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- "You don't ask in. You're invited in."
- — Cara Bowden, "Day 7: 6:00am-7:00am"
The prion variant cabal was a group of private military contractors who masterminded the development of the prion variant pathogen before Day 7. They plotted to use the prions as weapons of mass destruction by secretly sponsoring terrorist attacks against the United States. Their goal was to take over the security of the country and to profit from the subsequent defense contracts that would be awarded by the destabilized government.
Before Day 7 Edit
The most influential member of the cabal, Alan Wilson, was also involved in the Sentox nerve gas conspiracy that took place during Day 5, along with Graem Bauer, Charles Logan, Phillip Bauer and Christopher Henderson.
The cabal provided support for General Benjamin Juma and Colonel Iké Dubaku in exchange for allowing Starkwood to develop the bio-weapon in Sangala. Cara Bowden served as the intermediary between each member, and was the "moderator" on their anonymous communication software.
Day 7 Edit
During Day 7, there were 13 members of the cabal and they all remained anonymous from each other until Jonas Hodges revealed himself and stole the prion variant for his own purposes (namely, to benefit Starkwood alone). When all but one of the canisters were destroyed in the inferno of Starkwood's exploding Python missiles, the group had Robert Galvez smuggle the last canister to Tony Almeida. They planned to develop more prion canisters for a renewed attempt at attacks six months later. The attacks were supposed to be carried out by various Muslim terror cells, and in the ensuing chaos, the handful of private military firms represented by the cabalists would step up and effectively seize control from the apparently helpless government.
However, Tony Almeida had infiltrated into the lower level of this group's operations and was intimate with the group's representative Cara Bowden (his secret goal was to eventually murder Alan Wilson). To earn further credibility, Tony convinced Cara that the government was reeling thanks to Hodges and their plans should not be delayed six months. Instead, they should simply accelerate the timetable for one of their original planned attacks: to strike Washington Center Station with their only remaining canister of the prions. Cara respected Tony and his contributions and pitched the idea to the whole cabal on his behalf. The cabalists discussed it using their anonymous software as Alan Wilson remained silent, unsure what course to take. But the idea began to lose traction, so Cara made a private request to Wilson to weigh in for Tony's idea. So Wilson, out of deference to Cara's request, persuaded all eleven other members of the group to unanimously approve the subway attack.
This plan soon failed, however, as Jack Bauer and the innocent pawn Jibraan Al-Zarian foiled the attack. Tony then put forward a second idea: harvest the prions from Jack Bauer (who had been infected) and use his tissue to grow new batches of the bioweapon for later use. Wilson took a group of bodyguards to oversee this operation and also to evaluate Tony personally. He was almost killed in Tony's assassination attempt, and soon was in FBI custody. Wilson refused to betray his involvement or the other cabalists. The secrecy of the cabalists was endangered, however, when Renee Walker put down her badge and illegally assaulted Wilson in an FBI holding room, nearly killing him.
Cabal leadership Edit
- Alan Wilson (#1)
- O'Niel (#3)
- Marr (#4)
- (Cabal member #5)
- (8 other members)
- Jonas Hodges (before Day 7)
- Cara Bowden
Background information and notes Edit
- It was not disclosed in-universe if Wilson betrayed the eleven other co-conspirators, or if he or any of them faced justice. It is pertinent to note that coerced confessions (as possibly extracted from Wilson by Renee Walker) are never admissible as evidence in American criminal investigations. However, when asked about Alan Wilson's fate in a post series finale interview, Howard Gordon stated "I think you got a sense that Renee broke him and broke the back of the conspiracy at a tremendous personal and professional price".