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Mad dog, p.16

Mad Dog, page 16


Mad Dog

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  It was two thirty in the afternoon when they first saw the news coverage of their kidnapping and of their distressed parents stoically attempting to maintain their composure. With the exception of Julian each in turn wept as the images of their parents appeared before their eyes. Julian simply maintained the stiff upper lip that he considered to be expected of him.

  Watching them on the closed circuit cameras that were strategically positioned throughout the flat, Jamil and Tawid decided that the time was right for them to be given the new rules.

  -Stop sobbing and listen to me carefully unless you want to be watching your parents lamenting your deaths, -started Jamil.

  -Well that’s not actually possible, -interrupted Peter, -I mean, if were dead we can’t watch the tele can we? -

  -No, but if you’re dead the others can can’t they? –answered Jamil sharply, -and if you don’t want to put that to the test you’d be best advised to shut up and listen up.

  There are three rules that you WILL obey. Firstly, you will eat, drink and sleep when we tell you to; secondly, you will make no further attempts to either escape or communicate with the outside, and thirdly, you will obey all instructions as and when given. –

  Peter resisted the temptation to tell him that the third was a self evidence.

  -Failure to comply with the rules will be punished and you have seen our idea of punishment. As I suspect that you Peter, are the most likely to disconform I would personally enjoy punishing you but I am instructed to inform you that all punishment will be applied to Jennifer. Your lunch will be served in half an hour and you will eat it. After lunch we will come to collect Henry, we wish to interview him, you will not cause any resistance to this. Enjoy your lunch, we’ll see you later. –

  The youngsters remained in silence each digesting and interpreting Jamils words as best they could. Peter was left only with the fact that he had no option other than to behave, Jennifer suffering on his behalf not being a possibility he was willing to risk having seen what they had done to the poor woman at the cottage

  The following days passed as an endless routine of eating, drinking, television, sleeping and interviewing, each of them reporting the same questions and the same changing of clothing. The only thing that broke the boredom was the curious and to them incomprehensible News Bulletins that related the so called developments in their situation.

  If the first note, which they saw for the first time on the Wednesday afternoon, confused them, then the second note that appeared at lunch time did nothing to clarify things.

  What was more incredible still was that the News Channels appeared to be taking it seriously, seemed to believe that The Jackal could be behind this when everyone knew that he was dead. It was depressing to think that they were so far wrong, that they would be looking for them anywhere but where they were. It was also deeply confusing because they couldn’t imagine what Al Qaeda could possibly gain from releasing the notes, after all what they would want would be publicity from their kidnapping. They concluded that there were two alternatives:-

  1) That they were trying to buy time, or;

  2) The notes were a hoax from someone who had nothing to do with the kidnappings.

  Harvey sat patiently waiting for the PM to come to the same conclusions that he had reached himself as he was driven back to London from Bristol. He had given him all the details of the investigation into the kidnappings and highlighted the role he suspected that the Iranian Embassy played in them. He had then explained the reasons for his suspicions that Hari, Jiriyis and Mustafa were in fact not dead and now he simply waited as the PM digested the information and the implications of it.

  The PM stared expressionlessly at Harvey and asked two questions:-

  Out of ten, how confident are you that the children are in the Iranian Embassy? ; and if as you believe the kidnappings are merely a diversionary tactic, what do you think the real target could be? -

  -Well Sir I would say nine out of ten and that I have no idea except that is going to be enormous. –

  -Okay let’s say that I accept your conclusions what do suggest our next step should be? –

  -Well we can’t simply burst in there and search the place, we can’t step up the vigilance too much either without causing a “situation” but I have to say that I would do neither of those things even if I could. I think we need to control the situation. I don’t believe the children are at any risk until the 4th so I would just keep a controlling brief on all movements in and out of the Embassy because I firmly believe that whatever the main event is, the Embassy will have something to do with it. I also suspect that they would be only too happy to cause a diplomatic incident out of this, I think they could even use it to ship out, lock stock and barrel before the main event occurs and the shit inevitably hits the fan. –

  -So you’re suggesting that we do nothing? –

  -Well if you consider intensive twenty four hour vigilance, nothing, yes I suppose I am. I think we have time and we would be best advised to be patient. –

  -Ermmm, maybe you’re right, now what do you say about the press? What can we let them have? –

  -Yes well that’s a good question isn’t it? I would still prefer not to tell them anything, let’s see what happens today, if nothing new occurs we’ll hold out until tomorrow and then I think we will have no option but to give them the Al Qaeda link and our reasons for believing it to be them, I understand that we’ll get crucified but it will at least kill the Fowler story and may even provoke a move from the Embassy. –

  -So that’s another NOTHING then, you’re becoming a politician, -mocked the PM. –Anyway I think you’re right, we’ll sweat it out for today and see what develops. Now, as we’re on the subject of Fowler, what do you have planned for him? –

  Harvey explained his intentions to the amazement of the PM whose mouth literally dropped open when he told him that his intention was for Harris to travel with Brock in order to eliminate Fowler.


