Sandstorm is a former terrorist organization led by Major General Ellen Briggs, whose main goal was to end corruption in the United States at all costs with no regards for human lives. Its members were highly trained and skilled in combat and weaponry.
- « These people, they give me that same feeling. They scare me just... just like that sandstorm. »
Although Sandstorm's beginnings remain unclear, it is known that they started their first domestic attacks in 2009 with plans designed to appear to be originated from different groups in order to keep attention away from the organization.
As a Major General in the U.S. army, Ellen Briggs had access to the nation’s best kept secrets and to highly sensitive information such as the Truman Protocol. With a wealthy family background, she was able to pay for Kurt Weller’s tuition at Liberty Academy in hopes she could recruit him as an asset for her future plans.
With valuable and skilled assets on her side, Sandstorm became a powerful and highly organized terrorist group whose goal was to end with corruption in the United States.
With a vast knowledge on Kurt Weller's life since his teenager years and due to his high values of justice, he became the prime candidate to replace the current Deputy Director of the FBI NYO, Bethany Mayfair, who had a record of corruption for being part of Project Daylight.
With a date set in mind to launch Phase One, Shepherd had to ensure Weller’s permanency in New York; to accomplish this, Sean Clark called Mayfair and suggested she kept Weller in her office for a while because he was still not ready to be transferred to DC.
Clark: Look, I'm calling about the agent you put up to run the DC office.
Mayfair: He's the best I've got.
Clark: I think it's a little premature for him to be a candidate. He should spend some more time with you in New York before taking over an office of his own. He's a bit raw, to be blunt.
Mayfair: Well, that's one word for it, but he gets results.
Clark: I'm sure he does, but if he stays in New York, I think he can do great things.
In order to guarantee Weller the position of Deputy Director, all of the corruption cases within the country, to whom the responsible were considered enemies of Sandstorm, were tattooed on Remi’s body for the FBI to solve and held them accountable for their actions.
- Main Goal: Ousting Mayfair from her charge as Deputy Director of the FBI New York Office and replace her with Kurt Weller.
Phase one was a series of events orchestrated by Sandstorm and performed by several of its members to accomplish a significant stage into the organization’s final plan. It took place in New York, starting in Times Square after an amnesiac woman was found naked and tattooed inside of an abandoned duffel bag as a way to be directly sent to Kurt Weller’s team.
Due to Remi’s physical appearance –eye color, hair and age-, and her possible resemblance with an adult Taylor Shaw, she decided to be part of Phase One and pose as Taylor in order to gain Weller’s trust inside of the FBI.
A few months before the memory wipe process, Remi and Oscar flew to Pennsylvania and swapped Taylor’s DNA samples with Remi’s for the time the FBI would need them once Kurt Weller found the scar and figured that Jane Doe might be his missing childhood friend. It’s presumed that while in Clearfield, Remi and Oscar also attended Taylor’s memorial in order to observe Weller and study his behavior towards Emma Shaw and Bill Weller.
Once the details for her cover as Taylor were covered and the tattoo designs already done, Remi cut her hair, her body was covered in tattoos and her memory wiped with a high dose of ZIP to be dropped off in Times Square inside of a duffel bag and finally taken to the FBI and her case assigned to the Critical Incident Response Group lead by Kurt Weller.
An old scar at the back of her neck and her resemblance with Taylor Shaw were crucial to make Kurt Weller firmly believe she was his old friend, effectively gaining his trust over her work helping the team solve the cases behind the tattoos. With Jane properly placed inside of the team, Oscar’s job as her handler, was to gain her trust after showing her a recording made by Remi before her memory wipe; although this tactic didn’t have much effect on Jane, Oscar managed to convince her to perform small tasks inside of the FBI.
Jane successfully replaced a GPS chip in one of the team’s cars, as well as swapping Mayfair’s pen for a replica given to her by Oscar; she also unknowingly removed all files about Alexandra Harrison (aka Donna Hollaran) from the FBI servers. On the other hand, Sofía Varma, who was still alive after Remi contacted her before she committed suicide, asked Mayfair for money, making her believe that she needed to flee the country again; meanwhile Donna, posing as Alexandra, met and flirted with Mayfair until her assassination –by some Sandstorm member probably-. All of this, along with Thomas Carter’s disappearance and presumed murder, led Matthew Weitz to conduct an investigation on Mayfair and taking her under arrest for killing Carter once the evidence, planted in the FBI by Sandstorm, charged her as guilty.Sandstorm successfully managed to take Mayfair out of the FBI by framing her for murdering Carter, which allowed Kurt Weller to assume as the new Deputy Director of the FBI New York Office.
- « Oscar: Let's call this phase one.
Sofia: Bethany needed to be removed from power. Made accountable for her actions. »
- Main Goal: Replace the current U.S. administration with the new Deputies brought to power by Shepherd through the Truman Protocol. - Failed ☒
Through her time in the military holding the rank of Major General, Ellen Briggs had access to the Truman Protocol, a confidential file written during Truman’s presidency, allowing the designated deputies from a key federal agency assume power after an attack.
