During the Sentox nerve gas conspiracy of Day 5, a group of Russian separatists known as the Dawn Brigade was supplied with 20 canisters of Sentox VX nerve gas by a cabal of American officeholders (including President Logan and his Chief of Staff Walt Cummings), federal agents (comprising of James Nathanson and his men) and businessmen (primarily Christopher Henderson, Graem Bauer and his father Phillip, and Alan Wilson). The initial plan was to have the separatists escape to their base in Central Asia with the nerve gas, with the intention of attacking Moscow. The conspirators would then use the opportunity to secretly trigger the canisters by satellite, wiping out the members of the terrorist cell. The incident would then be made public, to prove to the world the presence of weapons of mass destruction and the need for international military policing in the region. Logan would then have an excuse to invoke the military terms of the anti-terrorism treaty he made with Yuri Suvarov. Increased American involvement in the region would directly increase oil interests, and would provide strong economic benefits for future generations. The cabal of American officeholders and businessmen also conspired to frame a former government agent, Jack Bauer, for many of the crimes committed during the execution of the plot.
This plan backfired, however, and the Russian separatists took advantage of their possession of the nerve gas to deploy it on multiple high-value targets within the United States. A secondary conspiracy was formulated by the Americans in order to cover up their involvement. The former government agent that was framed — Jack Bauer — had a major role in thwarting both conspiracies.
Before Day 5
Stolen nerve gas
The Department of Defense commissioned the production of nerve gas called Sentox; it was made by the Sentox Project, part of Omicron International. Two years before Day 5, Christopher Henderson, a senior vice president at Omicron, also Jack Bauer's mentor and ex-CTU LA director, had a role in the murders (or coverups) of the chief scientist Alan Burkett, a subordinate scientist named Michael Gravel, and at least one more in apparent accidents. With the only non-conspirators who knew about the gas dead, Henderson and a small cabal of collaborators were able to steal twenty canisters of the Sentox for later use. The rest was decommissioned legitimately.
Jack fakes his death
During Day 4, Jack Bauer was forced to fake his own death in order to prevent capture by Chinese agent Cheng Zhi, who blamed Bauer for the death of their consul after Jack kidnapped Lee Jong in order to save Los Angeles from a nuclear warhead fired by Habib Marwan. More specifically, David Palmer warned Jack of the fact that President Charles Logan and/or Walt Cummings decided to kill Jack to eliminate the chance that he could reveal national security secrets to the Chinese. Michelle Dessler, Tony Almeida, Chloe O'Brian and Palmer conspired in faking Bauer's death and were the only people who knew he was alive.
This required Bauer to disappear into the civilian world and assume a new identity as Frank Flynn. It also tricked corrupt Secret Service agent Dale Spalding, who was sent by Logan and/or Walt Cummings to kill Jack to appease the Chinese for the illegal consulate raid. Jack's death was faked well enough to fool Spalding; this appeased Cummings and Logan, and the Chinese had no prisoner.
The conspiracy is initiated
After the events of Day 4, President Charles Logan, Alan Wilson, Christopher Henderson and Graem Bauer (with three other conspirators, including Ron and Robert Joseph) initiated their Sentox nerve gas conspiracy. Logan was the leader of a faction operating inside the government; Wilson controlled a private military company; and Graem was the CEO of BXJ Technologies, a company which sheltered numerous corporations owning oil leases. The conspirators planned to permit an anti-Russian terrorist group, the Dawn Brigade, to acquire the twenty secret canisters of nerve gas through an intermediary named James Nathanson, supposedly to support their plan to gas Moscow. Anatoly Markov was the middleman between Nathanson and the terrorists.
However, the cabal intended to disperse the gas prematurely, killing the terrorists in an apparent accident before Moscow could be attacked, but making a stronger U.S. police presence appear internationally legitimate -- this legitimacy would be acquired via the Anti-terrorism treaty which was to be signed on Day 5 between Logan and Russian President Yuri Suvarov. They would then use the new police power to secure more oil holdings, benefiting not only themselves but also America overall. Deciding that they needed a scapegoat in case the plan backfired, the cabal used Nathanson to manipulate Charles Logan's White House Chief of Staff Walt Cummings into thinking he was running the operation. Both Nathanson and Cummings were expendable layers of protection.
