A Spy in Exile: Chapter 33


EAST OF BREMEN, DECEMBER 22, 2014

 

As had happened many times before, the forces went into action in the small hours of the morning. A sleeping enemy is a defenseless enemy. At that time of the day, even the toughest of the tough allow themselves to drop their guard and sail away fast asleep into moments of childhood and innocence. The night is a friend of those who can see despite the darkness, of those with adrenaline rushing through their blood, of those primed for battle from head to toe.

Ya’ara’s call did the trick. The decisions that followed in its wake were swift and decisive. No one suspected a hoax. The details were precise and corresponded with snippets of intelligence already in the hands of the German police and German security service—snippets that until that very moment had yet to come together to form a solid picture. With the consent of the Bremen police chief, responsibility for the matter was transferred to the BKA, the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany, and three hours before a pale dawn began painting orange streaks across the morning sky, members of the Police Tactical Unit, the elite counterterrorism squad, deployed around the farm, setting up surveillance positions and security perimeters. There was no movement on the farm itself. A four-by-four Land Rover was parked in the yard, and a weak glow was coming from inside the farmhouse, perhaps from a light above the staircase. The four helicopters flew in very low, almost noiselessly, and the commandos they were carrying alighted quickly and in precise order, before crouching and advancing slowly on the house. With perfect timing, they burst in through the front door and two second-floor windows, climbing up one after the other on aluminum ladders. The dull sounds of stun grenades could be heard from within the house, followed by a short burst of gunfire. A second team surrounded the barn, weapons at the ready. Two sappers dressed in cumbersome protective gear were sent inside, accompanied by a German shepherd trained to sniff out explosives.

The commandos removed five stunned individuals from the living quarters—four men and one young woman. All of them barefoot. The faces of two, apparently injured in the raid, were bleeding slightly. Their hair was disheveled and unruly. All five were aggressively shoved into a van that sped into the farmyard and then roared out again. Within twenty minutes they’d be at the detention facility. A brief medical examination and then the start of a very prolonged interrogation.

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