Mad dog, p.17
Mad Dog, page 17
By six thirty that afternoon he was installed in his superb little attic flat in the heart of Soho. It was the ideal place to get lost, in the centre of the busiest and most cosmopolitan square mile in Britain. It was for precisely that reason that the following day when he visited The Habashia Internet Cafe upon leaving he was quickly able to lose himself in the crowd dressed as he now was in Jeans, t-shirt and a light jacket as were the majority of the tourists and passers by.
Events were moving too fast for Harvey and yet at the same time too slow. He had the impression that as fast as he reacted he was permanently behind the game and the problem was precisely that, he was reacting not taking the initiative. He picked up the phone and asked Agent Bradley to find out whether or not the same teams were watching the Embassy as yesterday.
-Yes Sir, they changed watch at two, it’s Agents Linacre and Townend at the moment, why? –
-Then get them changed and get them in here, I want to know why it is that their head count doesn’t tally for yesterday. What’s more it doesn’t tally by nine which curiously coincides with the number of terrorists and hostages. What’s more one of the guards at the Embassy appears to be no other than Jiriyis Aswad a terrorist on our most wanted list until recently. What the hell have our agents been doing? I want the vigilance of the Embassy stepped up to maximum level, I want a control maintained over all that enter and leave the building and I want it done by gender and I don’t care how many agents it requires. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR? Now find out if anything unusual happened this morning. –
Five minutes later Agent Bradley confirmed that a group of four in thwarbs had left the Embassy at ten that morning and that they had not entered as visitors, they therefore suspected them to be staff or guards, the only thing curious in that was that they carried sports bags.
-For the love of Christ, -moaned Harvey –I’d bet whatever you like that one of them was Jiriyis. Get the tapes over here and get the CCTV footage for the area examined, see if you can find out where they went and how. Now get me the media boys in here I want to put a presentation together. –
Harvey decided it was time to get ahead of the game, picked up the phone and called the PM to advise him of his decision.
At five thirty that afternoon Harvey called the press conference.
-LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, -started Harvey, bringing the room too silence. –I have called you here this afternoon to inform you of some important developments but first I would like to clarify one important point. ALF FOWLER HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS CASE, HE IS DEAD, HE HAS BEEN DEAD FOR SOME THREE AND A HALF MONTHS NOW AND HE WILL NOT BE RETURNING FROM THE DEAD!
Hands raised across the room and Harvey recognised the Sky News reporter.
-Yes, Alistair McGovern Sky News, Harvey how can you be so sure? Who is sending the notes if not him?, and what do you have to say about the fact that his half brother Jay who supposedly left the UK the day after the fire at Howtowdie Farm, never arrived at his home town of Ely and that they have had no word of him since him leaving for the UK? Could he not be doing a copy cat crime? –
Harvey felt the blood draining from his face, he hadn’t expected that although it was to be expected that the media investigate all links to Alf.
-Thank you Alistair, I really don’t want to get bogged down on the Alf Fowler issue as what I am about to explain will leave no doubt that he has no involvement. Furthermore the same applies to Jay and anyway we know where Jay is and although we cannot divulge the details we can assure you that it is impossible that he be involved. Now if I may continue. -
The screen behind Harvey burst into life and as Harvey related the details images of those involved and the locations indicated appeared perfectly synchronised.
-On May 30th we believed that an allied air strike killed, amongst others, Mustafa Akh Mahbud alias The Mongul, Jiriyis Aswad and Hari Sayeghi Alam. On June 15th we believed the terrorists, Rashid Al Maktoum, Tawid Abdallah and Jamil Matar (formerly known as Colin Wilkinson) to have been killed in the explosion at the Muslim Community House in Dudley. It would now appear that these beliefs are unfounded. We are, as yet, unaware of how we have been deceived but have no doubt that it is the case.