Jack discovered; Palmer detects conspiracy
Twelve months later, Chloe O'Brian's computer was hacked by someone working for Graem and Logan, so the conspirators discovered that Jack Bauer's autopsy was fabricated. They then decided to frame Jack for the murders of Palmer, and to also target the other three who knew he was alive; this would provide a reasonable motive for Palmer's motive (Jack killing those who knew he was alive), which would distract the intelligence/law enforcement apparatus from investigating the real reason behind Palmer's death. The hired gunman for these murders was Conrad Haas.
Six months later, on the evening before the conspiracy became active (Day 5), former president David Palmer placed a phone call to First Lady Martha Logan. Palmer was working secretly with Evelyn Martin, and was working to bring down the conspiracy. Although Palmer claimed that this call was a matter of national security, he would not speak to President Charles Logan about it. Palmer's phone call was intercepted by people working for Christopher Henderson, Vice President of Research and Development of Omicron International. Assuming that Palmer knew about the coming events of the day, Henderson ordered for Palmer to be silenced by assassination. More than a year later, during Day 6, American businessman Graem Bauer revealed his direct responsibility for paying the assassins and arranging the killings. Phillip Bauer was complicit in the conspiracy, as well as private military executive Alan Wilson, who was involved in the entire conspiracy as well as in Palmer's assassination and Michelle Dessler's murder.
David Palmer's death and the hostage crisis at Ontario Airport
Shortly thereafter, former CTU agents Michelle Dessler and Tony Almeida found out about Palmer's death, and decided to provide help to CTU. A bomb was triggered as Dessler entered her car, killing her immediately. Almeida was incapacitated.
Later, as Chloe O'Brian was about to enter her vehicle, she was tipped off by Edgar Stiles that Dessler and Almeida were targeted for murder, while Palmer was assassinated, himself. She fled the area, and phoned Jack Bauer, piecing together that Dessler, Almeida, Palmer, and herself only have in common the conspiracy to cover up Bauer's death. This forced Bauer to come out of hiding in order to clear his name and find the ones responsible.
Meanwhile, CTU Los Angeles received doctored video footage of Jack Bauer exiting the building directly across from Wayne Palmer's penthouse. CTU was led to believe that Bauer faked his death, and targeted his co-conspirators under the belief that he could no longer trust them. President Charles Logan issued a warrant for Bauer's arrest.
When Martha Logan found out about Palmer's death, she believed Palmer was killed because of her phone call the previous night, as opposed to the evidence provided to CTU. She demands her husband to get the audio recording of that phone call, of which he had his Chief of Staff Walt Cummings retrieve. The recording was severely doctored, with the most notable alteration being Palmer claiming that the call was "hardly a matter of national security." Charles Logan told his wife that her memory could be affected if she failed to take her medication. The First Lady would remain persistent about this, and later discovered the written transcript with the real conversation she had with David Palmer. Walt Cummings would later steal this from the First Lady, and had it destroyed. According to Cummings, this eliminated all the evidence that Palmer was trying to warn her about an attack in the immediate near future.
When Jack Bauer, posing as an FBI agent, entered Wayne Palmer's penthouse—now a crime scene—in order to investigate David Palmer's death. He and Wayne discovered a discrepancy between David's printed memoirs and the computer version: an address at the Ontario Airport, as well as the name of a baggage claims supervisor, Chevensky. Bauer used this as a lead and went to the airport.
As soon as Bauer located Chevensky, a car bomb was triggered, inducing panic. Chevensky used this as an opportunity to commit suicide by cyanide poisoning. Russian separatists, led by Anton Beresch, took several dozen people hostage, demanding that an anti-terrorism treaty to be signed by President Logan and President Yuri Suvarov of Russia be nullified. These separatists conspired with Ivan Erwich, a sleeper amongst the hostages, and James Nathanson, a former CIA agent who provided Beresch updated news information about the treaty.
Bauer volunteered to provide reconnaissance to CTU, and it was not before long that this information reached the President and his staff. Walt Cummings relayed this information to James Nathanson, who in turn, shared this with Beresch. Beresch used this to pull Bauer out of his hiding place and take him into custody. Meanwhile, the separatists located a keycard on Chevensky's dead body. Beresch handed this keycard to Erwich, this handoff only noticed by Bauer.
In resistance to the terrorist threat, Logan and Suvarov signed the treaty, prompting Beresch to use their explosive vests and kill all the hostages in the airport terminal. This plan was thwarted, however, as CTU stormed the building at the right moment. Beresch and his men were all either captured or killed, ending the hostage situation. Erwich, however, was missing.