With Kurt Weller as Deputy Director of the FBI and several other corrupt Deputies replaced after Jane’s tattoos were solved, Phase Two was a few steps closer to be launched. To get rid of the team, that had become a liability to the plan, Shepherd tricked Jane in believing that Phase Two was about blowing New York’s power grid, which lured the team to Sandstorm’s headquarters only to make the building collapse while the FBI was still raiding the building.
Even though the team managed to survive the attack and Jane and Roman left to the FBI, Shepherd managed to take Phase Two to its final stages alongside Robert Borden by purchasing HMX explosives. Sandstorm had also managed to build an exact replica of SIOC they left for the FBI to find while they were attacking the Bureau’s building and placing the explosives in tactical places to blow up the place.
In order to activate the COGS, Sandstorm planned coordinated attacks on several federal buildings, two of which fell down after the explosions; with the country under attack, all deputies were taken to a secret bunker to keep them under protection and ensure the Truman Protocol’s correct procedure on allowing the designated deputies assume power if needed.
Patterson, with the help of two NASA experts, Jane and Weller stopped Shepherd’s rocket take its curse from attacking the White House; this attack intended to wipe out the current country’s administration in order to be replaced by the deputies awaiting in the bunker.
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Sandstorm's Headquarters Attack
|Ellen is the former leader of her own terrorist organization. Through her time in the army as Major General, she was granted access to highly classified information and the nation’s best kept secrets, including the Truman Protocol. She founded Sandstorm as a way to fight and take action on corruption in the United States, with no regards for human life. Her massive attacks became a threat to national security. Before Sandstorm’s beginnings, Ellen knew very well the assets she had among her; such as her adoptive children: Alice and Ian Kruger, whom she exploited for their skills on weaponry and combat.
At an undetermined time, she decided to use the Truman Protocol to destroy the current country’s administration and replace them with the Deputies she considered the best candidates to maintain an America that was free of corruption. She came up with an elaborate plan, which in both of its phases required Remi to infiltrate the FBI under a new identity.
|Alice, also known as Remi only inside of Sandstorm, became an orphan when the African Government killed her parents when she was just a child. She and her brother, Ian, were taken to the Apartheid movement’s orphanage that was used as an academy to train children to become deadly soldiers. Around 1990 when Apartheid fell and the children were freed by American soldiers, one of them, Ellen Briggs, saw the siblings as potential assets for her own purposes and took them back to the States.
In the U.S. Alice became a Navy SEAL and joined Orion, a black-ops program developed and run by the CIA. She believed she was helping the country, but failed to notice that it was created to perform illegal operations. In 2013 she was sent to Afghanistan where a drone strike killed the members from her platoon; she managed to survive and came back to America where she sought to fight next to Shepherd, in order to end corruption in the country. With Shepherd’s idea on using the Truman Protocol, Alice came up with a plan wherein she would erase her memory, tattoo her body with corruption cases within the United States in order to be sent to the FBI, and accomplish Phase One.
|Ian Kruger, also known as Roman only inside of Sandstorm, became an orphan at a very young age and taken to the Apartheid orphanage with his older sister, Alice, after their parents were killed by the African Government. In the academy he was subjected to several practices to desensitize him, causing in Ian to form a major detachment from his sympathy toward people, becoming a highly unstable individual. He and Alice were taken to the United States after American soldiers freed the children from the academy when the Apartheid movement ended.
Ian and Alice became important assets for Ellen’s future plans, and both of them held sensitive information about the organization’s actions.
Roman was one of the architects behind Remi's tattoos.
|Robert Borden||Mid rank, promoted to high rank||Alive|
|By the time Nigel and his wife, Chris Thornton, were stationed in Afghanistan volunteering for Doctors Without Borders, Chris aided an injured Navy SEAL she found wandering on the afghan forest near their village. As part of her rehabilitation process, Nigel took Remi hiking from where they witnessed the attack of American drones bombing the village and the hospital where Chris was working. Remi offered Nigel to go back to the states and join her family to fight against the American government, responsible for Nigel’s wife’s death and the death of Remi’s platoon.
Due to his profession as a doctor, Nigel became an asset inside Sandstorm and was placed inside of the FBI to work as a psychologist, under the name of Robert Borden, and be assigned to the Jane Doe’s case, becoming Jane's handler and allowing him to control the new Remi in order to convince her she was Taylor Shaw and pursuit the accomplishment of Phase One. During his time in the FBI he passed intel on Jane’s sessions to Sandstorm and about the team taken through his relationship with Patterson. Everyone thought that he died in an explosion after his cover was blown, but he survived it and was caught by the CIA and forced to work undercover in a mission for them..