  -Yes I know what you mean but something tells me that he aught to be there, I don’t know how to explain it, I just know. If it hadn’t been for Harris we would have believed Fowler dead, he’d have got away. He’s obsessed that’s plain to see but he’s also necessary to the investigation. Since the fire he’s become much more controlled, much more lucid, more concentrated in his thinking. His judgement is exceptional; you only have to look at the light he´s shone on this case. –

  -Yes very good, but is he stable? –

  -Well I think that if he doesn’t go he won’t be and I think we owe him the benefit of the doubt. –

  -Yes but what if he cracks up over there, I mean there’s too much at stake. –

  -And that’s why DS Clarke is going, he knows him, can control him and can assure he’s suitably medicated. –

  -Oh good god man can you hear yourself? He´s obsessed, potentially unstable and in need of a handler. –

  -Well that’s not how I’d put it. How about; he’s the reason we still have a case, he’s got a brilliant and fast mind, he’s determined and he’s completely implicated in the case. –

  -Yes but he’s nuts. –

  -Look Sir, I don’t know how to explain this better but it’s the right thing to do and he’s got something more to do with this before it ends, Trust me. –

  It wasn’t particularly a convincing argument but in the end the PM bowed to Harvey’s judgement and sanctioned his intentions.

  -I think you’re as mad as he is but perhaps it’s what we need; you know “set a thief to catch a thief”. One thing though, MAKE SURE THIS IS SILENT AND Permanent! AND DON´T FAIL!! –

  -Oh it wont you can rest assured of that, there’s no one better than Brock, he’ll do his job and he’ll leave no evidence. –

  At lunch time there was a development that accelerated their plans. A second note was received simultaneously by email at The Sun Newspaper Group and Sky News and by one thirty it became the latest NEWS FLASH.

  At two o’clock as he mused over the possible meanings of the apparently pointless note, Harvey received the call form Harris.

  -Good afternoon Harvey, I think we’ve got something for you. –

  -Well I could do with something, they’ve published another note or at least we’re assuming that it’s them although it doesn’t make much sense. –

  -Yes I’ve seen it, came through about half an hour ago. Schopenhauer isn’t it? The three phases of the truth. It’s just a bit of nonsense if you ask me, something to occupy the press. Not at all like Fowler, his notes had a message, a message that challenged and led in a definite direction, these notes are far simpler and far more obtuse at the same time, and they don’t lead in any direction they lead in all directions. The press can take it to refer to Fowler and your denials that he lives and we can read the same message as a vindication of their Islamic beliefs. It’s a smoke screen, best ignored.–

  -I wish we could but I’m afraid were going to have to react, the pressure from the press is going to be too great, were going to have to give them something. On the subject of that, I take it that you’ve got something to tell me. What have you discovered? –

  - Well let’s start with something we are sure about. One of the guards that spring from the doors of the Embassy the moment that the mini bus arrives is Jiriyis and judging from his reactions and taking into account that as I understand it Hari is now the head of the family, I would suggest that one of those that arrived was Hari. We also believe that your head count is out and I think you need to ask yourself why. Charlie and I have gone through the tapes and there is no doubt that more people enter the Embassy than leave it. Nine more to be precise, which as you know coincides with the number of kidnappers and hostages but not if you count Hari into the group. Nonetheless as we’ve detailed the head count by gender, something your agents haven’t done and perhaps something you need to look at for the future, we’re convinced that the difference is accounted for by the kidnappers and the kids but that someone has remained on the outside. That someone is your best chance of catching them, I mean if you can identify who it is you can concentrate your search on him. We’ve scrutinised the tapes and were pretty sure that the six kids that entered the Embassy are not the same as the six that left, the body postures, their movements etc are different in at least four cases. When they entered four of them appeared to be asleep or unconscious when they left they were all conscious and active. Those that led them in also appear to have changed although the differences are not so evident and we could be mistaken, but I think you should go over all the changes in the Embassy staff since the so called death of Hari etc, the recent changes don’t show anything but it appears to me that’s the easiest way to get them in to the country. If, as the report you sent me says, they went straight to the Central Mosque from the Embassy, you’ve got to ask yourself if whoever is on the outside is inside the Mosque and the Mosque’s roll in this certainly needs investigating. It also leaves one question. If Hari´s here where is Mustafa? I take it you’ve had no news of him? –

  -Is the evidence clear enough to actually accuse them? –

  -NO! Definitely not, and I wouldn’t advise it anyway, they’ll only deny it and you’ll get the diplomatic incident you don’t want. The other thing is that they could use it as an excuse to close the Embassy and ship out all their staff. Then what do you do? I mean they could ship the kids out at the same time and you couldn’t do a thing to stop them. –

  -Yes, well I wouldn’t be so sure about that, there are an awful lot of unofficial things that could happen in the event of them trying to get the kids out of the country. –

  -Well you know best. Any news on our travel arrangements?–

  -Yes I’ll get them sent to you; Brock arrives in the country tomorrow morning. -

  -One thing, how did they get the note to you? –

  -They didn’t, they sent it by email to the Sun and to Sky news and we got to know about it when it appeared on the news flash, we’ve traced the email and it originated from the Habashia Internet Cafe on Chapel Street in Soho, we’re checking the CCTV footage from the area for the time it was sent. With a little luck we’ll get to see who has stayed outside. –

