Glenn Greenwald has revealed how he was tied up and held at gunpoint for an hour during a robbery on the farm in Brazil where he currently lives.
The journalist, who was part of a Pulitzer-winning team for reports on government surveillance programs based on leaks by Edward Snowden, endured the terrifying invasion of homes near Rio de Janeiro early last month.
Greenwald, 54, described the poignant attack that got him a gun in his mouth, in a detailed essay over the weekend.
The writer related how he had been alone on the ‘isolated’ farm with only an off-duty agent hired to provide security, and 12 dogs on the property at the time of the March 5 home invasion.
Glenn Greenwald, 54, was the victim of a violent robbery on his farm near Rio last month
His family, husband and two young children were in Rio at the time.
The first indication that something was wrong came at 9:30 PM when Greenwald noticed that his dogs were barking a lot more than usual.
As soon as he went out to investigate, he was arrested.
“Three men with all-black face masks came down on me, all with guns pointed at me,” he wrote. ‘
The men sent him into the house while two other men held his guard to the ground at gunpoint.
The home invasion took place on the remote farm he rents with his husband and two children
Greenwald noted in February that this is often the subject of offensive and threatening email messages
The thieves wanted money and were annoyed to find that there was very little other than a few hundred dollars, some kitchen appliances and clothing.
“They didn’t believe that, which drove them to a fair amount of anger,” he wrote.
They ended up staying an hour, although it seemed much longer. Driven by the belief that I was hiding valuables – refusing to believe my assurance that I wouldn’t do that with five men pointing their guns at me – they tried various forms of psychological terror.
They repeatedly threatened to shoot the police officer in the head, repeatedly kicked him so hard they cracked some of his ribs, ordered me to open my mouth and put a gun in because they demanded where the rest of the money was. , my phone and tablet hit a wall when they couldn’t figure out how to wipe the hard drive, and generally tried to create a climate of extreme fear, ”he wrote.
Greenwald described how both he and the guard had tied their arms and legs with string while the robbers escaped in his car after searching the house for an hour.
Looking back on the incident a month later, Greenwald said it seemed to him that the thieves were “desperate” and “not professional criminals.”
They were more nervous, agitated, more desperate, and disorganized than bold or cold-blooded. That night, after they left, they foolishly committed at least three other armed invasions of shops in the area with the car they stole from us. ‘
The stolen car, which was in the name of Greenwald’s husband, was later quickly picked up by the police and the criminals’ identities were quickly discovered.
ive robbers looted the house near Rio, in the photo, but were ‘frustrated’ after only getting away with a few hundred dollars in cash, clothes and kitchen appliances
“I noticed how desperate these armed intruders seemed to be. One of them told me not to worry as long as I didn’t respond, because they weren’t there to kill someone, but to steal because, he said, they didn’t have a job. But a few minutes later they were threatening again, and then they physically assaulted the officer and put the gun in my mouth.
“They often made demands – like telling me to buy a credit card to use phone apps to transfer money to their account – to give up the plan seconds later and frantically switch to a different idea.”
Greenwald notes that he feels extremely grateful that neither his husband nor his two young children were at home at the time of the attack and were not exposed to the trauma.
He also admits he was reluctant to write about the meeting, but was encouraged to do so by colleagues who felt it “would be helpful to remind people of the impact of these types of violent crimes.”