Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Tong Killed in Car Crash

I followed the American, his grilfriend, and his girlfriend's brother to a restaurant called Il Palazzo Osteria near the Palatine. After dinner the three of them got into the brother's car, a sleek little Qvale Mangusta. I followed them in my rental at a safe distance, but Tong appeared out of nowhere and tried to run them off the road. The girl's brother made some impressive maneuvers near the catecombs of St. Callixtus and Tong crashed into the median, careening off the road. His car burst into flames with him still inside. At this point I think it safe to say that the American, Evan, has an incredible amount of dumb luck.

Also, I received a communique earlier this evening from the plant in Berat. Ijaz is still at the camp. Supposedly he wants to wait until this business in Rome is finished. By the way, the plant is the same individual who we in the agency had "stationed" in the al-Qaeda camp in the Rod Para Mountains, known as Meivand (named because of its proximity to a village of the same name, 30 miles west of Kandahar). Meivand, which was destroyed by U.S. warplanes, was one of al-Qaeda’s largest training camps in Afghanistan, with infrastructure to support up to 700 fighters. The plant had been under cover as one of the instructors at the “school” there. His lessons at Meivand focused on terror attacks, but were interspersed with instructions on firing missiles, laying and mapping mines and tactical fighting in the mountains. Some of his lessons were dedicated to learning al-Qaeda’s code, and copious notes in notebooks left behind by his students were filled with keys to the terror organization’s secret language, a paper trail that is helping America and its allies undermine the al-Qaeda network.

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