On the Line 4.3

by Steve on March 13, 2008

Back to 4.2

As a young boy Herut spent most of his time around the waterfront in Haifa. He knew the streets and docks better than his own block. To the men that ran the port, both legitimate operators and otherwise, Herut was as invisible as the dogs that scavenged the trash. He ran errands, did various odd jobs, and eventually graduated to working the docks. As a teenager he went to sea on the decks of freighters bound for ports throughout the Med. Surrounded by ocean and sky he found peace, something that was hard to come by in the streets of Haifa. It was on his third trip under a particular captain whom he respected as a sailor, a leader, and a profound thinker, that his life took on new meaning. The old salt recruited young Herut into Mossad, the Israeli Secret Intelligence Service. Over the years Herut leveraged his connections within the shipping underworld and worked his way deep into the graft and corruption that moved the world’s goods around the Med and Indian Ocean. He only surfaced when absolutely necessary, his cover was impeccable, his methods untouchable. He was a sailor and very careful never to give anyone reason to suspect any different.

As the freighter maneuvered along side the pier with help from two tugs, Herut meticulously inspected the containers that would be off-loaded. He moved clear of the area being prepared for moving the heavy cargo and pulled out a device that to the untrained appeared to be a cell phone. Satisfied that he was receiving a good signal from the transmitter he had attached to a container he was particularly interested in, he pocketed the receiver. As the dock lines were being secured the crew began unlatching the restraints on the stacks of containers. Within an hour of pulling along side the pier containers were hitting the dock. Cranes swung the heavy structures in a dance that happened every day on the docks in Toulon. Some containers were stacked in staging areas while others went directly onto rail-cars waiting on the dock’s spur. A few were lowered onto trailer chassis including the one Herut was interested in. Herut watched from the deck of the ship as a tractor backed up to a container. He checked his receiver one more time to be certain it was working properly. As the container reached the end of the dock and the driver turned right Herut smiled slightly at the sight of a small pick-up that pulled out and followed the container. He had been right. Following the container would have been suicide. He would have to rely on the tracking device. If his hunch was correct the container would not be going very far.

An hour later he knew he was right, based on the signal he was receiving the container never left the port. That could only mean one thing: the weapons were being cross-docked to another ship.

****

Alberto watched as the driver dismounted from the cab and unhooked the trailer. His men took care of the paperwork and the driver was on his way. At last we can make our final preparations… Once the container was opened Alberto’s men removed the straps securing the crate inside and moved it to the rear of the container. From there a forklift was used to carefully carry it into the warehouse and away from the watching eyes of the world. With the weapons finally in their grasp the men felt that a celebration was in order but Alberto restrained them. It would not be wise to dance around the parking lot firing rifles in the air. Not in Toulon. That would undoubtedly bring an immediate and unwanted reaction from the French. No, they would have to settle for drinks inside, no firearms. They would celebrate when the mission was a success, Allah willing.

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