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Mad dog, p.8

Mad Dog, page 8


Mad Dog

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  -Good afternoon Sir, it’s Agent Bradley. -

  -Good afternoon Agent Bradley, what have you got for me? -

  -Well Sir I believe that we have found something,-Harvey wasn’t sure if the feeling he had in the base of his stomach was excitement or dread, -we’ve found an address that ties in perfectly with our search parameters and what’s more the rental was paid for by The Muslim Community House in Dudley. I’ve got agents on scene and the owner of the boarding house claims that he “has a feeling” that the three men that occupied the flat where not the same three that moved in on Wednesday 14th, twelve days earlier. -

  -Agent Bradley, I take it from what you are telling me that they have left. -

  -Yes Sir. -

  -When? -

  -This morning Sir, this morning. -

  -Oh Good Lord, Agent Bradley, get the premises swept by the forensic boys immediately. I want the results today, -

  -They’re already there Sir.-

  -Thank you Agent Bradley, keep me informed.

  It was five forty five when Harvey called the PM;

  -Good afternoon Sir, I need to inform you of some unfortunate changes. -

  -Go ahead - responded the PM.;

  -Well Sir, it would appear that we have precipitated with the identities of those killed in the explosion. I have good reasons to believe that three others sacrificed themselves so that our three could be free of vigilance. The explosion no longer seems accidental. We have discovered a flat where it would appear that our men have stayed since the explosion and that is where the problem lies. They abandoned the address this morning which leads me to believe that they are an imminent danger. I believe we need to move to exceptional response level immediately and I must advise you Sir, that we may already be too late knowing the training that these men have received. -

  -Harvey, before we precipitate again I need you to give me full details, and what about our plant, does that not mean that he is still alive? -

  -Yes Sir, but we can’t simply assume that he will stop whatever they have planned, I mean he hasn’t been able to advise us that he is alive has he? -

  -Nor do we know that he wants to inform us do we Harvey? You know I have my doubt about his status and reliability, he’s not official, we have no register of him, no fingerprints or DNA, nothing, just your word that he’s on our side. -

  -Well Sir I don’t think we need to have that discussion again do we!? He’s on our side, trust me! -

  -Okay give me the details. -

  Harvey explained all his reasons as quickly as possible and the PM rapidly came to the conclusion that Harvey was right to be concerned, especially on hearing that the lodgings had been organised and paid for by The Muslim Community House. Britain was put on exceptional response level.

  Harvey was personally responsible for the security of all those that were denominated as vital to the integrity of the British Government and for the protection of the Critical National Infrastructure and as a result was extremely busy checking and rechecking with all the agents on protective duties when at six thirty that evening he was advised by Agent Donald that Scotland Yard had been in touch as they felt MI5 should be informed about a suspected kidnapping.

  -It may be coincidence Sir but it would appear to have taken place at the back of The Central Mosque on Regents Park. -

  Harvey placed Agent Donald on hold as his direct line to the PM rang.

  -Harvey, what can you tell me about the kidnapping of the son of the American Ambassador? -

  -If I´m not mistaken Sir, I am being informed of it as we speak, took place behind The Central Mosque on Regents Park Sir, I think we now know what they had planned Sir, I´ll go to the scene immediately and inform you from there Sir. -

  -Do that Harvey, Do that! - responded the PM before hanging up.

  -Agent Donald, we´re going to the scene, get a car to the main entrance. - instructed Harvey as he returned to his call.

  -Yes Sir, but there´s one more thing you need to know. There’s a note, a note that indicates that it is the Jackal that has kidnapped them! -

  -But that’s impossible! - blurted Harvey,-look get the car ready we´ll talk on the way. -

  Julian, Peter, Henry and Jennifer stood frozen like rabbits in the headlights of an oncoming car as the black Ford Mondeo swerved and screeched to a halt in front of them. Fear hadn’t even entered their minds at that stage, it was simply shock and concern at first but those sensations changed the instant Jamil, Rashid and Hassan sprang from the car AK-47 Kalashnikov rifles in hand. Any thought that they had of making a dash for it disappeared the moment that Tawid and Abdul screeched to a stop only yards behind them springing from their Silver Opel Antara armed as heavily as the others.

