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Project Aladdin Journal 05-20-2002

Everyone, sorry I didn't report in this weekend. I haven't had the time. Bob, I took your advice and went to the Baltimore police. They went to the apartment and took pictures, and a statement from me, but that was it. I told them that I was a friend and that the kidnappers wanted a ransom. Problem was, I didn't have any proof. My contact never called back. I was in a real fix and sleeping in a police safe-house Saturday night, waiting for a call-back.

I did get a call the next morning, though.

Patrick? It's Gabrielle, don't tell them who's on the phone.

The officer assigned to me looked at me curiously. After a second I shook my head.

"It's a friend of mine."

He nodded and went back to reading a paper. I continued to talk to Gabrielle.

"Hi, Steve, how's it hanging?"

She snorted.

Great name. I'm in Baltimore. Did you really involve the police?

"Yeah, yeah, you betcha."

Damn. Not good. Look, Patrick, you can't leave the safe-house. You're under surveillance. At the moment my former employer isn't willing to go in and get you, but it's only a matter of time. Angela is safe, my friends managed to get her, but we couldn't get away with Meaghan as well.

"Your friends are coming to the party?"

I'm guessing you want to know if I have any. Yes and no. There are others who believe you, but none as willing to stick their necks out. We can't rely on them, unfortunately. Look, we can get Meaghan, but only if you're for real. I need you to ask your Christine for information on Operation Screwtape.

"What company are you working for then?"

There was a long pause.

Mossad. Tell her, Mossad.

Then she hung up. I got on my laptop and sent the e-mail to Christine immediately. The response came shortly after.

Patrick. This is very surprising to us. We have already sent the request to the relevant authorities. For reasons that are not important now, we will have a hard time getting this information for you, but we'll do out best.

You'll be happy to know that our planned solution appears to be working. We activated the device ahead of schedule and the leak rate is already down twenty-seven percent. Thank you.

I'll let you know when I have something.

Since then I have received no new calls or e-mails. I would have e-mailed you sooner but, well, I'm still in police custody and they wouldn't let me. I think they suspect me of kidnapping Meaghan. I'm worried that I won't be able to do anything from in here and just as worried that trying to leave might be worse. Help!

Project Aladdin Journal 05-20-2002

SoundByte here.

MOSSAD? What the hell? Is Gabrielle working for Ariel Sharon (and were you as well, without knowing it?), and the people who may be holding Meaghan connected somehow with Al Queda? If that's the case, maybe you need to be in touch with the highest levels---maybe you need to place a call to Tom Ridge?

Meanwhile, have you talked either to WJZ-TV or one of the other Baltimore stations? And have you recontacted Fox 5 in Atlanta? This situation calls for direct and very public media involvement, and each of those outlets can also pull in their respective networks. (We're too far away at our station, which is about 300 miles north of where you are now, to be of much good just yet, but if the Feds get involved in a serious way and this develops the national implications we think it could, we might want to. My friend Bob has some network contacts of his own at NBC and NPR which he'd be happy to put on the case if it'd help.)

Good luck. This is clearly coming to a head. If we can help say the word.


Bob checking in.
Saw SoundByte's posting and knowing what we know about Gabrielle, I don't take her comments as seriously as he does. I'm not convinced she wasn't making a sarcastic joke with that Mossad remark...if for no other reason than the impossibility of imagining what on earth the Israelis would want to do with access to a wormhole (unless they could figure out how to cram Saddam, Bin Laden and the whole PLO leadership into it, and send them all into the center of a star somewhere).

I think you very much want to keep this whole thing as open and public as you possibly can. I agree with SoundByte on this much...the media needs to be drawn into this story. And given that you have essentially sent Christine and friends on the path toward solving their very large problem, it's her turn to help you solve your current one now. Won't hurt to remind her and her colleagues of that fact. She owes you one big does the future.

Best of success to you, Patrick.