Ivan Erwich used the hostage situation to divert attention from entering a building within the airport. He and his accomplices required Chevensky's keycard in order to open a large container buried several feet below the building. Inside this container was 20 canisters of Sentox nerve gas. Erwich stole these canisters and fled the airport, disguised as a SWAT team that would excusably be at the airport given the past crisis.
Government conspiracy discovered
Discovery by Jack Bauer and CTU
Jack Bauer was arrested after the airport incident on the orders of the still-active warrant for David Palmer's assassination, and was brought into CTU for questioning. Subsequently, CTU agent Spenser Wolff checked Hank into CTU, initially believed to place surveillance on Bauer. Wolff was later discovered to have accessed information outside his security clearance several times, and was arrested. Wolff's and Hank's surveillance on Bauer was discovered by Bill Buchanan, alerting them about Bauer's potential danger. Posing as a doctor, Hank lured Bauer into CTU medical to check up on Tony Almeida, who was said to have recovered from the attack earlier in the day. When Bauer arrived, Hank drew a silenced pistol; but Bauer saw this and engaged Hank in combat. Hank was killed in the ensuing battle, while Buchanan revealed that Bauer was being watched by Wolff. Bauer interrogated Wolff, and had him reveal that Walt Cummings placed Spenser Wolff at CTU as a part in an internal affairs investigation.
Jack Bauer decided to infiltrate Logan's retreat in order to get to Cummings, with the help of Mike Novick and Aaron Pierce. Bauer interrogated Cummings for the location of the nerve gas; and Charles Logan had Cummings arrested. After CTU failed to locate the nerve gas at the Port of Los Angeles, American ports were closed to all sea traffic.
Discovery by Russian separatists and the backfire
Walt Cummings had placed an undercover operative, Schaeffer, amongst Ivan Erwich's men. Schaeffer's duty was to reprogram the nerve gas canisters so that Cummings could remotely detonate them once it arrived at the terrorist base in Asia. Schaeffer was discovered under the suspicions of Erwich, and was subsequently killed.
Erwich obtained Cummings' mobile number through the listings on Schaeffer's mobile. He called Cummings and said that they now know about the double-cross. Since the ports were closed and the nerve gas had no way of leaving American soil, Erwich announced that, as punishment, their newly-acquired Sentox would be released in the United States.
Walt Cummings supposedly committed suicide with the knowledge that his "patriotic" plan backfired, however, it was later discovered that he was killed by agents loyal to Charles Logan and his co-conspirators, possibly Justin Adams or another lesser member of the conspiracy at the Presidential Retreat.
Terrorism against the United States
Cummings' betrayal of the separatist group prompted a spree of terrorism to occur on American soil. Since Schaeffer had reprogrammed the detonation codes, Erwich enlisted Jacob Rossler to engineer a new trigger for the canisters. Rossler would await a phone call from Erwich later in order to establish a meeting point for the trigger exchange. Between Erwich's and Rossler's correspondences, CTU raided Rossler's building and took him into custody. To further complicate the matter, Rossler owned a 15-year-old sex slave, Inessa Kovalevsky, with whom he demanded to take during the exchange. Inessa, however, obtained a firearm and used it to kill Rossler. Jack Bauer was forced to pose as Rossler in order to track the nerve gas.
At the exchange, Bauer and two of Erwich's men tested the trigger at the Sunrise Hills Shopping Mall. In order to track the remaining canisters, President Logan decided it would be in the best interest to follow Erwich's men and not interfere with the attack on the mall. Bauer thought otherwise, and killed one of Erwich's men, while the other escaped; but not before the canister was activated into the mall's circulation system. Bauer prevented a significant amount of the nerve gas from releasing into the mall by shutting down the circulation; and about a dozen mall patrons died.
Erwich was reprimanded by the Dawn Brigade's ringleader Vladimir Bierko for wasting a canister on Americans, and was stabbed immediately after. Following Erwich's death, Bierko discussed the necessity of discretion and the pains which he had gone through to obtain additional men and supplies for their cause.
Bierko then bargained with President Logan that their primary objective was to hit Moscow with the nerve gas, and initially had no purpose in hitting American targets. He told Logan to provide the motorcade route of President Suvarov and his wife in order to stop him from using the Sentox against the Americans. Logan complied with Bierko's demands, but Martha Logan disagreed with her husband. She entered the Suvarovs' limousine under the belief that her husband would recall the motorcade. The President failed to call the motorcade back; however, CTU intercepted chatter showing that the Suvarovs were in possible danger. Secret Service was tipped off by CTU, and successfully dealt with the terrorist threat, saving the Suvarovs and Martha Logan. Aaron Pierce was the Secret Service agent who made the most notable actions of the attack, managing to kill several terrorists, including Bierko's right hand man and a subordinate of his wielding a flamethrower.