  Peter moved in front of Jennifer as Jamil advanced towards them calmly instructing them to get into the Antara.

  -No! - Declared Peter trying to sound commanding, -we’ll go with you but you will leave Jennifer behind. -

  His sudden attack of bravery was in vain as Jamil slammed the butt of his AK-47 into the side of his face leaving him slumped at Jennifer’s feet. Before any further resistance could be mounted Julian, Henry and Jennifer were jostled, prodded and shoved into the Antara where they were joined by Abdul, Rashid, Jamil and Hassan, Tawid taking the wheel.

  -Head to Regents Park and turn right onto the Outer Circle - barked Jamil taking out his mobile and punching in the number of Hari Sayeghi Alam.

  -Hari, mission completed where do we go from here? -

  Hari had given them precise instructions for the operation up to the point where they would be leaving the scene, what he didn’t want was for them to know where the safe house was in case anything went wrong and they were captured. After all what they didn’t know they couldn’t reveal.

  -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. -

  -Whoever Harry is you can tell him that if you don’t let us go your going to be in deep shit -groaned Peter defiantly.

  -Shut the fuck up- barked Jamil in his deep scouse accent.

  -You don’t really think a bunch of yobs from Liverpool are going to get away with this do you? - sneered Peter.

  -Listen you stuck up little shit, we’re no bunch of yobs from Liverpool but you’ll wish we were by the time this ends. No my dear little friend, we are Al Qaeda and we have no intention of getting away with this as you put it, we want everyone to know who we are, who you are and what we are going to do with you, so SHUT THE FUCK UP! -

  -WHAT? -Exclaimed Peter, -so what is this, some sort of a scouse jihad? What are you going to do, make us wear orange shell suits and curly wigs? -

  -Very funny, you’ll need that sense of humour, now I won’t tell you again, SHUT UP! -demanded Jamil prodding Peter firmly in the chest with his AK-47.

  Their next set of instructions took them as far as Ingatestone on the A12 in the direction of Ipswich where they changed vehicles in the car park behind the deserted The Old Oak pub, a pub that had been abandoned when the Ingatestone by-pass had been opened some years earlier reducing the previous heavy flow of traffic to the slow trickle of the occasional lost traveller and the daily goings to and thro of the small local community. It was five forty five and it had taken them just under an hour to travel the first thirty five miles of their eighty five mile trip to the village of Sutton on the outskirts of Ipswich where Hari had rented a small cottage set alone in the Sussex countryside.

  Hari had estimated that they had no more than an hour to get to the car park and switch cars as after that he suspected that the whole of the Metropolitan Police Force would be looking for the Antara. The CCTV coverage in London is the most intensive in the world and he was sure that they would quickly have images of them either at the scene or leaving it.

  Before leaving the Antara they first removed the GPS, the tax disc and the plates.

  -You scousers are getting more choosey, GPS! Blimey it used to be
just the radio and the tax disc. -quipped Peter to the amusement of his friends who despite the stress of the situation couldn’t help but laugh.

  -Keep it up sonny, keep it up, it’ll make what I’m going to do to you that bit more enjoyable! -

  It would be three days before the Antara was discovered by the police by which time it had been virtually stripped by the local kids.

  They arrived at Foundry Cottage at five past seven, two minutes ahead of Hari´s estimate. Foundry Cottage was a beautiful little oak beamed period 18th Century Cottage, the interior had been totally modernised but the exterior had been scrupulously preserved. The extensive gardens front and rear were well kept but Hari had instructed that the gardener not be allowed to tend it during their stay, claiming that his guests required total solitude. His petition was agreed to only after he agreed to pay an extra two hundred pound for the extra work that would be required after they left. They would be safe and unnoticed there for a short while, less than two hours from London but well out of sight and sound, or at least that’s what he thought.

