Chapter 6 – The Mission
Meanwhile, Ibrahim was just pulling out of the Auski Roadhouse after refuelling the Isuzu truck and about to make his final leg to Bindee Station. A further two hundred kilometres southwest, Nagi and Cunningham were about to pass through Newman, Cunningham nudged Nagi to wake him up, Nagi reached onto the back seat and grabbed the two AK-47 rifles, checked the magazines to ensure they were inserted correctly, then cocked each rifle and switched on the safety. He also took out two Glock handguns, inserted the fifteen-round magazines into each, cocked them and set them to safety, handed one to Cunningham and rested the other on his lap. Cunningham placed his gun on the seat under his left leg.
This was to be the test to see if the police were onto them, they were confident that the police would have been at the site of the explosion still trying to piece together what had happened and not yet have suspected that some of Chiko’s cargo was missing. They thought it highly unlikely that road blocks would have been set up yet however, they were prepared to shoot it out with the police if necessary. They passed through Newman without incident, not a police vehicle in sight.
Back at Bindee Station, Abjumal had made his way over to the machinery shed and had climbed into the cabin of a Manitou all terrain telehandler which was fitted with a tilting fork carriage and load backrest. To his surprise, the key was in the ignition, after checking the fuel levels, he disconnected the reverse lights and beeper as well as the stop lights. He hopped back into the cabin and started it up. He picked up an empty pallet with the forks drove to observation post, packed up the camouflage net and carry bag of weapons and ammunition and placed them in the cabin. He then drove to where his motor bike was hidden about two kilometres south of the homestead, placed it upright on the pallet and lashed it to the load back rest. He then drove eight kilometres along the main Bindee track until he came to the ford crossing the Clark River.
The river was dry when Nagi carried out his recognisance mission however, a cyclone followed by a series of tropical lows a month or so back had dumped a lot of rain in the catchments upstream and now a steady flow of water was making its way downstream. At this point, the river bed was approximately three hundred metres wide, water was flowing across a seventy-metre section the ford and Abjumal had no way of telling how deep it was. To further complicate matters, he was not to use any artificial lighting. Even though Bindee Station covered over four hundred and fifty thousand hectares, several rail lines and mine-site access roads traverse the property. With all three mine producers operating around the clock, trains and vehicles would be crisscrossing the station throughout the night. Any lighting produced by Nagi’s team could be detected, so strict instructions were given for no lights, they were to use the moonlight only, which of course is why a night of a full moon was chosen for the mission.
The original plan was to cross the river and take a small track to the left following the river down to the first rail crossing. Abjumal considered wading across the river to check for depth, he deduced that the telehandler and truck should be safe to cross if the water was less than half a metre deep. However, he decided to look for other options first, about half a kilometre back, he noticed a disused track leading in the direction of the rail lines and went back to check it out. To his surprise, the track led all the way down to the rail line and then followed the rail line to the river. Although it was quite rough, he was confident that the Isuzu truck would handle it.
He parked the telehandler off the track behind a thicket of small shrubs (where it couldn’t be seen from the rail line). He un-lashed the motorcycle and proceeded back to the entrance of the property to wait for Ibrahim. Along the way, he stopped at the machinery shed, he figured that due to the rough track down to the rail line, the Isuzu truck’s cargo might need heavy duty lashing. As luck, would have it, he located at least twenty ratchet tie-down sets in varying lengths.
He proceeded to the property entrance to wait for Ibrahim, it was now around 9:00 pm. After about twenty minutes, Ibrahim pulled into the entrance, before he could stop, Abjumal started up the motorcycle and led Ibrahim towards the machinery shed. As Ibrahim stepped out of the Isuzu truck, Abjumal announced, “change of plans brother, we can’t cross the river but we can to access the target from this side, the track is very rough so we should tie everything down tightly now”. The two men spent the next twenty minutes tying down extra strapping on the load making sure that it was secured tightly. Abjumal then climbed into the Isuzu.
He said to Ibrahim, “follow me until I turn off the road, then go back and wait for the others,” he said, “when, you return just follow my tyre tracks down to the river!”
It was 10:30 pm by the time the Ibrahim arrived at the river bank with Nagi and Cunningham. The full moon was now high in the night sky, Abjumal had already unloaded a tank of diesel drums and a bulker bag of ammonium nitrate and secured them to the pylon of the further-most bridge and was half way onto the next pylon. Using the telehandler, he placed a pallet of drums at the base of the pylon, secured the drums to the pylon using a ratchet strap, placed the bulker bag on top of the drums, secured that bulker bag to the pylon and moved onto the next.
Nagi immediately went to work on fixing explosives and detonators to the fuel containers, while Cunningham assisted. Ibrahim watched out for oncoming trains, while Abjumal secured the remaining containers and bulker bags to the remaining pylons. It was unlikely that the engine drivers would spot them, however they were not prepared to take any chances. On two occasions, the team suspended their operations and took cover under the shadows of the rail bridge while a train crossed above them.
By 12:30 am, the team had completed their operation. The port bound rail line for TBA Mining was master rigged with a timer set to arm the system at 4:00 am, then a pressure switch at the rail line was wired to a radio relay with receivers attached to each detonator. The first loaded train to cross that line after the system was armed, would set off a chain reaction, taking itself out along with all four rail spans, thus cutting off the iron ore supply to the port.
The team, proceeded to the machinery shed at the homestead, first they had to recover the Isuzu truck which had its front tyres bogged in the sand. Using the telehandler, they placed the forks under the front of the truck cabin, they could lift the cabin slightly, while the truck reversed out of the sandy patch.
