9/11 Investigative Journalist Harassed and Beaten by Undercover Cops
Christopher Bollyn – Wednesday, 16 August 2006
It's after 2 a.m. in the morning, my deadline is tomorrow, and I have been beaten up by the local police and my right elbow is sorely hurting, but I need to write down exactly what happened to me today before I go to sleep. Otherwise I will forget important details.
I was harassed, beaten, and shocked with a Tazer-like gun in my front yard before my wife and children, and then abused for 6 hours by the ADL-trained local police. I have every reason to believe it is because of my journalistic investigation into 9/11. I have been threatened before in my career as a journalist, but this is the first time I have been intentionally beaten and abused – by the cops.
I have investigated 9/11 since it happened and looked into the many unanswered questions of the terror attacks. I discovered last year that I had had at least two FBI informants crawling around my house for years. This is the main reason I do not feel safe in the United States. It is also why I spend much of the time in Europe or at safe houses in this country, with fellow 9/11 researchers like Ellen Mariani and Eric Hufschmid. I have two small children.
I have only been at my old home in Hoffman Estates for a couple of weeks, mainly because my road-weary children dearly love this old red house, which is the only home they have ever known. It is just a simple Hoffman-Rosner suburban Chicago tract home that my late parents bought in 1957, but it's home.
I had noticed an unusual amount of police activity around my house since I returned. We live on a quiet side street where one might normally see a police cruiser once or twice a week. Since I returned I have noticed all kinds of police cars and devices in the immediate proximity of my house.
But yesterday there was something very unusual around my house. It was an unmarked car with three armed men with body armor driving around my block as I rode my bike to the store. Who in the heck is that? I thought to myself. It looks like they are going to my house, but I won't be there, I thought.
Then today, the same time and the same car with three men passed slowly by my house where the neighborhood kids were playing. "Hello, FBI," I said from my porch and waved.
The man in the front passenger seat waved back. I immediately alerted my wife and kids. Helje said I should stop them and ask them what they want.
For background, today I was working on two rather big stories and I made a lot of phone calls to the Embassy of Israel, the S.E.C., the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and to an old Israeli living in New York who I have suspicions may be a key player in 9/11. I'd like to discuss this lead but I can't at this point.
All of my calls were about 9/11 related, except for the calls to the Embassy and local consulate of Israel. These were standard journalistic inquiries about Israel casualties and losses in Lebanon. The Embassy press department didn't like my questions, but I told them it's my job. I wanted to know about the number of dead and wounded and if 60 Merkava tanks had been taken out, as Hezbollah claims.
Then I also asked where exactly the two Israeli soldiers had been abducted. I told them that there were at least 15 newswire stories that said the soldiers had been captured in the Lebanese village of Aitaa al-Shaab – inside Lebanon. He was surprised to hear that, too.
Apart from my un-disclosable investigation, the other calls were about how Jacob "Kobi" Alexander was able to flee with more than $60 million dollars last week, several months after it was public knowledge that he and the other Israelis working with Comverse Technology, Ltd. had swindled hundred of millions through fraudulent stock options trades. This has been going on for years, and The Wall Street Journal and Globes (Israel) reported the names and the amounts last March. For crying out loud, my newspaper, American Free Press, reported it in April 2005.
I wanted to know from the SEC and the U.S. Attorney's office how this Kobi Alexander was able to wire $60 million to his account in Israel and flee New York without any body stopping him. "If I wired $5 million to Norway the whole NSA and FBI would be all over me," I said.
The U.S. Attorney's office said they "expect" Kobi will turn himself in. Note to the wise: Don't count on it.
Kobi Alexander was one of the owners and developers of Odigo software which allowed Israelis to communicate instantly on 9/11. It was via the "buddy system" on Odigo software, which allows one to communicate to a large group of people that share a trait, such as the Hebrew language, that thousands of Israelis were warned not to go to the twin towers on 9/11.
Kobi Alexander's Mossad-linked company, Comverse Technology, was a developer and owner of Odigo since early 2000, something The New York Times does not consider to be part of "All the News that's Fit to Print." Comverse makes a black box system called the "Audio Disk" that police, intelligence and security agencies, and governments around the world, have attached to their phone networks. This simple device allows the Israeli employees of Comverse back in Tel Aviv to hear and intercept all the data being exchanged by these naive agencies...everything.