  Harvey arrived at Hanover Gate at five past six where he was shown the CCTV footage of the road signs being moved and the black Ford Mondeo speeding into Hanover Gate and then from the other end of Hanover Gate the Antara leaving in an anti clockwise direction along the Outer Circle.

  -Where’s the driver of the mini bus? - asked Harvey.

  -He’s on his way here -responded DSI Bridge, the officer in charge;

  -Has anyone touched the car? -

  -No Sir, the scene has not been compromised. The road sign did its job for them and for us. Apparently, when the children had not appeared at the Hotel more than half an hour late without notification from the driver, Jennifer Suskheim´s driver phoned the driver himself. The driver’s response that he had left them on Hanover Gate not five minutes walk from the hotel almost half an hour earlier was sufficient for the alarm to be sounded. We were on the scene in less than ten minutes. -

  -Good, where’s the note? -

  -Here Sir, -answered DS Bridge passing the note to Harvey,- only myself and PC Hopewell have seen it, he was the first on the scene and realised immediately its sensitive nature. -

  -Right, I need you to do the following, get the details of the Antara to all mobile units but don’t set up any stop and searches, this happened almost an hour and a half ago and they could be anywhere by now and could have gone in any direction we’re only thirty five minutes from the M25 after all, I’d rather have more units looking for them than tied up on useless road blocks, get the driver of the minibus straight to me at the Danubius Hotel without him being interrogated and get someone to investigate his finances, he doesn’t seem to have done a lot to stop them walking off does he? and it was certainly convenient for the kidnappers and finally make sure that no-one hears of the note. -

  Harvey then went directly to the Danubius Hotel where the parents of Charles, Jennifer, Henry and Julian were gathering. He arrived there only minutes before the first of the local press who were to be joined less than thirty minutes later by the TV News reporters and cameras. On the way to the Hotel, Harvey faxed a copy of the note to the PM´s office from the car, made a copy for himself and organised for the original to be collected for analysing at Thames House.

  It was clear that the note wasn’t from Fowler; after all he understood at least some of the clues, if not all, something that he had never got near to doing with Fowler, and what was more, if he was right the clues made it alarmingly clear that the note was from Al Qaeda and what their intentions were.

  The 0407 referred to the 4th July, Independence Day, the quote he was familiar with as an extract from the Qurán which many Jihadists quote as a justification for killing infidels and the first part of the number block was also painfully clear to him, 9/11 twin towers attack 2973 dead, 3/11 Madrid bombings 191 dead and 7/7 London transport system bombings 52 dead. The 95315 didn’t mean much to him although he assumed it to be some sort of death toll statistic and the 4/7 4 at the end appeared to reaffirm the date they intended to take action and the 4 appeared to be the number that would die, the number of children that they had kidnapped. If he was right they had less than eight days to find and rescue them.

  What didn’t fit to him was the fact that it was at least partly designed to put him and Harris in evidence and the only person who he could think of that would want to do that was dead. Or was he? Was Imam Hussein Al Sayeghi Alam’s death also a scam? No, he quickly dismissed the thought, there was no sense in that, there was nothing for them to gain by it, Imam Hussein Al Sayeghi Alam was, after all, not going to be actively involved in any action, he would be involved in the planning and financing and he wouldn’t need to disappear to do that, he’d been doing precisely that for years in a very visible manner.

  What he was extremely clear about was that he was not going to release the note, Al Qaeda would not advance the killing of the children as it would dilute the impact on the 4th July, no, the more he pondered the matter the clearer it was to him that what they wanted was for the press to muddy the waters, for them to instigate a search for what they had previously considered to be a dead man, and for them to complicate life for Harris and himself as they’d be required to convince everyone that Fowler was in fact dead, something that unbeknownst to Al Qaeda would be more difficult for them to do than they thought, Alf not being dead!

  The Grace and Hobbs Room at the Danubius Hotel had been reserved for Harvey and it was there that he met the parents of Jennifer, Henry, Charles and Julian.

  -Good afternoon, -started Harvey aware that it was ridiculous to either describe their afternoon as good or wish them one given the circumstances, -As you would expect, at this moment we have little news that we can share with you, it would appear that you children have been kidnapped by a group of five individuals, from what we have seen on the tapes they did not come to any serious harm during the kidnapping. We do not at this moment have any solid clues as to the intentions of the kidnappers. I would, if possible, like to interview you separately and to do so now if that is convenient. This is normal procedure in these cases as you may possess important information without being aware of it and I would very much like to get a detailed impression of your children, it may be important later. If any of you feel the need for the presence of a lawyer or any other advisor I have no objections and we will do everything in our power to facilitate you. If there are no objections I would like to start with Mr Suskheim.-

  There were no complaints, the other parents were in no condition to complain at that moment in time suffering a mixture of shock and confusion and were invited gently to leave Harvey and Mr Louis Suskheim alone, if alone described Mr Suskheim and his senior security adviser.

  Louis B. Suskheim was the U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St James (U.S. Ambassador to the U.K.) and was a personal friend of Harvey’s as was his Permanent Security Adviser Karl Klugman.

  -Look Louis, -started Harvey, -I need to speak off the record if you don’t mind. If it’s off record I can give you a briefing of what I personally believe is happening. -

  -Go ahead Harvey, nothing that is said will leave this room without your permission. -

  Harvey didn’t even ask Karl for his word, he knew he had it.

  -Right, well I have reason to believe that we are looking at action from Al Qaeda. Three of the five involved in the kidnapping are I believe the same three that we believed to have been killed in the explosion at the Muslim Community Hall in Dudley the other week. They left a note in the car they abandoned at the scene indicating that it is the work of Alf Fowler but the clues that they have left leave little doubt of their origin.-

  Harvey passed the note over to Louis who read it with Karl looking over his shoulder.

  -I see what you mean- said Louis examining the note, -the quote is from the Qurán and the numbers seem to relate to 9/11 etc, the 4/7 at the end is a bit grim I’m afraid. I take it you’re not going to publish this? -

  -Absolutely n
ot! -

  -Because it won’t do any good for this case? Because the press will see through it as quickly as you did? Or because you don’t want them digging into the Fowler thing? - asked Karl.

  -Because it won’t do any good that’s why, because it’ll just muddy the waters that’s why, and by the way we may have news on the other front at any moment so we’ll be able to eliminate that possibility. -

  -So you consider it a possibility? - insisted Karl.

  -Well it’s not an impossibility that he’s involved but it’s not a possibility were going to be spending time investigating not when you consider that we can identify three of the kidnappers from the CCTV footage and they are the three that were supposed to have died in the bomb blast the other week. -

  -Yes, but maybe muddying the waters would help us in the search for them, I mean if they think we are searching for Alf Fowler perhaps they will drop their guard. -

  -Oh come on Karl! - moaned Harvey, more than aware that Karl had started to insinuate that this was a joint instigation, - You’re not thinking straight. How are we supposed to let the press speculate that Alf Fowler is responsible when we have confirmed through DNA evidence that he is dead? -

  -Yeah, but he’s not is he!? And maybe, just maybe, it’s worth the embarrassment if we can find the kids as a result. -

  -Look Karl it’s highly unlikely to help and it would be a damn site more than embarrassing if we admitted to having covered up the fact that Alf Fowler is still alive, it would bring down the government! -

  -Yeah I suppose you’re right, I wasn’t thinking straight, anyway can you get us a copy of the note for our boys to look at, maybe they can find something interesting in it? It could help us in the investigation. -

  -Karl, listen to me carefully, the investigation will be a Metropolitan Police investigation, MI5 will be assisting in every way possible and YOU will be kept informed by ME. You will not be involved directly with the investigation and you know that! -

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