The Everpresent Threat

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Duty, Honor, Country

Leo Conners spent thirty-seven years at the FBI waiting for just such an opportunity to serve his country. He had learned the meaning of General MacArthur’s “Duty, Honor, Country” at Inchon when he had led his troops northward to the Yulu River at the age of nineteen.

When the communist Chinese sent down waves and waves of troops to block their entrance into Red China, he and his fellow Marines had made a number of brilliant tactical maneuvers around those hordes of encircling troops.

He reached back over time to remember those tactics. For what he was about to carry out to clean out one of the remaining segments of Adbullah’s men who thought they were safe in a warehouse in Arlington, VA held the same odds.

Security was so tight in the Unites States at this point in the counterassault against the July 4th Strike Force that even he, a senior member of the Agency, had been ordered to within a mile of the raid sight without being given specific orders as to his mission by his superiors.

A small band made up of the President, the Vice President, Senior Cabinet Members, the Joint Chiefs of Staffs, and a few others with technical skills were making orders on an emergency basis in minutes that normally took years to work their way through the American Republic’s unwieldy lawmaking and control and command process.

Before him he saw an array of FBI agents, SWAT teams, and antiterrorist experts. They were filled out by local police SWAT teams that were, in many ways, as heavily equipped and armed as those in his direct command. On last count he was able to muster 98 DEA agents and auxiliaries.

In a movement that had not been seen on such a scale as when the New England farmers joined General Gates at the Battle of Saratoga during the Revolutionary War, hundreds of citizens armed with whatever rifle, shotgun or handgun they could find had also joined him. He had been told that there was a reserve force of Marines at Quantico that he could call on if he ran into severe problems.

An agent he remembered from years ago on some case ran up and handed him a dossier. It read, in part, “Special Agent Conners. You were chosen for this assignment because of your outstanding record in Korea, your past training, and the tactics you have mastered over the years breaking into and capturing the inhabitants of drug warehouses here and in foreign lands.”

“...You have accomplished this with little bloodshed on our part. Agents vie to serve in your unit because they know that you have the best record of keeping your men out of harm’s way by superior planning and commission of raids. This current assignment will test those abilities to the maximum.”

“Your mission is to capture the Jihadi’s, drugs, and weapons in the warehouse 129 due south of King Street next to the Torpedo factory. Terminate the Jihadi’s. We know that e a number of those inside the warehouse who were local for years and have intimate knowledge of Americans and foreign nationals in this area who helped Abdullah’s forces. If you can capture one or two of them, we would like to sweat them for what they knew.”

“You know you may call on a Marine Division at Quantico, although we also need them to recapture certain still-compromised areas and we would ask you to spare them, if possible.

You also have a special Coast Guard cutter on the Potomac at your call for backup should any flee to the river. We suggest you give the word for backup as soon as the Jihadi’s surrender. We will need to have you carry out this same mission at a number of other locations. Godspeed.”

Conners closed the orders and tucked them into his front pocket. He looked at his three top assistants. Dougherty was a veteran of the cocaine wars who had cut his teeth bringing in Jamaican possess who killed with ideological fervor and primitive brutality. He survived because he was big, tough and athletic with a first-rate intelligence.

“Take the river side, Doc. Collar anyone who tries to flee but try to keep them alive. We need the Intel.”

Jones made his stripes putting away members of the Black Mafia in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. He was an expert in identifying the sources of weapons and drugs. He would be invaluable for identifying the people, weapons and drugs that were stored inside.

His courage and intelligence had made him rise rapidly in the Agency and Conners knew he could count on him today.

“Jones. You’ll be responsible for the initial entry. Standard practice of what we’ve done in the past. Only here you’d better be extra careful because these hombres have nothing to lose.”

“Because of the way you will go in we suspect you will be the first to encounter the drug dealing Americans we believe gave them guns and intel in exchange for weapons. We want you to capture as many of these guys as you can because we need to drill them for intel. Just be careful when you do so. I need you more than I need a hundred of them.”

Conners looked at Anthony Fondosi, the third member of his understudies. Fondosi was a cut up, and even now he was making faces to make everyone else laugh. By the way he contorted his face Conners suddenly realized who Fondosi was imitating.

“I appreciate the humor Fodosi, but save it for later. You’re our key man in many ways. You have to go above the whole thing and feed us info from the roof. How you do this with twenty men without being heard is beyond me. But then, I’m not you.”

“Have your men hold their firepower until we get as many of them out as we can. Fortunately for you the building is only twenty feet high so you should be able to preposition before we go in.” Fondosi made a mock salute and marched off.

Conners and his men fanned out into their respective units. He took a quick look at the water and noticed a Coast Guard boat, but it wasn’t well hidden as he had expected. He grabbed an assistant and said, “Son, get to the Commander on that ship. Show him your ID and tell him to get that boat out of view before he risks all our lives.”

It was that kind of attention to detail in these kinds of operations that saved so many lives whenever Conners was the one leading the assault. It took years of experience. It also took a war like Vietnam from which very few American’s remained alive with him when he fought in that war to bring home to him at an early age how much attention to detail saves lives in such highly charged and dangerous situations.

Conners then sent another assistant to make sure the Torpedo Factory was not a hot site filled with Jihadi’s. The last thing he needed was an assault with an exposed flank.

The Torpedo Factory actually had been a torpedo factory during World War II. It had fallen into disrepair during the ensuing years but now was a successful arts and cultural center. Fortunately for the FBI SWAT teams that day, the Torpedo Factory had two-foot thick walls that provided them with excellent cover when they attacked.

When Conners saw that Fondosi was up and above which his men as planned, and Dougherty was in the back gritting his teeth determinedly with an M-60 raised, and Jones was near him with two M-16’s, he waved and gave the signal to begin.

Fondosi had found an exterior air duct that led from the corner of the building’s exterior directly to the roof. He had his men up and in position as quietly as if a flock of birds had landed on the roof of the warehouse.

As Conners men had practiced such warehouse entry so many times over the years, they executed their entrance flawlessly. In seconds they broke down the doors and windows of the warehouse and streamed into the interior. What resistance they found inside was quickly neutralized.

Overwhelming force overpowered the Jihadi’s and drug dealers in a matter of minutes. The final tally was 3,112 Jihadi’s killed, 4 captured, and 43 drug dealers killed, 2 captured.

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