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Mad dog, p.26

Mad Dog, page 26

 

Mad Dog
 


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  TUESDAY 4TH JULY 08.00 GMT

  At nine o’clock precisely, local time, the O.C.C. (Operations Control Centre) of La Comandancia de Madrid de la Guardia Civil received a terrorist attack alert from ETA. The message was accompanied by the appropriate authenticating code but was none the less unusual in that it gave an address in the countryside near to the El Atazar Reservoir, north of Madrid; what’s more it was for a private address not a recognisable target. In normal circumstances they would have paid scant interest to the alert and probably sent a patrol car to look around at most, these however were not normal circumstances. Guardia Enrique Segarra Borras had alerted of the presence of three possible terrorist subjects precisely in that area only the morning before and one of the suspects he claimed to have spotted was Mustafa Akh Mahbud who MI5 had alerted them about only days earlier also. An armed response team (Grupo Antiterrorista Rural (GAR)) was sent to the scene immediately.

  With the utmost of discretion and determined not to lose the element of surprise two units screeched up the track that led to the house parking only fifty yards from it and a helicopter circled over it before deciding to drop it’s team in a clearing in the woods above the property. By nine thirty they had the house surrounded and snipers positioned in the trees in front of the house at a distance of no more than thirty yards.

  Once sure that they had all possible escape routes covered they brought into play their megaphone. “THIS IS THE GUARDIA CIVIL, COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS ABOVE YOUR HEADS. WE HAVE YOU SURROUNDED”.

  There was no response and no sign of movement.

  -Snipers, can you see any movement inside the house? –asked Sgt Antonio Paulo Herrero.

  -Movement no Sir, but I can see two of them seated in the lounge, they appear to be asleep, -answered Guardia Vicente Marrama Abad – I have a clear shot at both. –

  Sergeant Paulo Herrero repeated his megaphone message and received exactly the same response, nothing!

  -Marrama, anything? –

  -No Sir, nothing, nothing a all, if you ask me their not asleep they’re dead. –

  -Still got a clear shot at them? –

  -Yes Sir and they’re perfectly still. –

  -Can you clip one of them then please. –

  -Yes Sir, it will be a pleasure. -

  The sharp crack of the rifle fire and the shattering and splintering of glass where the only sounds that broke the silence that surrounded the house. No moans, no screams, no voices of alarm, just the shot and the tinkle of the glass.

  -Clipped his left shoulder Sir, -chirped Marrama, -just keeled over and fell to the ground. No splattering of blood either Sir, he’s been dead a while if you ask me. –

  It was nine forty three.

  Sgt Paulo Herrero gave the order to advance positions with caution. It was nine forty four.

  Mustafa, Abu and Khalid propped the bodies of Martxelo and Txabi in the chairs in the lounge and turned the television on.

  -You’ll enjoy this film, -said Mustafa to the two dead bodies, -it has an explosive end. –

  It was just before nine and they wanted to be at least half way to the Dam before they activated the bombs. They made excellent time without having to wait for Martxelo and Txabi as they had on their previous trip and at the top of one of the ridges that ran towards the Dam Mustafa stopped for a break. He reckoned it was as good a place as any for him to detonate the bombs as they were now well clear of the area and he would have a clear view of the explosive cloud as it rose above what had been their safe house. It was nine forty five and he tapped in the number of the mobile attached to the detonators. The explosion was stunning, the cloud rising far above the property before being caught on the breeze and slowly drifting on the wind in their direction, they even felt the shudder of it and heard the blast with a deafening intensity that surprised even them as they shook hands whooping triumphantly.

  -That’ll keep them busy, -said Mustafa.

  The nearest of the GAR team was only yards from the house when the blast tore it apart. The devastation was total and in all seven of the GAR team were killed by either the blast itself or the flying glass and masonry that it caused. Marrama would have been blasted from his perch in the tree if it hadn’t been for his harness and dangled unconscious for more than twenty minutes before they managed to cut him down. His fellow sniper had not been so fortunate, a block of masonry smashing directly into his chest as he too dangled from the neighbouring tree. He died instantly.