Vladimir Bierko was upset by this, believing that the President had told Secret Service about the threat. Bierko proceeded to follow through on his promise made by the broken deal; and used the remaining Sentox canisters on a Los Angeles hospital, CTU Los Angeles, the Wilshire Gas Company, and the Russian submarine Natalia.
Covering up the conspiracy
In order to prevent the murder and treason charges that could possibly develop from David Palmer's assassination and providing Sentox nerve gas to terrorists, the remaining conspirators were forced to erase any evidence that would lead to their prosecution.
Jack Bauer investigated the source of how the Sentox reached the hands of terrorists in the first place. With the help of James Nathanson, he was led to Omicron International, the defense contractor that manufactured the gas for the Department of Defense. Bauer met up with his former CTU recruiter and boss, Christopher Henderson, who became Vice President of Research and Development at Omicron. Henderson was suspected of taking bribes at CTU, and Bauer had blown the whistle, leading to a tense relationship between the two. Henderson denied any connection between the terrorists and the Sentox. He and Bauer pulled up several files in the isolated Sentox Project bunker and discovered that the lead scientist, Alan Burkett, and at least two others who researched and developed the production of the Sentox had died in a suspicious series of accidents. Henderson excused himself from the room, locked Bauer in, then triggered a bomb in the room to destroy all the computer files with Bauer still inside. Though the evidence was destroyed, Bauer detected the threat and saved himself.
Bauer eventually arrested Henderson for questioning and for conspiring to kill him. CTU utilized hyoscine-pentothol to painfully interrogate Henderson, but this produced no results. Henderson endured the torture well enough to surprise and apparently murder Tony Almeida—one of the four people targeted earlier in the day—and escape.
A complication in covering up the conspiracy would develop after evidence surfaced that would implicate Henderson in the murder of David Palmer earlier in the day. Evelyn Martin recorded a phone conversation held between Henderson and President Logan. Wayne Palmer discovered that Martin withheld this evidence; but she could not come forward with it because Henderson kidnapped her daughter and threatened to have her killed had she actually done so. Palmer convinced Martin that Henderson's reputation cannot be trusted to keep her daughter alive, even if she allowed the evidence to be destroyed. Palmer and Martin therefore enlisted the aid of Jack Bauer in order to rescue Martin's daughter on top of keeping the incriminating evidence.
Bauer and Palmer were successful in rescuing Evelyn Martin's daughter from Henderson, although Martin was critically wounded in the process. The Martins were forced to go separate ways from Bauer and Palmer, leaving them vulnerable to Henderson locating them through an intercepted 9-1-1 call. Bauer and Palmer finally acquired the evidence against Henderson and Logan, creating a football game amongst these two parties for this evidence: one party to bring the evidence to the public, the other to destroy it.
James Heller's extortion and Christopher Henderson's apprehension
With the digital recording on hand, Bauer trusted to have Secretary of Defense James Heller deliver this evidence to the Attorney General. Heller, however, disagreed, believing that charging the president with murder and treason would destroy the office of the presidency in the eyes of the American people. Keeping the evidence with Bauer, Heller decided to personally confront Logan and blackmailed him into resignation. Henderson eventually managed to intercept this from Bauer, however, leaving Heller with nothing to charge the president with. Charles Logan demanded Heller's resignation for accusing the president for criminal action without any evidence.
Bauer shortly captured Henderson, but not before Henderson transferred the recording to an associate. Henderson made a contingency in case of his eventual capture: James Heller, who had recently left Logan's retreat, would be assassinated unless Henderson checked with his crew on a regular basis. Heller, believing that Logan's prosecution had precedence over his own life, attempted suicide by crashing his vehicle off a cliff so that Bauer would not need to release Henderson from custody. It was later discovered that Heller survived his forced suicide attempt.
Diplomatic Flight 520
Christopher Henderson believed that President Charles Logan would betray him and isolate him as the sole conspirator of the Palmer assassination. Therefore, Henderson decided not to destroy the audio recording, and kept it as insurance for protection, to Logan's disapproval. Before his capture, Henderson transferred the recording to Scott Evans, a pilot for Omicron International, also serving as the co-pilot for Diplomatic Flight 520. Jack Bauer was forced to board this flight and staged a hijacking in order to gain access to the cockpit and Evans.
