The Third Echelon Conspiracy was a series of events related to Third Echelon that took place from 2010 to 2011. These events relate to the National Security Agency's top secret initiative, Third Echelon, and its corrupt control and execution of orders that were orchestrated and planned by a shadowy group known only as Megiddo. The current Third Echelon director, Tom Reed, was instrumental to the conspiracy and aimed to assassinate the President of the United States by utilizing a variety of resources, including the PMC Black Arrow, Splinter Cells and security forces from Third Echelon itself. The conspiracy was foiled only by the timely intervention of Anna Grímsdóttir and the former Splinter Cell agent Sam Fisher under President Patricia Caldwell's orders.
2008-2010: Pre-Third Echelon Conspiracy Edit
Following former Third Echelon director Irving Lambert's death by undercover Splinter Cell agent Sam Fisher during the JBA Crisis/Red Mercury Plot, Tom Reed was soon appointed the new director of Third Echelon. U.S. President Patricia Caldwell, however, failed to justify funding to the initiative, and planned on shutting it down. Reed began to act at this time, and sent Splinter Cell agent Archer and VORON operative Kestrel (as a combined arm, joint operation mission) to disarm four Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) warheads. After disarming the warheads, Reed had both operatives killed by forcing them to fight each other as Andriy Kobin shot the survivor.
2011: The Third Echelon Conspiracy Edit
With the EMPs secured, Reed's plan to execute the EMP devices and assassinate Caldwell seemed to be sure. The one variable, however, Reed did not account for was when Caldwell used Anna Grímsdóttir as a mole within Third Echelon to keep tabs on Reed and expose his plans. Reed worked with a private military company called Black Arrow as added force to execute their plans.
During the final stage of the plan, Reed had been able to set up the stolen Russian EMP devices and activate them in Washington, D.C. at three key locations around the capital - disabling all the main and backup power system, including the electronic defenses in the White House. Once the power and defenses are down, all Black Arrow mercenaries, Tom Reed's Splinter Cells and 3E security forces had launched a full-scale attack on the White House and kill all Secret Service agents that were protecting the President. During this time, however, Reed's plan was foiled as Grímsdóttir was able to work with former Splinter Cell agent Sam Fisher to strike. During the final moments, when Reed was in the Oval Office with the President hostage, Grímsdóttir pretended to capture Fisher and brought him to Reed as he began to monologue and gloat about what he was able to do.
Suddenly, both Fisher and Grímsdóttir eliminated all Splinter Cell agents and injured Reed as he sat on the President's desk. With the President saved, Fisher interrogated Reed about the shadowy group called Megiddo, and what role they played in the events. It is revealed that they were the ones who planned the conspiracy, and that they had great influence around the world. Reed further admitted that he was the mole in Third Echelon that the former director Irving Lambert was looking for. Fisher spared Reed but the latter was shot and killed by Grímsdóttir with her P228.
After the failed assassination attempt on President Caldwell, Third Echelon was further investigated regarding the corruption and it was confirmed that the agency had indeed gone rogue. This resulted in Third Echelon's disbandment, its operational capabilities were completely stripped and labeled as a terrorist organization; a new mobile special operations and counter-terrorism unit called Fourth Echelon was formed, with Sam Fisher assigned as the commander of the unit.