  In less than an hour the site was swarming with ambulances, Guardia Civils and news teams. Harvey was informed by Alfredo Saenz the director of CNI (Spanish Secret Service) about the blast at nine o’clock and was informed that they believed the suspected terrorists to have died in the explosion.

  -No Alfredo I think you’re wrong, -said Harvey. –we have reason to believe that it’s a diversionary tactic, they’re after something far bigger and you would do well to search the surrounding area. What is there that could be of interest in the area?–

  -Nothing, this is a water catchment area for Madrid but we’re on the outskirts of the Capital they could have been in the centre of Madrid in less than forty minutes. –

  -Right thanks for the information, keep me informed if you throw anything else up. –

  Charlie had slept at his desk that night and woke with a question fresh in his mind. “What do the new names mean”, he had remembered in his sleep that Islamic names almost invariably have significant meanings and he wondered whether the changes in names that Jiriyis and Hari had adopted could have meant anything significant. Jiriyis had adopted Nushab El-Sayed; Nushab meant Water of life-Elixir and El-Sayed the Master, Hari had in turn adopted Mohammed Al Abad, Mohammed meaning praiseworthy or the praised one and Al Abad meaning the Everlasting or the Eternal.

  He was still musing over the possible importance of these meanings when Harvey burst into his office and informed him about the bombing in Madrid.

  -It’s the diversion that Hari talked about! –said Charlie.

  -That’s what I told Alfredo the director of CNI but he didn’t seem too impressed. Do me a favour, have someone look at the surrounding area, see if there’s a likely target. Get in touch with CNI, the office of Director Alfredo Saenz and tell them you’re ringing on my behalf, they’ll give you full details of the location. –

  TUESDAY 4TH JULY 09.00 GMT

  -Sir, they’ve closed the hostages in the bedrooms, they’ve removed all the furniture with the exception of the table and now they’re bringing in cameras and lighting. This is becoming a television studio. –

  -Excellent, I was concerned that they may move them to a conference room, we’d have been pushed for time having to locate them again and preparing the assault would have turned into a bit of a lottery. –

  -As long as they don’t notice the camera! –

  -Well if they do don’t wait for my order, start the assault immediately. Be prepared. –

  -We are Sir, dib dib dib. –

  George Beasley left The Douglas Arms in Bethesda shortly after nine with the firm intention of arriving home in the early afternoon. He had no intention of stopping for lunch having enjoyed a more than ample breakfast as a cure for the more than ample quantity of CAMRA recommended Real Ale that he had consumed the night before. He also had no intention of sliding his Bonny into the side of the Evans farm vehicle that Rhys, Discman and earphones in ears and at full volume, reversed onto the A5 without seeing and obviously without hearing the guttural roar of George’s bike at nine thirty five. George had no chance of avoiding the trailer and did what years of experience told him to do, slide the bike. George pushed the bike ahead of him hoping to stop in time to avoid sliding under the trailer himself but both he and the bike failed spectacularly to do so as first his bike crumpled and then his legs followed its painful example. The last thing that George remembered before awaking an hour and a half later in the Minffordd Hospital in Bangor just north of his starting point in Bethesda, was the sign on the side of the
trailer “Evans Livestock Farming local to Pentrefoelas”, “Is that a claim to fame?” George had asked himself.

  Harvey had decided to send an SAS team to Rupert Street as well as to Princes Gate, he wanted to have the option of eliminating Hari at any chosen moment not knowing how events would turn. One thing he did know was that for Hari everything would indeed be over before twelve. The team headed by Partridge had occupied the attic flat of Nº 18 and their intention was to enter Hari´s attic flat via the roof terrace. They wanted the operation to be clean and quick and invisible from the outside. If everything went well the public needn’t know that anything had happened.

