“Justice without Mercy” Chapter 58

After the attack on the two bridges, Jack and Lou went into crash mode to counter the JWM Serializationsniper attack they believed would follow. They could only field one team. Kathy and Kelly weren’t up to going against Hasani now. Jack didn’t like not having the time to sight in and fire his rifle. Frank had his best people sight in the rifles but it was definitely not procedure to ever go hunting a sniper without a very thorough session with the rifle, ammo and sights. Jack accepted that emergencies often played hell with following the proper procedure. After studying topo maps and satellite imagery, they decided that their best chance was to work the Chain Bridge area. A deployment site area was chosen on the Maryland side of the Potomac and upriver from the bridge.

Just before first light, Jack pulled into a parking area at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal park about 300 yards upriver from Chain Bridge. Jack and Lou made their way into a clump of winter foliage and high grasses. With camouflage suits they blended in well. Jack knew the site was not good for watching the bridge, but it did give them good views of the opposite high ridges on the Virginia side. If a sniper was set up on those slopes, Jack was sure they could find him, but probably not until he fired. Dividing the search area into sectors, they began to search the opposite shore line and ridge. When the sun came up, Jack realized that Hasani would have spent hours scouting out the best shooting positions. For early morning shooting on a sunny day, it was better to be downriver from the bridge. Too late now. He could see some sections of the steep slope below the bridge. The distance to any probable sniper sites downriver was over a kilometer from their position and difficult due to the sun angle. He knew from experience hunting snipers took patience and extreme care to keep from becoming the hunted.

Two hours of constant searching turned up nothing. At 8:00 AM, the booming sound of a large caliber rifle fired from somewhere downriver broke through the sound of traffic. Nine more shots followed at almost exactly ten-second intervals. Jack had heard that sound before in Ramadi nearly eight years ago when he had been hunting Hasani and his .50 caliber sniping rifle. Even the interval was the same. After 20 seconds of no firing, Jack told Lou to scan for movement. The shooters were on the move, probably up to the Parkway.

Jack said, “Even if we see them, we’ve no shot. No sense in tipping them off that we have figured out their strategy.”

Jack got his cell out and moving a bit away from Lou, asked for Frank. He came on the line instantly. Jack said, “I’m sitting in the brush upriver from Chain Bridge. A sniper has just fired 10 shots. I’m sure he and his spotter are headed up the ridge to the Parkway for their escape ride. Look for pickup trucks. Check both inbound and outbound lanes starting from the first overlook below the bridge. He picked that spot to avoid shooting into the morning sun.” Frank hung up. Jack knew he was firing off orders to begin the hunt.

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