“Good afternoon Mr. President, Troy, how is the weather in Washington this afternoon?” I asked.
“The weather is great, but on the other hand there is a political storm brewing.”
“I got word that the IRS seized the assets of Senator Waxdeller last night. The Senate is unhappy and the rain clouds are growing,” the President said.
“You will have plenty of grounds to replace me as IRS commissioner on the fifth; by then the thirty six other delinquent Senators and Representatives will have their assets seized. Have Harry give a reminder in his press briefing that all it takes to stop the seizures is a phone call and a payment agreement if you owe back taxes.”
For the next hour I filled the two in on the JBG contract with Portugal, as a common courtesy. I was sure it would hit the news cycle Sunday morning, if not before. The official announcement and signing was going to be filmed Saturday morning before the State dinner.
Vicky did not know it yet but she was going to be the on camera as JBG’s signor for the document. I was going to sign off camera.
We were up early, had breakfast early and were early at the Portugal National Police Training Center. A few of the local media were already there but were not expecting us to arrive so early so they were unprepared.
Hanna and Melinda – on the other hand – were given a few minutes head start to arrive before us and were ready to roll as soon as we stepped out of the SUV.
Howie and his group of helpers were already there performing the last walk through before the attendees arrived. A quick check myself and I was satisfied.
The arriving participants had to deal with the gauntlet of reporters at the entrance to the training center after they had missed Vicky and me going in, they were not going to let anyone get by them now.
All of visitors had tipped off their own local media to get the best PR they could. Politics was politics everywhere in the world.
After a sign in sheet, name tags, and introductions, we began the program. Every device we had seized from every terrorist, every terrorist camp, every terrorist group that we had raided and every terrorist device that had been used in the wars in the Middle East war was discussed. The plans and blueprints we had also found in them and on the general net were discussed.
There was a lengthily discussion about the new household chemical mixes to make explosives and poison gasses that was hitting the internet.
The display tables had examples of each one as a complete product and disassembled for the attendees to view.
The discussion covered homemade devices we had found and the conversion of military shells as well as the practice of taking the high explosive RDX from shells to make other explosive devices.
There were reports from Iraq that the Iraq army had found over one thousand 155mm projectiles that had been emptied of the explosive after ISIS ran out of the powder bags and shells to shoot the projectiles through the howitzers in the final days. It was feared that the RDX had found its way into Europe with the refugees.
Howie gave descriptions and specifications of countermeasures that worked, if there were any. Howie had done testing of every device, built devices using captured plans or copying seized units – sometimes many of them – while searching for any possible countermeasure.
There were a few success stories from all the testing. Howie had found a countermeasure for the mobile IEDs that we had found in West Virginia that could have been so deadly.
That countermeasure consisted of metal shields that were folded down from underneath by air cylinders on all four sides, anytime the SUV came to a stop. Those shields kept the IEDs from getting under the vehicle. In testing the occupants would survive if the IED detonated outside of the armor package we ordered on the vehicles.
Howie had worked with Shore Machine and Fabrication – the same machine shop that had made the devices for our drones – to engineer and perfect the operation on our test SUV.
That countermeasure – along with frequency jammers to stop the new threat from small grenade carrying drones showing up in the Middle East – was being installed on all new armored SUVs we ordered.
A field install kit was being made for the ones we already had in service in Africa, the Middle East and now Europe where we had embassy security contracts. The reason for this was the mobile IED was reported to be in production by the IRG weapons development division. This tidbit was another one of the things we had learned from Colonel Kassis.
Another tidbit from Colonel Kassis was that the IRG had perfected Hollywood’s special effects favorite – the bad guy spy bomb. For years 007 and competing shows had shown the bad guys riding on motorcycles, riding up beside their targets vehicle and sticking a small explosive device on the window or door and driving off.
The problem with that is no adhesive or magnet is going to hold an explosion tight enough to do any real damage before the device falls off. Older cars with older windows would indeed shatter into thousands of small pieces when hit with even the simplest object. Some of the explosive power would enter the car but very little.
With those windows a spring loaded center punch would work and most all EMS carried a punch or a small rescue tool in their bag. That tool had a pointed side to break those old style windows and a seat belt cutter on the other side.
Those tools no longer work with federal mandated changes to side window glass. Side windows have to have the same safety glass as the front windshield. This change was brought about in an effort to thwart carjacking while sitting at stop lights. No longer would a simple tool give carjackers easy access to the driver if the doors were locked. To get through that window now took time and aggressive tools.
The Iranians had used the same technology that was in the IEDs that they sent to Afghanistan and Iraq. That technology had killed so many US soldiers in armored vehicles.
Those IEDs – instead of exploding instantly – in microseconds created a super heated molten glob that was expelled and penetrated or melted a hole through armor plates instantly.
That glob of super heated molten metal – when exposed to the air – exploded and was deadly. The full power of the propellant would then follow through the hole.
They were heavy, five pounds or so, with a wide ring of super adhesive with a quick peel off. To activate it they used a small lynch pin with a short lanyard; once pulled there was no way to stop it as there was with bombs with timers and batteries.
According to Kassis, it would penetrate even one inch thick bullet resistant laminated polymer glass and I had reason to believe him under the duress that he was.
There was a long lunch and then I talked for two hours about intelligence collection from social media, chat rooms and a variety of other methods. At no time did I say anything about the dark web.
The two hour talk ended with another two hours of question and answers. That was followed by a press conference that lasted another hour. Melinda was ZNN’s field reporter, much to the dismay of the local ZNN station. Hanna reported for the shores local station.
With an abundance of reporters from all the countries involved, there were plenty of questions directed at those participants. Vicky and I only answered a few questions and that suited me just fine.
The entire group was treated to supper at a five star eatery by the Premier. I was glad to finally go to the motel; today was busy and tomorrow was going to just as busy.
I called Robert from the motel room on the State Department secure smarter than smart phone; sometimes it was smarter than I was.
The good news – bikes were spotted today at several locations. Jaed picked up a load of bikes from each of the two machine shops we had under surveillance. The IRS generated report – when put through the terrorist list – flagged eight employees from the shops on the terrorist watch list.
The bikes were carried to a very large barn near Avon Heights. Ben increased aerial and drone surveillance of both the machine shop and Avon heights.
I spent an hour on MTAC with Ben putting together the pieces needed for multiple raids on Tuesday. With so many leaks in the various local police departments no actions, orders, or requests for SWAT teams would be made until just an hour from the raid time.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.