On June 26th the following footage was captured on CCTV of the kidnapping on Hanover Gate. We have managed to digitally amplify the images and we can now see clearly the identities of the kidnappers, Rashid Al Maktoum, Tawid Abdallah and Jamil Matar being amongst them. The following image was taken yesterday in the centre of London and clearly shows Jiriyis Aswad, Jiriyis, as you will remember, is suspected of being responsible for the death of Harry Burrows, which leads us to severely doubt the veracity of our belief that Mustafa Akh Mahbud and Hari Sayeghi Alam died alongside him almost a month ago. All of the afore mentioned are, or were, active members of Al Qaeda. We therefore are left in little doubt that Al Qaeda are behind the kidnappings
The fact that Al Qaeda has gone to so much trouble to mislead us leads us to believe that the kidnappings form part of a larger plan and we would ask for all to be extra vigilant over the coming days, we are approaching some significant dates and believe the threat of action from Al Qaeda to be extremely real. We would appeal for all members of the public who have any suspicions or information that may shed light on the kidnappings, whereabouts of any of the afore mentioned terrorists or their plans, to contact us on the numbers that will appear on your screens. We can not overstress the urgency and importance of the situation. Any Questions? –
Hari sat staring at the TV in his luxurious Soho flat open mouthed. A feeling of dread filled him as he realised that the hunt was well and truly on, he suddenly felt watched and found himself looking around nervously, the arrogance of security abandoning him, half expecting the door of the flat to be beaten down at any moment. It was a feeling that would serve to heighten his awareness of the dangers of each and every move he made. Frustrated by the fact that the press would now concentrate all their efforts on helping the Police and MI5 in finding them, he grabbed the third note that was now of no use to him and tossed it into the waste paper bin at the side of the bureau on the far side of the room.
Jiriyis, Latif Bin Hakeem and Rasin Al Kazemi who formed the rest of his team sat in the squalor of the glorified slum that the Lewisham Islamic Centre had provided them with, the latter struggling to understand what was being said but fully understanding that the images of Jiriyis and Hari appearing on television was not a good thing.
The hostages jumped and yelled in applause at what they were seeing until Jamil entered and turned the TV off.
-Don’t know what you’re turning it off for; it’s not that bad a picture of you! –scoffed Peter to the laughter of the others.
Jamil didn’t react; he consoled himself with the knowledge that inside the Embassy, at least for the time being, they were safe which was a damn site more than Peter could say.
Mustafa, Khalid al-Yacoub and Abu Zubayr Al Zahrani were knelt in prayer shortly before seven on the morning of Friday 30th when Martxelo entered their room to wake them. He simply shook his head and left having witnessed a similar scene at 14.12, 18.10, 21.34 and 23.23 the previous day. The only one he had missed had been the 04.53 session that morning.
-They’re at it again, -he moaned in Txabi´s direction as he entered the kitchen. –why don’t you run them up some bacon sandwiches? –he added maliciously.
-I don’t know what your problem is, -answered Txabi, -they’re paying well for our help and after all we share the same enemy so what’s the problem? –
-Well that’s it isn’t it, you don’t get it do you? They share our enemy but they have another one that we don’t have, US! Think about it, we’re not believers either and so we’re just as damned to them as the rest are. And then you ask me what the problem is, I don’t trust them that’s what the problem is? –
At that moment Mustafa entered the kitchen pretending not to have overheard any of the conversation.
After Mustafa, Khalid and Ab
-What’s the plan for today? –asked Mustafa.
-Well were going to trek to the Dam, it’s not far, some five or six kilometres, but the terrain is a little rough. –
-You needn’t be concerned on our behalf. –interrupted Mustafa with a knowing smile as he translated it for his companions who laughed raucously.
Khalid was a small man, no more than five foot six and painfully thin, but he had outlasted the strongest and largest of the other trainees at the Al Faroug training camp in the Helmand Province where the terrain was a damn siight more than a “little rough”. Khalid´s powers of resistance were not however the reason for him being there, his scientific expertise in chemical warfare and in particular weapons of mass destruction were.
Khalid was the only remaining member of his family having been orphaned in 1991 when the American led Allied forces bombarded the defenceless Iraqi Capital of Baghdad his family being just twelve of the thousands that were brutally massacred during wave after wave of unchallenged bombardment when not a single American Tank nor B52 Bomber was hit by enemy fire and where not a single military engagement took place, the Americans simply annihilating the non resistant Iraqi Troops burying thousands of them alive in the trenches in which they hid.
Abu was physically the opposite to Khalid, six foot three tall, heavily muscled yet surprisingly lithe and remarkably agile, Abu was the most efficient soldier that the Al Faroug training camp had produced in a long time. His role was simple; make sure that nothing and no one got in Khalid´s way as he performed his duty. Abu had already marked Martxelo for elimination when the time came, evaluating his movements and assessing his weaknesses and deciding the easiest and fastest method of killing him.
Abu was the eldest son of Esanullah Zubayr Al Zahrani a respected Afghan Military Police officer who suffered the misfortune of being killed by friendly fire during one of the Americans nighttime raids by Special Forces. The American Special Forces wiped out Esanullah´s entire group as they waited on the edge of a village on the outskirts of Khabul waiting to provide back up support. In an attempt to cover up the blunder the Americans claimed to have been fired upon first and later claimed that the Afghan patrol had been collaborating with the local Taliban. As a result the families of all of the members of the patrol had their pensions blocked and were evicted from their homes. Two of Abu’s sisters died of hunger the following year before Abu was taken under the wing of Al Qaeda after having killed with his bare hands two Italian soldiers who burst into their makeshift home during yet another mistaken assault, firing upon his defenceless screaming mother as they did so.
