Teaser 373: Striking Back

What the networks and intelligence were slowly gathering were the loose ties between many of the suspects in all of the attacks against me and individuals scattered all over the world and including Europe and the Americas. Some links seemed merely personal and of short duration, some seemed of a curious and temporary business arrangement, the kind which is not intended to be overt, and some of these individuals scattered all over the world were the beneficiaries of unusual circumstances, like a heated business transaction which suddenly is completed and the other side simply moves on without comment, or a colleague or business or political enemy meets with a tragic, unexpected death. It was all very discreet, very circumstantial and very rewarding to the beneficiaries and impossible to ignore due to its cumulative nature. What was clear to all of us is that I was not the sole and leading enemy of these people. They had a large number of enemies and they had been dealing with and dispatching them almost systematically.

When it was becoming very clear, Jacob, Jim and I sat down in the study to discuss it. “So, gentlemen, where do we go from here?”

“Boss,” Jacob explained, “we can't remain in virtual seclusion and strike back. They'll ignore us for a while and keep on the way they always have and wait until we do make a wrong move. They'll bide their time and wait.”

“Right now, Al-Barrak,” Jim added, “no one can get to any of the suspects. As long as they remain inside their protective countries, no one can get to them.”

“What we can do is get to their colleagues all around the rest of the world, and the way to do it, at first, is to wake them all up. When one, then the next, then the next, and so on for a month or two, starts discovering devices placed in vehicles, jets, homes, each one done in such a manner as to encourage their discovery, they'll have to think about what it means. That will start some chatter between all of them, and from the chatter we'll decide the next blow. Once they think they're not as safe as they thought they were, they can make a mistake. We won't destroy anything, in the beginning, but they'll have to do a lot of digging to determine who's behind it, which is what we want, because they will, inevitably, talk too much between themselves, since some of them, I'm sure, will start to panic. When you know you're a target but you don't know those targeting you, even the toughest among us can make a vulnerable mistake. We should build up the fire and see who we smoke out.”

“How do we do it?”

Jim replied, “Let us worry about it, Al. This is what we do, Jacob and me, and the less you know the better for you.” I turned to Jacob and noted his wide grin.

It started soon enough. Within a week the security team for a well-respected business magnate in Japan discovered a radio-controlled bomb on the underside of the bullet-proof and heavily armored vehicle used exclusively by the business magnate. Next, during a routine inspection prior to the meeting, a board room of a large multinational corporation was discovered to contain two bombs of such potential destructive capability they would have obliterated most of the floor where the board room was located. A vehicle was started by the driver and the service light came on. They eventually discovered the brakes had been tampered. Another vehicle started through remote means as the victim and the entourage were reaching the vehicle and it took off and rammed into a light pole. No one was injured though all were wondering.

It was like this for two months, not one week passing without at least one of these “failed” attacks taking place around the world, Europe and the Americas included. Mysterious, face-hidden or disguised individuals were placed at or near the scene of every incident but there were never any arrests. Publicly, the victims railed against the failure of authorities to do anything about it. Privately, the chatter was enormous. As Jacob predicted some were already in panic mode and many, if not all, were ready to strike back however they could and with impunity. They were all angry. This was certain. Tanya advised me the Japanese business magnate threatened to organize a government recall if his “buddies” in the highest areas of the government failed to get to the bottom of it. I told Tanya, “Someone has touched a nerve, my beloved.”

What none of them knew was Jacob and Jim, through their very wide network of colleagues and disenchanted warriors, had their eyes on the suspects right in their home countries. One was suddenly called out and his trackers followed him right on his tail. Once he stepped so surreptitiously, as he anticipated, outside the protection of his country, within minutes he and the two minions with him were overtaken, each placed in a trunk of three cars and driven right to the authorities. All three were immediately placed under arrest and extradited to the U.S. and stood trial months later. All were convicted, the top suspect to twenty years without parole, the other two to ten years. The nation where these three individuals had been hiding raised an international stink but no one paid them any mind whatsoever. It was clear to all of them they were under heavy watch but we knew it too. Jacob and Jim pulled out the watchers quietly and discreetly. They were never discovered. They were tourists, like the millions before them, like the millions after them.

When we were reasonably satisfied the three would see their day in court and pay for the bombing of Esperanza's office, though there were still other suspects at large, Jacob advised, “Now we add more fuel to the fire. This time it's gonna hurt.”

Soon we watched the news about the vacation home, located on the ocean front, of one of two brothers, the owners of a private billion dollar multinational, which was heavily damaged by rockets shot by a manually held, military grade weapon, from a boat well out in the ocean, and which burned uncontrollably for half a day. The brother had a documented history of lying and cheating which led to their inherited company's continuing success, though the documentation was publicly derided or completely ignored by media savants through the years, thus providing both brothers the cover to protect their corporation. Apparently one did not have the means to protect his personal property, which had unintended consequences. He ranted and railed at all his political conspirators and it was soon announced his vacation home had been the target of Muslim terrorists and there was a call to action and a need to pass more legislation to stop this “terrorism.” Since Jacob and Jim had both brought to my attention the need to watch the news about this breaking development, once we heard all the screaming and wailing concerning “Muslim terrorists,” I had a good laugh. “Isn't it amazing when they become the targets how they start reacting hysterically, which is exactly what they complain about when they stomp on anybody in their 'business' activities? I guess when your 'business' activities come home to roost, it hurts. Well, he's got insurance, he'll rebuild, though his rates will go up, way up, and he'll have to devise more extensive security. Bet it hurts his pocketbook, which is probably burning a hole in his leisure pants right now.”

Jim smiled deviously. “I have a feeling, Al-Barrak, there's more to come.”

- Just Desserts, Segment Forty-Eight Payback” by Gregory R. Schussele, © 2021

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