  -Yes well I think you also need to be asking yourself why one of them is on the outside. –

  -Perhaps to send the emails? –

  -Well I suspect it will be for something more significant than that, for that they could simply send someone to a cyber café and send the message, anyway they know that your capable of tracing the messages so if they’ve already sent messages from the Embassy they’ve done so knowing that you’ll be aware of the fact and it doesn’t bother them. No, there’s a far more important reason if you ask me. –

  -Well if you think of one let me know! –

  -Excuse me Sir, -interrupted Charlie, -but have you thought that it could be that a General is rarely on the battle field. –

  -I see what you mean, -responded Harvey, -Whoever’s organising this will want to be away from any possible action of ours. Which makes me think that it’s Hari on the loose? –

  -Quite possibly, -said Harris, -quite possibly, so now all you need to do is find him and find out what he is organising. –

  -Cheers! – said Harvey laughing, the nervous laugh of someone who had nothing to laugh about.

  Harvey had no sooner hung up than he received a call from the Met.

  -Sir, we’ve found the Antara that we’ve been looking for, or rather we’ve found the remains of the Antara. It appears to have been abandoned in the car park of a deserted pub on the Ingatestone by-pass, The Old Oak. There’s not much of it left, the scavengers got to it first. The forensic boys are at the scene but I doubt that they’ll find much. I don’t know if it helps, but the Ingatestone by-pass is the main road to Ipswich. –

  -Thank you, -answered Harvey, Let me know if they find anything. –

  He hadn’t had time to digest the information when his phone rang yet again.

  -Harvey, -started Karl Klugman excitedly, -we’ve found something on the tapes. Listen to this:-

  “Hari, mission completed where do we go from here?”, blurted someone obviously jubilant in a scouse accent.

  “Right, first take the Outer Circle to Cumberland Place then tap Seven Sisters A10 into the GPS, once your nearing there call again, IL-Hamdu Allah.” replied “Hari” somewhat more calmly.

  -We thought at first he was saying Harry but this guy finishes with IL-Hamdu Allah (thank be to god in Arabic). We reckon what he’s saying is Hari. What do you think? –

  -It certainly sounds like a scouse accent and you could well be right about it being Hari instead of Harry and what’s more it ties in with a call I’ve just received. They’ve found the Antara on the by –pass to Ipswich which is more or less in the direction they were talking about. Thanks, send me a copy of the tape if you could. –

  Harvey got off the line as quickly as he could, grateful that the Americans hadn’t made the link to Hari Sayeghi Alam although he could see why not. After all without all the information that they possessed it would be a huge leap of logic to assume that the Hari in the conversation was the self same Hari that was supposedly killed almost a month earlier in the foothills of the Barrage El Makhazine Mountains.

  Hari was ushered to the offices of Ambassador Hamid Al Khazaei the moment he entered the Embassy.

  -Ahlan wa Sahlan (Welcome), -said Hamid Al Khazaei bowing slowly; -

  -Ahlan Bik- replied Hari bowing and gesticulating with his arm; -

  -Hari, what in the name of Allah has happened, this was supposed to be the last resort and two days after kidnapping them you’re here? I don’t like it, it’s not what we expected and it puts the Embassy at too great a risk. –

  -Firstly a little calm would not be amiss and secondly I believe I delivered to you a letter from the President instructing you to provide all the assistance that I feel necessary and when I feel it to be necessary. I therefore am not overly
concerned with whether you like the situation or not nor I believe would be the President. –

  -Aasef! Allāhu Akbar (I’m sorry, God is Great) –

  -It’s alright forget it, have faith. –

  Hari gave Hamid a detailed account of the morning’s events and then explained to him his needs.

  -I do not wish to risk moving the hostages again which means that I need to use my safe address and so will Jiriyis and his group. I had always planned on moving to the Soho safe house sooner rather than later but that has now become imperative, what I hadn’t planned was for Jiriyis to need to move so quickly. That however is also imperative as he can not under any circumstances be at the same location as the hostages. The two groups must be separated. –

  They decided that Jiriyis and his team would move to the safe house they were originally to occupy the night of 3rd July only as much as it increased the risk of them being discovered. The reason they were only to have stayed at 23 Albacore Crescent the night before they were due to act was that the Lewisham Islamic Centre which owned the flat and would be providing their access to the Honor Oak Pumping Station was permanently under vigilance by the authorities and had been raided three times in the previous two years. As a result it’s safe house status was a little dubious yet they had little option, they would move the following morning and lie low until the 4th.

  Hari left the Embassy that very afternoon on foot, fully robed in his full length white thwarb and his ghutra headscarf pulled across his face he was totally unrecognisable to the observing agents as he was later to Harris and Charlie, before leaving however he used the Embassy’s IT staff to provide him with the last two notes that he would require and to furnish him with a netbook and safe internet connection for the Embassy.

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