We began the tedious task of checking all those terrorists lying on the ground. Each one had to be checked for life, making sure there was no suicide vest on them. I split my men into two groups to do that on each side of the embassy.
I went inside to check on Linda, Alice and Ellen; no one had seen them. I found them still in the front office with two dead men in the broken entrance door.
“We got this, you are needed outside; go help Andy,” Ellen said.
My phone had been ringing almost constantly but I ignored it for the time being. I had so many more important things to do.
Andy met me on my way out, “You need to come handle this, it’s above my pay grade.”
Four men were on their knees with their hands tied behind their backs and they were definitely out of place here.
“They were trapped in one of the center cars, glued to the floor,” Andy replied. Then he added as he handed me their IDs, “Two are Russian officers and two are Iranian Quads Unit officers.”
“Confident son of bitches, aren’t they. Search the car they were in then throw 4 bodies in it, torch it and do it fast. Someone else knows they were involved in this; that will buy us some time,” I replied.
“We have diplomatic immunity, call the Russian Embassy,” one of Russians said. “You have to honor that request as Ambassador.”
“Like you honored the sovereignty of my embassy grounds,” I said in my best Russian. Then I added, “Give me any excuse for me to shoot you; any excuse will do.”
Howie and the four drone operators came over, “What do you want us to do?”
“Two of you take these four to the basement, tie their feet and loop a noose around their neck to their feet and if they give you trouble, do not hesitate to shoot them,” I instructed. “I will be down in a minute.”
To the other two, “Scope out the grounds and pick up all the big pieces of the devices we dropped; put the pieces in the garage and do it fast.”
“The police and emergency people are screaming to get in here,” Andy said.
“Tell them we will be finished in ten minutes, then they will be allowed in teams of four to pick up the dead and injured and that is all until my investigation is done,” I said. “Take facial pictures of all the dead.”
“Andy, if you have a minute, send someone to the front office. There are dead there that need to be removed. I am sure the girls would like to see them gone,” I said.
“What? Those girls did that?” he replied. “I will send someone right away.”
I hurried to the basement. Time was running out; both of my phones were still ringing nonstop.
I held the ID in front of each one, then sent the pictures to Frank, and then called him.
As soon as he picked up, “Do you want them alive? You have exactly 4 minutes – not a second longer to decide – or they will be dead,” I said.
“What in the hell is going on there? ZNN is running horrible footage from a distance. How did you get these guys?”
“Three and a half minutes; Frank, I will fill in the blanks later. I don’t have much time.” I replied.
“Yes, yes I want them. I will get a jet on the way. Call somebody – anybody – everyone here is screaming wanting to know what is going on there,” Frank said.
“I don’t even know if VCATS survived the explosions,” I said.
“Looks like you assholes get to live a few days longer, but you still better not give me any excuse to shoot you,” I said in my best Russian.
I went back upstairs, “Andy, are you doing a body count?”
“Yes, there is a reporter wanting an official statement,” he replied. “By the way we are on generator – the lines were blown down – and the front has been secured. I told the Ellen, Alice and Linda good job and to see if they could get the communications center up and running.”
“Ten of my men are on the way to the hospital in the chopper. A couple of them are rough but they will make it. Clean up before you call home, Jenny will chain you to the desk if you call home looking like that,” Andy replied. “I have two people taking pictures; I figured you may need them for the investigation and hearings.”
“10-4 – tell the reporters half an hour and I will make a statement,” I replied.
I headed to clean up as best as I could; the bullet-proof vest would join the souvenirs in my office at home. I washed my face as gently as I could; I didn’t want it bleeding again. My arms had nicks, scrapes and cuts. I was lucky, very lucky again; there was no way to hide that I had minor injuries. I did put on one of the extra vests.
In the communications room, “We have everything running; it all seems to be working. Everyone is paging you and I mean everyone,” Alice said.
I sent a note to Jenny, “5 minutes to VCATS,” and looked at the pages of lists for who was waiting for a response. Alice had been right; everybody was paging me, including the Secretary and the White House situation room.
As soon as Alice keyed the control I had a full screen of a filled office. Sighs of relief were abundant and it was clear there had been some crying.
“I’m OK, just scrapes and bumps, as you can imagine I am very busy. I have 10 injured of the JBG group; a couple of them are serious, no dead.”
My girls and I talked for a few more minutes; I promised to call back as soon as I was freed up but I had to go. Ellen was handing me notes one after another and a mug of coffee.
The next call was a conference call with Victor, Amy and the Secretary. One of the notes was a body count of the insurgents from Andy.
“One hundred fifty dead and twenty wounded; most of the wounded will not survive. The east wall has a 30 foot section that has to be replaced and the west wall a fifty foot section. There are 20 destroyed vehicles that have to be removed from inside the compound. I have 10 wounded of various degrees,” I relayed.
“Yes, Mister Secretary, we are documenting everything for the official investigations and eventual hearings,” I replied.
