Old Red

Chapter 2

May 2nd, 2020

The old fire hall stood on the corner of William and Cecil in Winnipeg’s North End. It had gone up for sale in 2012 and was quickly snapped up by Huzaifa and Farid as a meeting place mostly because it was close to the Airport. This two story building was situated close to Route 90 and their vehicles could freely come and go off of Notre Dame Ave without much notice. The old hall was just off the major highway and they could get just about anywhere in a hurry from there, not to mention that it was close to Red River College. As a bonus there was a tower that allowed spotting for a long distance off and could serve as a sniper position in the advent of a raid. The group hoped a raid would not come and preferred to think of it as a watchtower and kept it manned with closed circuit cameras at all times while people where meeting in the main building.

The duo had sponsored several people as immigrants through study and work visas to attend school and provided part time or full time jobs at places such as the warehouse, the Marketplace, Little Heaven, Farid’s car dealership, and just about anywhere else they could. They rented a house on William near enough to Old Red, as they called the station, to walk there even in an extreme Manitoba winter storm. Of course the people being sponsored were willing to take whatever was needed by the group to help the cause. If there was need for a mechanic… You would take the Automotive Technician course. If there was a need for an electrical technician… You would take the Electrical Technology course. If there was need for a carpenter… Well you get it.

The whole goal of the group was to become self sustaining first and then work their way into key industries within the Country. This entailed keeping the positions at their sensitive enterprises filled with trusted cell members and replacing them as they finish school and go out into the assigned trade. In this Province the focus had been on the power grid as the Manitoba Stock Exchange was not considered a key target to cripple the economy. Many had already worked their way into Manitoba Hydro’s many departments. A couple where with Telecommunications, six were with Electrical Maintenance as Power Electricians throughout the province, and three where with Electrical Construction as Journeyman Electricians. Another key industry that they wished to dominate was security.

Farid had started a security company, SecCore, that solicited key places the group wished to be able to access. Some of the sponsored immigrants worked as security guards just to spend time alone in a building of interest. SecCore held the contract for 411 Cumberland and 360 Cumberland where a few of the cell leaders lived in the West End. This completed the package and made the buildings safer for the cell members as they were owned by a conglomerate of the cell leaders themselves through a numbered company. This made it relatively easy to have things enter and leave the supposed secure building without being tape recorded or witnessed by a sworn guard. Farid stood on the balcony level of the old fire hall going over plans to bid the airport security tender with three of his trusted cell leaders from Winnipeg who managed the company.

“You guys sure the Airport is going for an open tender this time?” asked Farid as he went over the logistics of supplying dozens of guards deep in his mind.

“Yes. I heard one of the guards lament the fact that he might lose his easy position and end up at an auto wrecker’s yard instead while taking his break in the common break room.” said the guy named John who was working towards a masters in chemical engineering at the University of Manitoba and worked as a baggage handler at the airport.

“Good. We’ll undercut them this time and take the loss. The company will soak it up fine as we are doing well at other buildings around the province.” said Farid who was planning a 33% cut to his bid to ensure he could do it cheaper then anyone else.

They really needed to get the contract so they could snoop cargo and ensure smuggling could go on. They already had the contract for CentrePort and did all the roving patrols there and were in deep with a few of their own trucking firms. Farid thought that was Huzaifa’s business but kept in mind the details of their prearranged disappearances for certain truckloads of goods that arrived without waybills. There were shipments from the seaport of Thunderbay that had made it inland due to connections out east that were pertinent to the third phase if plans went that far.

Things like ammunition and small arms came in periodically and were to be taken to the safe warehouse in St. Boniface under cover of night to be stored and distributed at a later date. There was currently a crate of fragmentation grenades that would be picked up later in the week that had made its way from South American allies. They would be useful in an attack on soft targets and could easily be stashed on a person’s body under a bulky coat.

“Huzaifa will be here shortly and will have more information on the planned server outages for routine maintenance at the TSE tonight. We will be ready for go time by noon tomorrow. So far the securities people have not noticed the extra lines of code that have been sitting disguised as commented gibberish so when the upgrades are to go in our people will uncomment and recompile like they expect.” said Farid as he looked over his assembled cell of eight people thinking they had it easier then the Toronto cells as security was lax at Hydro.

