Dead Centre

 

We Always Hit Our Target

Dead Centre -Free Read

Dead Centre

Dead Centre

Not All Bombers Are Religious!

The Latest Exciting Novel by Owen Jones

Chapter One - part three:

Scheherazade's

 When the day shift took over again, they sat with a coffee and played the film again in slow motion.

“Sir, stop it there! Rewind it a few seconds, please, now, one frame at a time and get ready to freeze it when I say so,” said a young female Federal Police officer. “I think I saw something… See there? The perp just mopped his brow, and look! There is brown on his handkerchief! It was either very dusty yesterday, or… I think our man is wearing make-up, stage make-up. We, or I at least, have assumed that he is from the Middle East, but now I am not sure. Look, his forehead is a little whiter now… patchy. Go back and play that sequence again, sir, if you please. See what I mean?

“Could he be European?”

They ran and re-ran that part of the footage over and over again.

“Suzette, you might just have something there,” said the commanding officer, Federal Police Captain Ali Allawi, what do you guys think?”

Most agreed, some reluctantly.

“So, our bomber might not be Arab or even from these parts at all. I did notice that he did not shout ‘Allahu Akbar!’ at detonation.”

“Can you give us a clear close-up of his face?”

The female IT expert twiddled some knobs and moved a few virtual sliders in order to enhance the image until it was the best she could produce.

“Sir.”

“Throw it up on both screens and print off a dozen hi-res copies, please.”

The officers inspected the screens and the print-outs in minute detail.

“Can you manipulate this image, Lieutenant? Try removing those heavy eyebrows… and the moustache, and lighten his skin, especially around the eyes. That’s it, a bit paler, north European. Yes…

“Good. Now give him brown hair instead of black, yes, that’s it. He could be European or of European descent, but it’s only a long shot… a very long shot… Has Scenes of Crime found any bits of him that we could use for ID?”

“No, sir, not yet. Not that I am aware of. The blast took out the nearest pod of cameras and the flash from the explosion over-exposed images from other cameras near-by, so we don’t know where any of him flew off to, sir.”

“OK, give someone at forensics a call and check.”

“Sir! Will do right away, sir! When I called fifteen minutes ago they said that there is massive carnage and anything could belong to anyone within twenty metres of the bomber. They said that it is hard to impossible to check for any DNA matches on the walls and the ceiling because of smoke damage. Pollution, sir.”

“All right, lieutenant. Keep in touch with them and let me know the minute anything happens – day or night, on shift or not, understand?”

“Yes, sir.”

“OK, guys, for the rest of this shift, we will work on the assumption that the bomber was a white European or American. I will put that in our shift log, but for the time being, it is only speculation, all right? It does not, and I repeat most strongly, it definitely does not, rule out the possibility that he was an Arab terrorist, who committed this atrocity for political or religious motives.

“Who knows what is running through the mind of someone who is on the verge of meeting Allah and taking innocent people with him? Perhaps he just forgot to say ‘Allahu Akbar’. Perhaps he hadn’t seen the need to wash his face that morning, in the circumstances… Do not allow your minds to close off any possibility. I am only saying that for the rest of this shift, we will run with Suzette’s idea that he might be European, or American, let’s say Caucasian, and see where it takes us. There is absolutely no historical evidence relating to Caucasian suicide bombers.

“White people bomb things, yes, and blow other people up, yes, but they don’t normally kill themselves in the process, at least, not on purpose.

“Our man here is on a mission and he is going to die. If he is Caucasian, then we are dealing with a new breed of suicide bomber, a type no-one has ever met before.

“Question. How many Caucasians were at the scene of the crime at the time of the blast? Someone find out.

“Let’s see how many unclaimed teeth we can find, and bits of bone. Get them all off for DNA testing. Let’s see whether we have any unattributable body parts of Caucasian origin.”

“Forensics are not going to be happy about that, sir. It’ll take them weeks, if not months.”

“Who cares what they think. It can’t be helped, we could be on the brink of something new here. A new terrorist organisation or a new splinter group, although I must say that if that is true, why would a Caucasian blow himself up in an Iraqi department store?

“It doesn’t make sense! Christians just don’t do that sort of thing simply to prove a point.

“Has any group claimed responsibility yet?”

“No, sir. Nothing at all from any of the usual sources.”

“Have you phoned our sources and asked them?”

“That is being done as we speak, sir, and individual officers are asking their snouts too, but nothing whatsoever… leastwise, not yet.”

(part four)

by Owen Jones