  -Yes Sir, -said Partridge, -we’ve got both the thermal imaging equipment and the sonic imaging equipment working, it’s like watching him on the tele. He just struts around nervously all the time. –

  -Have you got the stairwell to Nº 16 covered? –

  -Well your agents are covering the front door from the building in front and if he leaves the flat we’ll advise them. –

  -hmmm I don’t know, can’t you get some cameras in there? –

  -Shit! He´s leaving! –

  -Don’t do anything! -commanded Harvey, -we’ll take it from here. Stay ready in case he returns. –

  -Agents Cawley and Martin, follow your target until the first corner only, change tag every thirty yards, this guy’s very good, be very careful. –

  Agents Cawley and Martin came out of their front door, hand in hand, at the same time as Hari came out of his. Hari immediately recognised Agent Cawley and nodded in her direction, she smiled at him blushing slightly waiting to see what direction he would take. They had no option other than take the other. Hari didn’t move for what seemed like an eternity so Agent Cawley took the initiative and pulled Agent Martin by the hand to their right in the direction of the Prince of Wales Theatre, Hari nodded once more and headed to his right in the direction of Shaftsbury Avenue turning occasionally to see whether she was looking in his direction, she wasn’t, the two agents diving into the Rex Cinema Bar.

  -We’ve lost him Sir, -said Agent Martin, - he tagged us the moment we walked out of the door, he’s heading towards Shaftsbury Avenue. –

  -Yes I know, don’t worry we’ve got him, I told you he was good. -

  Hari continued straight up to Shaftsbury Avenue turning left heading towards Piccadilly Circus.

  -Where do you think he’s going, -asked Harvey to Charlie with a knowing smile.

  -Well if he continues as he’s going and picks up Piccadilly I’d bet your salary that he’s heading for the Embassy. –

  -No bet! He´s going to take part in the killing of the hostages, I remember how excitedly his brother described how they had executed our men, he enjoys it, he doesn’t want to miss the thrill! –

  They were right and at nine fifty four Hari entered the Iranian Embassy.

  -Pritchard, get into the apartment and see if you can find anything then you can send your men back to the barracks, he’s not coming back. –

  -Okay Sir, thank you. Good Luck. –

  Just before ten Pritchard called him back to inform him that the only thing they had found in the flat was a note that had been thrown into the waste paper bin.

  -I’ve sent a copy over –

  TUESDAY 4TH JULY 10.00 GMT

  At five past ten MI5 was informed that George Beasley’s motorbike had been located.

  -Sir, they’ve located George Beasley, -said Agent Bradley interrupting Harvey and Charlie.

  -Where? - asked Charlie.

  -Bangor Sir, he’s had an accident and he’s in the Minffordd Hospital there. He’s unconscious but we’ve got an officer with him for when he wakes up. I’ve emailed to the hospital a copy of the photo of the van. –

  -How long is he likely to be out? –

  -They’ve no idea, seems he ran his bike into the back of a tractor or something, he’s broken both legs and they believe he’s taken a blow to his head. –

  -Oh fuckin marvellous, -said Harvey, -that’s another team you can remove from duty without us getting any further forward, he’s not going home yet either. –

  -Sir Hari is in the room, he’s checking the set up, looks like he’s going to be running the show. –said Court.

  -The hostages still in the bedroom? –

  -Yes Sir. No change there. Do we continue waiting? –

  -Yes, I’m afraid we do at least a little while more. –

  The wait was interminable and to add to the frustration Charlie couldn’t get out of his mind that there was a link he was missing.

  -Harvey, is there any way I could speak to Harris do you think, I want to run a few things by him, see if he can pick out the thread. –

  -Get Agent Bradley to try Camp Ripley. –

  It took them until ten fifty to make the link, Harris being treated by the doctors at the base who were unwilling to allow him access to a phone until they had at least cleaned his wounds being scheduled for surgery on both his leg and arm but he refused to enter the treatment room until he was allowed to take the call. Finally the doctors, aware that they had no authority over this particular stubborn Brit, decided that the best way of getting ahead was to allow him to cause them a delay by taking the call.

  Charlie simply poured information down the phone for the next fifteen minutes covering everything that had happened since they had left the UK including the report on the explosion in Spain, the unissued note and his dream about the significance of Jiriyis´ and Hari´s adopted names when the thread he was looking for suddenly sprang into view.

