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CHAPTER 25. CAPTIVITY
FBI Headquarters, Washnington, D.C.
―Detective Jensen, this is Agent Bertrand. You told me to tail the Professor and his
kids. He went with the kids to the Island Café on O Street. Nothing unusual for the first
few minutes. Then a black van with white plates pulled up to the curb. We did not get a
license number. An Arab looking man, about 5‘ 8,‖ Army surplus jacket, jeans,
sunglasses, black hair slicked back, no facial hair or tattoos we could see, jumped out
with what appeared to be a gun, grabbed the professor right in front of his kids, threw
him into the sliding door of the van, and peeled out. We were two blocks away at the
time, watching through binoculars, keeping a safe distance from the subject. We
immediately tailed the van, it went down P Street and under an overpass and by the time
we caught up, it was gone. Can you guys pull satellite and find it? It is a non-descript
black van, conversion van not a minivan, I think possibly Maryland plates. Sorry we lost
‗em, Detective, but if you can track them by air, we will pursue.‖
―Where are the kids?‖
―We don‘t know because we went after the van. But we are going back to the caf
and see if we can find them.‖
―Roger that, keep me posted.‖
The detective was disgusted. How easy was it to tail a professor and two children?
―Christine, I need you to pull satellite or aerial drone photos from O and P Street,
about three to five minutes ago. We are looking for a black van that pulled up to the side
of the Island Caf and grabbed our witness and threw him into the van.‖
Within one minute, the big board in the room showed a satellite photo of
Washington, DC. The computer operator, Christine, zoomed in on the location.
―There it is.‖
They followed the black van on the screen as it left the café, pulled under an
overpass, and came out the other side. It weaved its way through traffic for the next ten
minutes and then pulled onto I-95 South. Jensen called the Metro DC Police and the
County Sheriff‘s Office and explained the situation to the officers there. Then he put
calls in to his FBI field operatives in the area.
―All units,‖ Jensen called out. ―We have a non-descript black conversion van which
seconds ago left the Washington DC area and pulled south onto I-95. We believe there is
a hostage on board.‖
Jensen considered his next move. If one of the police officers turned on his lights
and tried to arrest the driver, the driver could shoot the hostage or crash the van. Better to
wait until the van was stopped, and the suspect was not expecting them. Then they could
move on the suspect and save the hostage.
―Do not arrest the suspect at this time and do not let him know you are following
him. Keep a safe distance away and keep me advised. Our plan is to wait until he stops
for gas and then we can grab him and save the hostage.‖
The FBI field operatives did as they were told. The black van continued driving
south for several hours on Highway 95 without stopping. When the van got to
Charleston, South Carolina, it pulled off the highway, and quickly drove downtown.
Jensen could see the whole thing from the satellite.