“Farid are you sure we will be needing those special shipments? I’d like to think that the pig dogs would relent after we take control of their trading capabilities and surely after the power goes all wonky.” said Jason one of the telecommunications experts who doubled as their phone freaker responsible for programming and maintaining communications with Al Qaeda command in Afghanistan.

“You should know that we are prepared to unleash hell on the Infidels if they don’t!” snapped Farid as he thought about the predicament some of them were in since they had taken on local wives and had started families as part of their cover. He was worried for them as some had been here for the better part of twenty years now and had fully grown children who were not in the loop when it came to dad’s extra curricular activities.

“Yes, Jason… You know I’m ready to attack at the drop of a hat. I lost my family in Pakistan during an American drone strike on a village suspected of being a Jihadist stronghold.” said Muhsin the security expert who was off to one side of the group monitoring the camera feed from the towers and from the external cameras around the property.

Still thinking of the grenades at CentrePort Farid spoke to Jackson directly, “You can make arrangements for this weekend to go in our delivery van and pick up that crate I told you about. It is to go directly to the warehouse in St. Boniface.”

“Alright… I’ll get Faruk’s security team to cut the cameras at midnight and swing through with one of the new recruits to pick them up. I still don’t trust the boy… He’s brave and strong to Islam but he was born in the West and still likes its comforts. I don’t have to tell him what’s going on… I’ll just say that my partner was busy and I have a last minute delivery.” said Jackson who had tried the training technique of taking on a Western name after immigration to blend in.

Jackson Johnson was born Obi Umar in Nigeria and joined the network nine years ago after joining Boko Haram to defend his people’s right to freedom in an oppressed land. He fled Nigeria after being disillusioned by the apparent slaughter of villagers who seemed to be protecting government troops. He was recruited in his first days by a local street gang that had helped establish himself after he had been beaten up in Central Park by a couple of biker associates for ‘staring’. He had vowed to get even with the club and had gladly taken the bait when Farid and Huzaifa came calling. After ten months in an Afghan training camp run by Al Qaeda he had learned the basics and found that a lot of the training he received by Boko Haram had been reinforced.

He was top commander when it came to the militant side of operations and had several cells dedicated to his aid as soldiers under him. They had yet to be activated like himself but it was necessary for him to prepare for the third phase if needed. He had actively recruited the same gang he had joined and other immigrant gangs in Winnipeg to bolster his soldiers numbers to seventy five in the province. He had at his disposal several small arms and blunt weapons that he doled out to the recruits who agreed to stay drug dealers more for cover then to make money as getting caught was to bring undo attention to the cause. Most of them spent time in and out of prison cells intimidating the organized criminals out of harming immigrant families in the poverty stricken areas of the Province.

A few of his personnel had ties to Aboriginal street gangs that seemed to dominate the Reservations of the province and the Northern towns where some of the immigrants settled. Jackson was a specialist in hand to hand combat and personally trained his soldiers in effective techniques that could be used when guns were not needed or warranted. The Aboriginal gangs loved the trade he worked out where they were given complete domination of their people in exchange for help in prison keeping the bikers at bay and out of their hair while they were free and out of prison. The deal also involved a free and seemingly endless supply of Heroin and Cocaine that they could sell for profit.

“That’s about all I have till Huzaifa gets here so make yourselves busy with the preparations until then.” ordered Farid thinking that the first phase would send this side of the boarder for a loop they would never forget anytime soon.

“I’ll call up my boys and see if they can make another delivery to Peguis… The Sohkeyimow Peyakwâw will meet then there and distribute over the lake again.” said Jackson as he reached into his leather coat and pulled out his encrypted cellular phone with satellite uplink capability that had been setup by Jason.

The phone required voice print to activate this feature but this was not apparent to the average person who may ask to inspect the phone at any given time. It was Jackson’s favourite tool as he could call anywhere on earth and make it appear that he was everywhere he really wasn’t. Jason had been trained by his older brother John who had decided to branch out and wanted to learn the chemical reactions involved in battery manufacture plus he could double as a bomb cook if needed.

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