“Ambassador Jones, the FBI, CIA and Homeland investigators will be leaving Washington within the hour,” the Secretary said before he cut his feed.
A few more words with Amy and Victor and I cut the feed; I had things to do. I started by writing a statement to read to the news group that had gathered and was growing.
Andy called on the satellite phone, “There is an official delegation here at the Suburban’s from Uganda and elsewhere, demanding to inspect the embassy and see you.”
I probably should not have but I walked the block to where the Suburban’s were parked; it gave me a few minutes to clear my head.
There were news reporters from all the major news sites now; the anniversary parade entertainment reporters were suddenly war correspondents. They were uncomfortable and unfamiliar in the position.
They rushed to get to me but came to a screeching halt as four of my men suddenly appeared in full military garb, complete with MP4s, to stand beside me.
I read the statement that I had written.
“At 1600 hours local time today there was a well planned and executed two pronged attack against the US Embassy here in Kampala.”
“Multiple truck bombs, thirty other vehicles and about 150 total fighters attempted to seize the embassy, its grounds and occupants. They managed to breach both the east and west walls and gained temporary access to the embassy grounds. At no time did they gain entrance to the embassy itself.”
“Through sheer determination, bravery, training, and a well executed defensive plan, the attack was repulsed by the JBG security team with the terrorists taking heavy causalities.”
“The security team members – including myself – sustained various injuries from terrorist gunfire, the force of the explosions and flying debris; several were carried to the hospital by the embassy helicopter.”
“The investigation will be on going, lengthy and I am sure very detailed. There are questions as to how an attack of this size and scope was planned and carried out without alerting the various African anti-terror forces.”
“I will take no questions at this time,” I said, ending the statement.
I turned my attention to the Uganda officials and several ambassadors, including Morrison, Fauntroy and the Russian Anton Pavlenko. I was expecting Anton after finding the two Russians and Iranians. I just was not expecting him to be so bold as to show up so soon.
After all the small talk, the Uganda officials wanted to see the vehicles and grounds. The group of us walked into the breach of the western wall where all of the vehicles were that penetrated the security wall.
Anton was beside himself when he realized that the still burning car held the remains of his comrades. It was a unique car for the area. I could see the shock in his face and he soon masked that emotion. I knew then that I had achieved my goal of buying time for the agency to properly interrogate the four. If the fire burned long enough and hot enough, even DNA identification would be difficult and take time.
After they left, I spent the next four hours on various VCATS conference calls. The cooks even sent me a plate of food. The first call was to the office.
“The new recruits who we planned on coming here – what do they look like? You have been working with them a week. Are any of them skilled enough to be pulled out and sent here immediately? I need a minimum of ten; fifteen would be better,” I said.
“I will get with the trainers and let you know in a few minutes,” Vicky replied.
While I was waiting, Andy came in with notes and took the chair beside me.
“The utility company is coming tomorrow morning to fix the electric service. I plan on stopping at the lumber yard to see if they know anyone who can do stonework in a rush to get the east wall back up; if not, we will do it ourselves. All the rock is scattered around the yard and there is a pile outside the wall on the south end; it can’t be that complicated,” he said.
“All the bodies are gone and the car has burnt out. The last group from the morgue took what was left and that was not much. That was a good idea to throw those boxes of flares in there with the bodies; they made the car burn super hot and unable to be put out,” Andy said.
“The agency’s jet will be landing at Entebbe in an hour to pick up the four. Take them in the chopper. I would imagine that Uganda has stepped up road blocks and security, if nothing more than for show for a few days,” I said.
“What do you think the agency is going to do with them?” Andy asked.
“They are going to get a trip to a remote corner in Gitmo for interrogation, then to sleep with the fishes. They know too much to return to Russia and Iran. I’m sure there are some there who will extract some blood from the Iranians for the treatment of those Navy sailors,” I replied.
“While we are on that topic, I need you to personally check all cell phones for any pictures of the Russians, it there are any confiscate the phone. I want the pictures deleted and then the phone destroyed. If the Russians hack just one picture; the international explosion will kill us all; or the Russian will see to it we will die one at a time.”
“OK I will check it out; I understand completely,” Andy replied.
I turned the mike back on and we talked with the girls until Vicky came back.
“Ty, Kathryn, and Jamie picked 15 who they feel are the top of the class and should be able to do what you need to do,” Vicky said.
“See if they all have passports and can pack and ship out tonight; hopefully, there is a G5 to bring them. I will send the injured back to recuperate on the return flight.”
I said my good nights to the girls; I was tired and I knew everyone else was. An hour later the chopper left for Entebbe. Our guests were on their way to see Gitmo from inside the gate, at least for a little while.
Extra guards were posted on the roof with night vision scopes to cover the holes in the wall. The rest of us turned in; tomorrow was going to be a busy day.
In the bedroom with Linda, Alice and Ellen, we talked about the events of today and how they felt about killing those two men. I was no shrink but I knew they needed to talk so I listened. I did find out that all three of them fired at the men; they had accepted it was kill or be killed.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.