When word of Bauer taking over the cockpit reached President Logan, it was decided that the plane landing and the recording reaching the hands of the authorities would spell dire consequences for the members of the conspiracy. Logan had one of his associates, Graem, simulate a VCI distress signal, which said the hijacked aircraft would be used as a weapon against a building.
This would provide the military just cause to shoot the plane down before it reached its destination and endanger innocents on the ground. This actually had the ulterior motive of destroying the recording. This effort to shoot the plane down failed, however, as Bauer landed the plane successfully, without showing any external signs of airline terrorism.
With Bauer running free on land, Logan and his co-conspirators were extremely vulnerable to prosecution. With this major defeat, Logan was coerced by Graem into believing that the prosecution of an American president would ruin the reputation of the country and Americans' faith in their government. Thus, he drew a large pistol from a ceremonial box and prepared to commit suicide. After having a few words with some other people for emotional closure, his plan to shoot himself was interrupted by a phone call.
New evidence and Logan's arrest
President Logan would back down on his suicide attempt when Miles Papazian, a Homeland Security agent, confirmed Jack Bauer's possession of the audio recording. Papazian contacted Logan and offered his services to destroy the recording in exchange for the president offering him a position in his administration. Logan accepted the offer without hesitation, and had Papazian secretly erase the recording once it arrived at CTU. Aside from Jack Bauer, Wayne Palmer, and Audrey Raines, no living or non-incapacitated parties—including CTU or the United States Attorney General—had heard the recording before its erasure.
Papazian's actions led Jack Bauer to work with others skeptical on Logan's actions of the day in order to find new evidence against the president. Bauer conspired with Logan's advisor Mike Novick, First Lady Martha Logan, Secret Service agent Aaron Pierce, as well as Chloe and Morris O'Brian. This group colluded to kidnap President Logan so that Bauer could interrogate him about his involvement in the day's events, using a video camera for proof. Convinced that Bauer's interrogation would be useless, as the viewers of the tape would assume the president would be acting under the duress made from a crazed hostage taker, President Logan refused to talk. Shortly after, Jack Bauer was arrested for endangering the life of the President of the United States.
Charles Logan was due to appear at the sendoff of David Palmer's body before leaving for Washington. Logan reunited with his wife Martha after his kidnapping. Viewing the coffin of her deceased friend, Martha Logan cried hysterically, accusing her husband that he killed David Palmer, and was a murderer. The President took his wife aside into a private room. They argued about Logan's involvement in Palmer's assassination and providing nerve gas to terrorists. Unknown to President Logan, however, Jack Bauer had planted a recording device on the president's person, and Chloe O'Brian had been listening to every word of this conversation. Chloe O'Brian forwarded this recording to the Attorney General, who immediately had United States Marshals Service and the Secret Service place President Charles Logan under arrest. Three of his co-conspirators, Alan Wilson, Graem Bauer, and Anatoly Markov along with Graem's father Phillip Bauer, remained at large. It would be six years before all of these people were exposed for their part in the plan along with the events that occurred in each of their respective days.
- Charles Logan pled guilty to obstruction of justice, stepping down from the presidency and allowing his Vice President Hal Gardner finish his term. The public never found out about Logan's involvement with the nerve gas or David Palmer's assassination. He was later pardoned of this by President Noah Daniels.
- The involvement of Graem and Phillip Bauer in the conspiracy was not discovered by the government until Day 6, during which both are killed. Three of their corporate co-conspirators (including Ron and Robert Joseph) have not been seen again.
- Russian Consul Anatoly Markov, who helped the American conspirators establish contact with the Dawn Brigade, was also not implicated during Day 5, thanks to Charles Logan's silence. He maintained connections with the rogue General Dmitri Gredenko, whose associate, Darren McCarthy, sold suitcase nuclear devices to a terrorist group led by Abu Fayed. McCarthy stole them from a nuclear decommissioning project for which BXJ Technologies (the company which Graem and Phillip Bauer owned) was responsible.
- Jack Bauer mentions to Renee Walker in "Day 7: 8:00am-9:00am" that everyone involved in the conspiracy was either dead or incarcerated by Day 7. However, his belief that everyone involved in the conspiracy had been accounted for turned out to be false, as the true mastermind of the conspiracy, private military executive Alan Wilson, remained at large until he was captured by the FBI for his complicity in the prion variant attacks at the end of Day 7.