This might be India, but he would not have a trial here. At best he would get a brief pass in front of news cameras with officials denouncing him as a terrorist, then he would be executed. The “best” situation didn’t happen much anymore. John knew several of his co-workers were members of local cells. They had no idea he was the communication method. One day some of them simply quit showing up to work; by late afternoon replacements sat at their desks. His bosses said nothing about it. Had they left for other jobs there would have been much hollering by one of his bosses and shouts about suing a competitor. The silence was more telling than a confession.
Infidels have a saying: “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” He had heard some of them say this while helping them with computer problems. For John, this wasn’t a saying, but a mantra for survival. He had a scheduled job which deleted all of his sent items twice per day. It also emptied his email wastebasket once that was done. Finally it kicked off some privacy software which would perform a DOD-secure erase of all empty space on his hard drive. He had to thank the U.S. Department of Defense for publishing a standard of erasing data so securely it could never be recovered. John knew all too well that just because a file was deleted didn’t mean it was gone. He had helped many customers recover deleted files.
While waiting for his new identity to arrive he was cleaning his home as if it hadn’t been cleaned before. Wearing gloves and a hair net, he was scrubbing and wiping every surface. He even pulled the hair traps out of the drains to remove any and all evidence of his presence. He took special care to scrub the underside of the toilet lid and seat. He had read about police checking there for fingerprints.
Finally his new identity arrived. An old friend of his had brought it. They both knew they would probably never meet again. John picked up his two suitcases, computer briefcase and bag of trash from cleaning, then left. His friend took the key to the place as they said good bye. The bag of trash did not leave his possession until he was three streets over. He bought a ticket, and waited for a bus. While he waited, he read through his new identity. It came complete with references from a consulting company in the very city he had worked and some walking-around money. So, they did what we said and never told us, he thought.
Nedim returned home from work exhausted. It was the wee hours of the morning and all he wanted to do was sleep. Of course, his “friends” were waiting for him and wanted him to check his email before turning in. “Why don’t you do it?” he asked them. “I’ve shown you how.”.
“We cannot risk a mistake at this point,” his cousin replied.
Sighing, he sat down in the chair and logged into his email. Seven messages were waiting with two coming from the same user. His friends noted this and wrote the user down. As Nedim went through the forwarding process they noticed that one of the forwarded messages went to this same address. They had him translate all three messages. One message referred to a plan to blow up a tunnel under a river. Another message made reference to blowing up multiple trains at the same time. The response going back was a request for more information about what was required. No hint about a location was in the messages.
Nedim was now allowed to eat, pray, and go to bed. Ramesh gathered up his notes to file a report with headquarters in a few hours. Umar settled down on a sleeping bag. In a few hours, Nedim would need to be awake again and Umar would need to be his shadow. Ramesh informed Umar of the lectures with the cleric Nedim was attending and told him he would be required to infiltrate the circle to hear what they were discussing. Umar was not pleased.
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