|-||Mid rank, promoted to high rank||Deceased|
|Parker was promoted to a higher rank after Remi and Roman left Sandstorm, the first to pursue Phase One and the latter after his memory was wiped. He was in charge of supervising the plans. After Nigel's cover as Robert Borden was blown and came back to Sandstorm, Parker was assigned to the surveillance of Patterson after Shepherd placed a bug inside of her tooth; he was the responsible of alerting Shepherd about the team's plan to take Cade to a safe house and lure the organization to the place.|
|During his time in Sandstorm, Oscar developed strong feelings toward Remi with whom had a relationship and lately became engaged. As seen through Jane’s memories, he was the architect behind the Bird Tattoo which apparently lacked of meaning. Before Remi started the tattoo and mind-wiping process, they agreed he’d be her handler once they met after she was placed in the FBI. His duties as Jane’s handler were to keep her alive, as he did when he killed Thomas Carter after he kidnapped and tortured Jane, he was also supposed to gain her trust and turn her back to Sandstorm but by the time he made contact with her, her loyalty was already with the FBI and her team; although, he managed to convince Jane to perform the tasks to accomplish Phase One.
He was killed by Jane after he attacked her and intended to wipe her memory again.
|Cade found solace in Sandstorm after his father was killed in a mining accident that the company treated as a minor incident. In the organization, Cade stood out as one of the best they had due to his abilities to track people down and in combat. However, he went rogue on Sandstorm and started to leak intel to the NSA, informing Nas Kamal about the organization’s future plans. He was the informant who let Nas know about the future incident in Times Square a few months before Jane was found inside of the duffel bag.
As seen through Jane’s memories, he and Remi didn’t get along very well and he used to accuse her on manipulating her brother.
|As seen through Jane’s first memories, Markos helped Remi with her marksmanship training, although the reasons for the shooting course are still undetermined, it’s believed that he trained her before she joined the Navy SEALs. He was the one who administrated the ZIP dose to Remi in order to wipe her memories; he later became Chao’s handler, whose case was tattooed on Jane’s body, being the first tattoo solved by the team.
As Chao’s handler, Markos had to make sure he was still alive by the end of his mission and die at the proper time but his survival drove Markos to kill Chao inside of the hospital he was being treated in. His appearance on the security cameras from the hospital turned him into a liability and Shepherd ordered his death. Turning against Shepherd, Markos and Cade went rogue on Sandstorm and he infiltrated Jane’s safe house to warn her about the organization but was killed by Oscar who discovered Markos’s plan and stopped him before he turned Jane against Sandstorm.
|He was the responsible of answering each of the phones designated to each member within the organization, acting as an intermediate and the only way of communication between one another while in a mission. In order to make contact with Hobbes and for him to know it was safe to deliver information, the member who made the call had to correctly answer to the key word Joey’s Pizza, as seen in 1.15 Older Cutthroat Canyon when Jane called to the line for the first time.|
Alice Kruger stumbled across Sandstorm's way after she was rescued and adopted by Shepherd along with her brother Ian Kruger. Apparently they both were raised and trained for war under Shepherd's terms to accomplish her goals.
It is implied that Alice, after changing her name to Remi, being maybe the second on command, was a volunteer to be part of the plan that implied wiping her entire memory and tattooing her whole body to be sent to the FBI in order to blend with Weller's team and being an active Sandstorm asset to accomplish the organization's biggest goal set for phase 1: take Bethany Mayfair off her position as Assistant Director of the FBI's New York Field Office.
She was ordered by Oscar to complete a series of missions under his threat of killing Weller and his team if she denied to accomplish the tasks. She unwillingly accepted in order to protect the people she was working with completely unaware of Oscar's true intentions. Jane realized about the main plan way too late to stop its course and she was surprised by Mayfair, as a result, Mayfair got killed by Oscar to prevent her from alerting the FBI. As soon as she realized the damage she made and killed Oscar, she went back to her safehouse to encounter Weller waiting for her and take her under arrest.
After escaping the CIA's black site, Jane is taken back to the FBI to be questioned. As soon as she realized that she's no longer trusted by any of the members of her old team, she decided to work as a double agent for both the FBI and Sandstorm in order to understand the organization's goal and find out Shepherd's true identity.
Trying to do the right thing, Jane gave the FBI intel about Sandstorm's plans and members, however, Shepherd and Roman knew since the beginning that she was working primarly for the FBI instead of her own family. After discovering Jane's betrayal, Shepherd and Roman managed to elaborate a plan to kill Kurt Weller’s team; believing her team was dead, Jane took a wounded Roman to a medical safe house and decided to inject him with a dosis of ZIP in order to give him a new beginning and forget his awful past.
Nas Kamal alerted Weller that Sandstorm has been watching him for over twenty years, by showing him a video of his time at Military School, video file taken from an NSA's asset who worked as double agent into Sandstorm. He also recognized Shepherd's voice in an audio recorder.
Trying to find Sofia Varma's whereabouts, Mayfair ends up finding out the truth behind Jane and her actions during her time assisting on her own FBI case. She then realizes that Sandstorm, through Jane, framed her as the murder of Thomas Carter, which led her to be taken under arrest and out of her job.