I had finished all of my calls and watched the first part of the Lou Dobb's news program on CNN and was on my way to the store, when I stepped out on the stoop and saw this threatening dark car full of obvious agents of some sort. I immediately warned my wife and kids and rode the bike to the store.
Something is not right, I said to myself, and I stopped at the local wine shop and asked to use the phone. I called 911 and told them that a strange car with armed men is driving around my neighborhood for no apparent reason. I was told that a police car would meet me at my house in 20 minutes.
I was just in my house a few minutes when the very same suspicious car stopped in front of my house and three armor-clad men stood on my driveway. I had just been calling the police department and put down the phone. I was more than a little surprised to see these armor-clad thugs on my driveway.
My wife and 8-year old daughter were already there and I asked these men who they were and why they were harassing my street. Why are you driving around with this unmarked car around my house, I asked? Who are you, anyway? They were not at all willing to identify themselves and were very confrontational, to say the least.
I ran to my front door to call my brother when the three of them tackled me and shocked me with some sort of stun-gun. The three men then sat on me and pushed my face in the dirt, handcuffed me and put me in their car.
Remember, I had called 911 because of a suspicious car in my neighborhood, a neighborhood I have known since 1957, when my parents helped found this town.
I have two small children, after all, and this car looked very threatening to me. This is what I call my normal neighborhood obligations, but I discovered that they are actually watching us.
They even joked about it at the station later. "We are watching you," they said.
It should be noted that my neighborhood does not have any crime or gangs or anything of that nature that would warrant an undercover squad to patrol around my house day after day. This is why it is so suspicious. And why are they patrolling around my house?
As they pummeled me, my wife was pleading for me and my daughter was crying. I really wanted my brother, my neighbors, and my son to come help me but before even one minute had passed there were dozens of cops and firemen in my front yard.
Where did they all come from so quickly? How were so many police in my neighborhood at the same time? This is most unusual, as Hoffman Estates is spread out all over northwest Cook County, but there were at least 5 squad cars and at least 10 officers in my front yard within one minute of my being beaten up on my lawn.
Sitting in the squad car with handcuffs on is when the private abuse began. Officer Fitzgerald indulged in offending me, my late mother, a village pioneer, and then threatened to beat me.
When another officer came to the car, he told me that this guy was going to beat the ---- out of me. When I repeated what he said word for word, he would say, "I didn't say that."
He then started to drive me to the station, which is about three miles away from the old village center where I live. Bombarded with continuous verbal abuse, when I would say something from the back-seat he would slam on the brakes so that my head hit the plexi-glass separation window. Typical Chicago cop torture treatment; rough the guy up on the way to the station. This is exactly the kind of thing that I ran against when I ran for mayor of this town in 2001.
I decided to lean back on the seat and not say another word.
When we got to the station, there was a host of white-gloved cops waiting for me in the police garage. When Officer Fitzgerald drove in to the garage, he told the 10-12 waiting cops: "He says cops are a bunch of ……….. You can take care of him now."
When they took me out, I informed them that I am a journalist and will write about their treatment. The verbal abuse now came from all sides. They told me I should get out of town, etc. I told them that my dear parents had founded Hoffman Estates, but they didn't care.
When I was in the station they forcibly stripped off my belt and tore of my shirt leaving me clad only in shorts and undershirt. I asked why I was being detained and they told me that I had resisted arrest and threatened the police with my fists, two complete lies.
I was never the subject of any arrest. I had called to police to report a suspicious vehicle driving around my home!
I was thrown into a cell with no water. I asked for a drink of water and was told, "Drink from the toilet."
Why am I being treated this way, I wondered?
At midnight, an officer came to my cell and asked if I could pay $100 to get out. What I am being charged with, I asked? I called the police and they beat me up in my front yard, I protested.
What did I do to deserve that?
My older brother had posted bail and shortly after midnight, I was pushed out onto the street with a good two-mile walk home.
I am shocked at how I was treated, because although my journalism gets me into trouble with police in many places, I have never been treated so brutally in my life. I honestly believe this brutal treatment is connected to my 9/11 research.
I intend to seek asylum in Norway or Switzerland. I can read the writing on the wall.
Investigative journalists are not safe in Iraq – or the United States.
Last updated 17/08/2006