Minnesota Undercover – Part Eight
Tim D. McConnaughy Jr.
I immediately recognized the man as he walked to the front and then it dawned on me where I had seen him before. Sure enough it was the man who had fallen on me in the hotel lobby and it appeared to be the same man I had apparently seen do a back-flip at the Minnesota airport!
“My name is Martin Kasam,” he said with a clear but thick middle eastern accent. “I have been the lead special agent for the Federal Anti-Terrorism Division here in the Minnesota region.”
Martin talked fast but he seemed to have the unique ability of enunciating every syllable in every word as he spoke.
“I want to welcome you all here but we have much to cover so I won’t waste your valuable time.” he said.
“As many of you are already aware of, agents Rosen, Dunnigan, Lee, Ross, Sy, Kinnmark, Rizvini and myself have been leading recent special undercover operations as part of a top secret anti-terrorism task force. What we have uncovered goes far beyond the scope and intention of this intelligence briefing but I do want to bring you up to speed on what we know right now.
As if he was a conductor of a Philharmonic orchestra, Martin used his arms when he spoke.
“Within the last 24 hours the country has been the target of deliberate Jihad attacks by Islamic Jihadis. Airports, landmarks, cellular networks and other places of interest have been specifically targeted.” Martin said.
A 3D animated map appeared on the monitor screen behind Martin as he talked. The map appeared to float in mid-air as it was rotated clockwise for a few seconds before pausing briefly to reveal a top-down view of the whole country. The animated map moved closer now filling the screen. Animated red markers began to randomly appear at various locations on the map.
“Details on exactly which airports have been hit and the full extent of the damage is still being gathered at this time. We know a total of 15 airports have been targeted so far. Other single attacks have occurred at Mall of America, a mid section of the Las Vegas strip including several casinos, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and the South Coast Plaza mall in California have also been targeted. Currently all government and local law enforcement agencies have been put on high alert and many facilities are in full security lockdown. Command centers around the country are working to gather the latest intelligence in an effort to thwart off any new attacks.” he said.
“I can now reveal details on a successful undercover operation that has aided and has ultimately lead to our intercept of a couple attacks within our own region.” Martin said.
As he spoke a familiar image appeared on the screen.
في الوقت المحدد
It was the three lines of text from the paper I had given Russell!
“What you are looking at,” Martin said, “are the times and specific locations for scheduled terrorist attacks within our region. The first line is the phrase ‘right on time‘ or ‘the exact time‘ in Arabic. Martin was now using a laser pointer as he pointed to the second line of apparently scrambled words.
“The second line contained the acronyms for specific locations that have been printed in reverse. The first location MOA, stands for Mall of America. The second group of letters is the airport code MSP otherwise known as Minneapolis Saint Paul International Airport.” he said pointing to the screen.
“These two locations were simultaneously scheduled for attack at 9:11 p.m. central time. Unfortunately we did not learn of the locations for these attacks until after their occurrence.”
Martin told us that the third line of the paper was the acronym for the Excel center and the last acronym stood for the Ritz hotel. Both of these locations had also been targets for an attack.
“Fortunately there is a silver lining in some of this.” he said. “Thanks to the smart thinking by one of our guests with us today, our special agents have successfully been able to prevent these final two locations from coming under attack.
“David McGregor would you please stand up?” he said making a gesture in my direction.
I hesitated for a moment then I stood up as the other agents turned to look at me. “Thankfully David was able to recover this valuable piece of information at the hotel before any new attacks could be realized. So thank you Mr. McGregor.”
A few things were beginning to come together. Clearly my recovering this coded plot also had had something to do with why the three of us had been brought to the command center. A few of the agents and security personnel shot me a smile. I sat down and the agents turned their attention back to Martin at the front of the room. He continued.
“Our undercover plan to work with local taxi companies and several charter bus companies has been an overall success. As a result of this success we have been able to thwart an attack on the Ritz and the Excel Center. The guests and citizens involved have all been safely evacuated from both locations as intended. During our undercover operations at these locations, local law enforcement agencies have been able to capture four terror suspects we have been tracking from the airport.” he said as an image of a dark blue van with a New York license plate appeared on the screen in front along with a gray van also with New York Plates.