-What we intend doing is climbing up to the peak above the southern tower of the damn, from there you get an excellent panoramic view of the installation and there is a path, difficult to follow, but nonetheless a path, that leads to within fifty feet of the front wall. We reckon that if you have the adequate training you could scale the remainder of the distance and it has the advantage of being practically hidden from view, at least from the damn that is, there is no position that is hidden from the water and boating is allowed although that shouldn’t be a problem other than at the weekend. –
-Have you the plans that we requested? –
-Yes of course but we expected that you would want to see the installation in person first. Oh and by the way security is pretty much none existent so that shouldn’t be a worry. I can give you the precise timings of their rounds if you like but they only make three of them a day and that appears to be for the benefit of the tourists as they coincide with the guided tours. –
-You mean they do guided tours? –
-Yes, three a day. –
-And what does the tour include? –
-A tour of the Dam walls, the inspection galleries, the machine rooms, the filtration systems and the control centre, the usual I assume, I don’t really know, we can pick up a guide in town if you like or maybe it’s available on internet. –
-Well maybe if there’s time we could do the tour ourselves. –
-What today? –
-Well yes, I mean you know the times don’t you? If not today perhaps tomorrow? –
-Fine, whatever you want, if you think it’ll help. Let’s get moving and see how we end up for time. -
By ten thirty they were standing on what were the ruins of an old cottage some two hundred feet above the left side wall of the Dam. The climb up the steep mountains sides was more complicated than Mustafa had anticipated as the ground was heavily populated by undergrowth which grabbed and dragged at feet and legs as they attempted to make headway, nonetheless it was a climb that would be unlikely to cause them any difficulty on the day, assuming that they would be making it, something that Mustafa seriously doubted.
-If you look below to the right, -explained Txabi, -you will see the path I mentioned. It is steep but passable to within barely fifty feet of the wall itself. It is this side of the Dam that is structurally most vulnerable. According to our studies it has been the subject of excessive movement, something that has not occurred on the right side, and has suffered damage to the foundations. Although reparatory work has been carried out on both the wall and the foundations the Dam suffers significant seepage on this side and the existence of the much publicised crack that at times has reached over 150 ft in length only emphasises the weakness that exists. If you place your bomb on this side the effects should be devastating, although you know best. –
The top of the Dam wall formed the bridging point over the former valley for the main road that followed the edge of the Dam as it meandered north. Below on the far side of the valley they could see the old road that appeared to be in disuse and that zigzagged upwards from the foot of the valley.
-Is the old road used by service vehicles for the machine rooms below?, -asked Mustafa.
-Yes, it is maintained in good condition on the far side for that purpose, however on this side it is virtually impassable. –
-For our 4x4 as well? -
-Well we haven’t tried but I suspect we could use it, the only problem would be that we would attract attention, the mountains are controlled by the forestry police and the Guardia Civil and we’d stand out like a sore thumb. –
As they spoke the security guards appeared on the Dam walls and started their visual check which consisted basically in looking as if they had an idea of what they may be looking for. Within minutes the first visitors of the day appeared on the furthest observation balcony from them. It was clear that their guide was pointing out the security guards and then indicated the repairs that had been carried out on the crack. In all they were on the balcony for no more than ten minutes before they disappeared inside the Dam and the security staff did the same. Mustafa looked at his watch, it was ten twenty.
-I suppose the first tour started at ten o’clock. –
-Yes, the next one is at twelve. This lot will leave at eleven fifteen more or less. –
-Then lets do the twelve o’clock tour. –
At eleven forty five Mustafa and Martxelo stood in the queue at the gates of the El Atazar Reservoir along with two school buses of children on excursion from the Instituto de Educacion Secundaria Ramon Y Cajal. Mustafa was delighted; the security staff would have their hands full controlling so many children that they would be paying little attention to them. They had decided that only Martxelo and Mustafa should visit as they couldn’t imagine that many repeated the visit and so they would draw too much attention to themselves by doing so only four days later if that became necessary.
As negative as Martxelo had been about the visit, considering it a waste of time as they wo
To Txabi´s surprise it was Martxelo that was the most effusive about the possibilities of using the tour to accomplish their goal.
-It’s unbelievable; it’s almost as if they want us to do it. I don’t know if Mustafa noticed but the security staff are the same at all times, they simply alternate positions to look more numerous. The three guards on the walls are the same ones that patrol the machine room and the other two patrols the Control Centre and Observation Balcony. It’s amazing. –
by William Fegan have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes