeled armor vehicle and the German version but with a lot more fire power. They were to lead and be the last vehicle in the convoy with me and my men in the middle.
First we went south to the Gaza strip for a tour of the checkpoints and the tunnels that were always in the news. After several hours inspecting Gaza we headed north along the coast to Haifa and Acre to meet some people they thought I should meet and to have lunch.
Then we went across the northern border with Lebanon where Hezbollah was launching rocket attacks against Israeli cities and had cross border excursions. Then we went on to the DMZ with Syria and on to the Golan heights.
It was here that things went bad. We were traveling on a built up road with a slight ravine to the right that was used for patrols, when an anti-tank rocket took out the lead vehicle. By the time everything had stopped we were all bunched together when another anti tank rocket took out the rear heavily armored vehicle. It was the classic tactics used against most military convoys in Afghanistan and Iraq when I was there.
The sides of the Humvees were now being riddled with small arms fire. The drivers were trying their best to break us out of the jam.
I looked out the side window to see six terrorists standing with RPGs several hundred meters away. These armored HumVees could handle small arms but not RPGs. I watched and I saw the puffs of smoke indicating they were being fired and the projectile on its path towards us.
Seconds to live and that was all.
“GET OUT, GET OUT!” I screamed as I pushed Vicky out the door; we weren’t going to make it out in time.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.
This is the end of book one. I would like to thank Alfmeister and Bob W. for their great work making my story into a great story that people wanted to read.
I would also like to thank Joe H. for his critique of many of the early chapters and continued encouragement and comments.
I want to say thanks to all the readers that sent emails – some 4000 over the length of the story, some critical, a few outright abusive. The majority were supportive, encouraging and helpful.
Book two will be a continuation of plot and characters and will answer some of the email questions. It will tie some loose ends together and bring the story to a close.
Thanks again to all.