“Two of the known attackers had been seen driving this blue van with New York plates and were expected to detonate explosives inside the van at exactly 0011 hours or 12:11 a.m central standard time.” Martin said. “Special agent Kinnmark was undercover at the time and was able to follow the van to the Ritz. He and our fellow undercover operatives were later able to confirm the success of our intended operations of specifically drawing out the attackers to these locations which have lead to their capture.”
Russell told me later that the buses and taxi’s had all been part of an greater operation to intentionally trap and capture the Jihadi terrorists. The successful sting-like operation included a VIP who was scheduled to make a stop at the Ritz hotel. This VIP was part of the overall plan to draw a crowd to the Ritz hotel. The Jihadis had been sent a message from an undercover agent posing as one of their own informing them the Ritz would be a prime location for the attack. In their mind the Ritz was to become another major target after the airport attack since so many people were expected to converge at this one location. As was expected the terrorists made the hotel their next target unaware they had been set up.
Martin continued speaking.
“Agents Lee, Dunnigan, Lytton, Owen and Rizvini were able to confirm the success of our Excel Center operation affectionately code named Going to Grandmas.” Martin said.
Going to Grandmas? Really? Who makes up these names anyways? I thought.
“Thanks to our agents working at Excel, the suspects involved in that terror plot have also been captured.” Martin said.
“At this time I would like to take a moment to recognize the astounding work of our fine agents who were directly responsible for the success of these secret operations. Would agent’s Kelly Ann Dunnigan, Hailey Lee, Russell Kinnmark, Jody Ross, Donovan Rosen, Carl Maxen, Amil Rizvini, Bruce Lytton, James Sy and Alina Owen please come up?”
I watched as these 10 special agents began to make their way to the front of the briefing room. They took their places next to Martin. He shook their hands and gave each one a small wooden plaque with gold plating. Everyone in the room began to clap while each agent was presented with an award for excellence. One by one each agent accepted the award and then returned to their seat. It was truly an honor to be in the same room as these men and women who were working to keep us secure. Martin wrapped up the intelligence briefing by telling us of some other threats the country faced and what was being done to prevent them. “Thank you all for your attention and be sure to help yourself to the refreshments on the back table.” he said concluding the briefing.
Martin and Russell came over to shake our hands and thank us for coming. Now I still hadn’t been able to call my wife or anyone else for that matter. There continued to be no cellular service in the area and nobody seemed to know when it would be restored.
As Russell and a couple other uniformed officers escorted the three of us out of the briefing room it was explained to me that cellular service had been intentionally interrupted by law enforcement to impede the terrorists ability to communicate with one another.
Before we left the command center the clothes we had arrived in were washed and returned. Another agent gave us a couple sandwiches and some bottled water to take for the road. I almost felt like we were leaving on a long trip after a visit to Grandma’s house. It was almost as if Grandma had just handed us a homemade lunch to take along for the journey. The short time we had had at the secret command center had been a little like that. After all, there had been donuts, fruit, sandwiches, friendship and more hospitality than any 5-star hotel but it wasn’t really grandma’s house. In fact, it really wasn’t even close to being grandma’s house because this place was a secure top-secret command center with special agents and police helicopters!
It was time to finally leave the command center facility. As we exited the building a black four-door car was waiting outside. From the command center we were driven to a waiting helicopter preparing for take-off. We said goodbye to Russell and some of the other agents waiting on the ground and then boarded the helicopter. Once the pilot was given the green light to depart, he flew us to a police headquarters nearby. We learned that all commercial and private air traffic had been shut down, so Natalie and I decided we would look into taking the train home, while Jacob was going to look into getting a bus ride back to Los Angeles.
After a short flight in the helicopter we landed at the police headquarters a few minutes later, and Natalie and I gave Jacob a hug, said our goodbyes and watched as he got into a taxi cab headed to the nearest bus station. The three of us hadn’t been together for more than one day but it felt as though we had bonded like a family after a camp-out. We had been part of something special and the events of the last twenty-four hours had been unforgettable and now it looked liked I might be finally heading home.
To Be Continued…..Find out what happens next in Minnesota Undercover – Part Nine
Missed Part One of the story? Start at the beginning.
Minnesota Undercover is a work of fiction. With the exception of well-known historical figures and events, all names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents contained in this story are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.