  Harvey waited for Charlie to finish without interruptions before making his observations.

  -Look Charlie, it appears to me that you can’t see the woods for the trees, you need to take a step back, look for the common denominator, as for the explosion in Spain, if that’s a diversionary tactic, why there, in the middle of nowhere? Doesn’t it seem more likely that they were there for a reason? Regarding the note, the saying is of African origin and relates to the possibility of war over water rights, the bit about a third food, a third liquid and a third air is a reference from the Qurán, it refers to Allah’s reflections on gluttony and greed being a disease of the non believers, a true believer should never overindulge only ever consuming sufficient to fill a third of his stomach with food, a third with water and a third with air. Gluttony by the way is also the second of the deadly sins or put another way, the second of seven!

  -I’ve got it Sir, It’s WATER! Thames Water, the explosion in the water catchment area for Madrid, the quote about the water wars, the meaning of Jiriyis´ new name-The Master of the Water of Life and I bet the gluttony reference refers to our over usage of water. It all has something to do with water, but what? –

  -What else is there in the water catchment area of Madrid, is there a reservoir, a dam or something, perhaps they intend blowing up a dam? –

  -It’s possible but that doesn’t somehow seem big enough, No it’s something bigger. –

  -What if they intend poisoning the water supply? –

  -THAT´S IT, THEY´RE GOING TO POISON THE WATER SUPPLIES! – THANK YOU SIR, THANK YOU! I´VE GOT TO GO, LOOK AFTER YOURSELF. –

  -One more thing, if they’re intending to do the same in London then you need to retrace your steps, look for something that leads you to a water supply, a very large water supply. Good luck, see you soon. -

  -Harvey I’ve got it, it’s obvious really, they’re going to poison the water supply! –

  He quickly explained his theory and Harvey asked the logical question.

  -HOW AND WHERE? -

  TUESDAY 4TH JULY 11.00 GMT

  George Beasley regained consciousness at four minutes past eleven in the presence of Dr Samuel Griffiths and Constable Clive Rigby.

  -Mr Beasley, you’ve had an accident and your in the Minffordd Hospital in Bangor. –

  -How’s my Bonny? –

  -From what I’m told, it’ll survive but it’ll need attention the same as you, you’ve
broken both legs so you and your Bonny won’t be reunited for a while I’m afraid. –replied Dr Griffiths smiling, he was a biker and understood George’s preoccupation.

  -What’s HE doing here? –asked George pointing at Constable Rigby, - It wasn’t my fault, the trailer just reversed in front of me on the A5 for Christ sake. –

  -No Sir, I’m not here for that, -answered Constable Rigby, -I understand that the driver of the other vehicle has admitted full responsibility. No I’m here to ask for your help, MI5 are looking for you. –

  -FOR ME?! WHAT HAVE I DONE? –

  -Nothing Sir, as I said they want your help, could you take a look at this photo and tell me who the van belongs to. –

  George studied the photo for a moment and then smiling said –Well the van BELONGS to Thames Water but from the way he treats it you wouldn’t think so. The driver is Hazy; Haazig Hamidi is his real name I think, he’s in charge of maintenance of the Pumping Station at The Honor Oak Reservoir in Lewisham. –

  Agent Bradley burst into the room jubilant, -Sir, George Beasley has woken, he says that the van driver, and insisted that he is the driver not the owner, is Haazig Hamidi generally known as Hazy. We have no records of him; he’s in charge of the maintenance of the Pumping Station at The Honor Oak Reservoir in Lewisham. –

  -Bingo, -shouted Charlie, -Lewisham’s one of the stations where Jiriyis could have gone missing and The Honor Oak Reservoir is the biggest of it type in Europe, it’s got to serve almost a million people daily!

  -Fantastic Charlie, now lets just hope that were not too late, , get two teams over there now, come on get moving it’s eight minutes past eleven, times running out. Get in touch with the office of Director Alfredo Saenz at the CNI, tell him what we now know, tell him that the danger is at the Atazar reservoir or at the dam and tell him he’s got less than half an hour. –

 
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