Ben and Sami waited. It was seven am.. The traffic outside was starting to pick up. Ben watched as a car pulled up in front of the maqhaa (coffee shop). They watched as two men got out of the car. One of them opened the back door and Ben could see Peter. He looked tired and had a bruise on his face, his clothing was a bit disheveled. The two men were dressed in jeans and tee shirts and had sport jackets on. Ben could see the bulge of the jackets where their guns were. Another man stayed in the car and Ben could see the barrel of a rifle leaning against the front seat. Sami stood up and in Arabic greeted them as if he knew them in a friendly way and invited them to join him for coffee. There were a few other men in the shop two of whom Ben knew but Sami was not aware of. They were both fluent in Arabic and the local dialect of Karbala. The two men and Peter sat down and more coffee was brought to the table. Sami introduced Ben to the two men as Kasim and Jahmir. Peter smiled and shook hands with Ben and said; “Man, am I glad to see you”. He also noticed the two men from the NOC but said nothing. He suddenly felt safe and smiled at Ben. The two men saw the suit case under the table between Ben and Sami. They exchanged words with Sami and he explained to them that they cold take the suit case with them in their car. He and Ben would follow them to the airport they would all go inside and when Peter and Ben were boarding their flight to Germany Sami would give them the other suit case and the combination for both locks. One of the men said something to Sami, he told Ben that Peter would have to ride in the car with them. Sami would follow behind them. Ben told Sami to tell them he wanted Peter’s passport and wallet now. One of the men took an envelope out of his inside jacket pocket and placed it on the table. Ben opened it took out the passport and checked it to make sure it was in order, it was. He also checked Peters wallet and his drivers license and credit card were in it. He put both items in his jacket pocket. He then lifted the case onto his lap punched in a few numbers and put the case on the table and opened the top enough for the men to see the money. He then closed and locked the case. The two men from the other table that were NOC agents got up and left. They got in their car and drove off. They would be at the airport when Ben and Peter arrived. Ben, Sami, Peter and the two men stood up from the table and left the coffee shop.
Peter got in the back with Jahmir and the suitcase, Kasim got in the front seat with the driver Malid. They spoke in Arabic about how easy it was to get money from the Americans and how this money would help their cause. Peter sat quietly but understood every word they said. If he got back to the U.S. he would be debriefed as would Ben.
Ben had two first class tickets for his and Peter’s flight to Germany, a two hour layover and then their flight to JFK International. If all went well.
Sam and Janet arrived at the bank and went directly to the safe deposit box area. Janet gave her name to the clerk and he handed her a card to fill out. Ben had included her name on the original form and she had signed it. She filled out the form entered the code number and handed it back to the clerk. Janet and Sam followed him. He unlocked a metal gate and went to the box number registered. He asked for Janets key slipped it in the lock and then took his key and opened the door to reveal the box. He removed his key, took the large box out. “Would you like me to carry it to one of the rooms for you, it’s quite heavy”.
“Yes, thank you”. He handed her key back and told her to follow him. She opened the door to one of the small private rooms used by depositors. The clerk placed the box on the table and left. Sam locked the door and Janet opened the box. Inside was cash and plenty of it. There was also several envelopes filled with documents. Sam told Janet to take the envelopes out but leave the cash alone. Janet put all the envelopes in her purse closed the box and told the clerk she was finished. He put the box back and locked the box door. Janet thanked him and she and Sam left.