At the machinery shed, Nagi called team together for a congratulatory pep talk. “Brothers, your training and hard work has paid off, you have performed well and Allah is grateful!” Nagi declared, “you have completed your mission as planned, while the kafir still don’t have a clue about what is going to rain down on them. Today, we bring the fight to this country! In just three hours from now, we shall bring them to their knees and drive them back to middle ages. They will pay dearly for their hudud! Allahu Akbar!”
“Allahu Akbar” they replied in unison.
“Brothers!” Nagi continued, “you are almost there, let’s not get careless and get caught. Stick to the plan and go to Tanin, he is waiting for you at the rendezvous point, he will take you to West Nusa Tengarra, where our M-I-T brothers will see that you get to the Holy Land. Keep your Nembutal tablet with you always, even when you’re at sea, in the unlikely event that you are captured, you know what is expected of you!”
Aren’t you coming?” Cunningham queried,
“No,” Nagi replied, “I will stay behind to ensure everything goes to plan, I will meet you in Indonesia in about six days’ time.
Cunningham, Ibrahim and Abjumal made their way across to the campsite, unhitched one of the caravans from its towing vehicle, a blue Jeep Cherokee Sports Utility Vehicle. Abjumal climbed into the driver’s seat, Cunningham took the front passenger seat while Ibrahim jumped into the rear seat, they each had one loaded handgun and one loaded Kalashnikov rifle with them along with some spare ammunition. They drove out of the front gate to the station, turned right and proceeded towards Port Hedland. It was around 3:00 am, when they arrived at the Port Hedland Town Boat Ramp. As they pulled into the car park, Abjumal switched off and on his headlights three times, signalling their arrival to Canty who was waiting in the rubber inflatable dinghy about three-hundred-metres offshore.
Canty proceeded to the small tie-up jetty, while the three men climbed out of the Jeep and made their way down to meet him. Nagi had instructed them to leave the keys on the front right tyre of the vehicle as he had arranged for someone else to take it away to dispose of. However, he had no intention of removing the Jeep, he knew that the authorities would eventually discover that the vehicle was missing and they would follow the trail to the boat ramp. Port Hedland Port Authority CCTV cameras would record the men fleeing in the dinghy, leading the authorities to search for them at sea, all the while he would be heading in the opposite direction. He was confident that if they were caught, they would do their duty and take their Nembutal tablet, leaving no trace back to him.
Back at Bindee Station, Nagi had hitched up the Toyota Prado to the caravan that belonged to the Jeep. He placed an incendiary device to the twenty-litre container of petrol he had previously placed in the vehicle and set the timer for 5:00 am. He then went back to the Isuzu Truck, climbed in and drove to the station’s airstrip. He placed portable amber LED lights at forty-metre intervals on both sides of the eight-hundred-and-fifty-metre dirt and gravel strip. Once completed, he drove to the eastern-end and positioned the truck so that it faced down the airstrip, he switched off the engine and waited. At around 3:15 am he heard the roar of a Cirrus SR22T G5 light aircraft flying low above. He switched on the truck’s headlights indicating from which direction the pilot should land. The plane arrived with its navigation lights switched off to avoid being spotted, as the pilot came into land, he waited until he was about one hundred metres above the truck before switching on his landing lights. The plane touched down about seventy metres in front of the truck and took another six hundred metres to pull up, the pilot then turned the plane one-hundred-and-eighty-degrees and taxied back towards the truck. As he approached, Nagi signalled for him to stop and turn the plane around then shut down.
Nagi parked the truck in front of the plane’s propeller, the pilot who had now exited the cockpit, guided him in to position. Nagi attached the hand-cranked pump to the tank of Avgas while the pilot ran out the hose and placed the nozzle into the left-wing fuel tank. It took them around ten minutes to re-fill the tank before transferring the hose to the right-wing fuel tank. After refuelling the plane, they placed the remaining weapons and ammunition into the plane’s cargo bay. Nagi sent the pilot out to collect all the LED lights while he drove the truck to the campsite, parking over the bodies of the four campers.
There was around six-hundred-and-fifty litres of avgas and three-hundred litres of diesel remaining in their respective tanks on the back of the Isuzu truck. He grabbed an axe and hacked into the diesel drum allowing its contents to spill out on to the truck’s rear deck and flow over the side onto the bodies of the campers below. He then rigged an incendiary device to the tank of Avgas and set the timer for 5:00 am. He knew that the ensuing fireball would burn the campers’ bodies beyond recognition, delaying their identification. The soon-to-be-mangled Prado hitched up to the caravan was also designed to throw investigators off the trail and slow the investigation down.
He jogged the one kilometre or so back to the airstrip and made his way into the cockpit of the airplane. The pilot was already on board, carrying out his pre-flight checks. It was around 4:05 am, the rail bridge bomb system would have armed itself by now, waiting for the first loaded TBA Mining train to activate the pressure switch and set off the chain reaction that would send shock waves right around the country.
 Crimes against God.
 Islamic name given to Canty, meaning “wave of the sea”.
 An Indonesian island to the east of Bali – about thirteen-hundred kilometres north of Port Hedland.
 Mujahidin Indonesia Timur - East Indonesian Jihad fighters with cells in Central Sulawesi, West Nusa Tenggara (especially Bima) and East Kalimantan, the first Indonesian jihadist group to declare allegiance to Daesh in late 2013 – the same group who delivered the weapons to Canty and Cunnigham off the coast of Geraldton
Keep an eye out for more chapters coming soon!