No loose ends

A week ago some people who worked in an office that produced some crudely drawn, frankly a bit rubbish cartoons were shot dead. A couple of days later everyone who’d done it was shot dead, which always hinders an investigation. One of the people who had officially ‘done it’, Hamyd Mourad, someone who was named by the police as having done it, was later released without charge after half his class said, some of them on Twitter, that he’d been sitting in school with them at the time, somewhere else.

Which begs the question how the police came up with his name. Luckily, they knew the name of one of the other people who got shot, because just like at the Twin Towers, where officially the fire from aviation spirit and some office chairs burned so hot that er, the building melted, like they do, except they don’t really, fingers crossed so it doesn’t count, one of the hijackers’ passports was found on top of the rubble.

Sorry? How could that not be possible? Obviously paper, which we know burns at Fahrenheit 451, doesn’t burn at the kind of temperatures you’d need to melt the metal girders holding a building up. Probably it was too hot to burn the paper or something. Are you some sort of conspiracy theorist?

Someone else was shot dead in France, as well. A policeman called Helric Fredou. Part of the investigation team on the cartoon murders, he met one of the victims’ families then went and shot himself, like you do as an experienced 45 year-old police investigator. Happens all the time. What’s interesting is the hysterical denials that appeared on Facebook when only foreign media, notably Russian, reported it, until the noble British free press decided that it was worth reporting after all.

Clearly something isn’t quite right with this story, though what it is you won’t ever find out. The CIA did some trying to find out stuff about ten years ago and they couldn’t find it out either.

At the time they were looking for Osama bin Laden and someone had an idea. Next time he switched on his satellite phone they could triangulate on where the signal was coming from and send a cruise missile there. Job done. They’d have to keep him on the line a bit, so maybe they could ring him up and tell him he’d won a prize or something, except as he was one of the world’s wealthy that probably wouldn’t work. Free breakdown insurance or a complementary boiler survey probably wouldn’t keep him on the phone either, but they could think of something, surely. That’s what the brightest and the best minds are for.

The only snag was they didn’t know his number so in an old-school Man From Uncle kind of way they went to the satellite phone company and demanded it.

It came as news to them. They didn’t actually have a Mr O. B. Laden in their phonebook, and oddly enough there wasn’t a billing address or entry that might likely be him at 4, The Caves, Tora Bora, Afghanistan either. The satellite phone company did have an idea though. They found a block of about 30 phones that transmitted from that part of the world.

Give us the numbers, said the CIA. Love to, said the satcom company. Would. But we can’t. Because you ordered them with blank numbers, specifically so that nobody had a record of them.

You read that right. The CIA gave Osama bin Laden a satellite phone, fixed it so it didn’t have a traceable number, then demanded the number. Freedom, liberty and democracy. Semper fi, Mac, as they say. Semper fi.

 

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