Journalist Glenn Greenwald revealed that five armed gunmen invaded his home outside Rio de Janeiro in early March, holding his security guard at gunpoint and threatening both men in an attempt to steal valuables.
Greenwald said in his newsletter on Saturday the he was relieved his husband and children weren’t home at the time, noting the invaders “attempted various forms of psychological terror.”
“They repeatedly threatened to shoot the police officer in the head, repeatedly kicked him so hard that they cracked several of his ribs, ordered me to open my mouth and stuck a gun in it as they demanded to know where the rest of the money was, smashed my phone and tablet against a wall when they could not figure out how to erase the hard-drive, and just generally tried to create a climate of extreme fear,” Greenwald recounted.
The journalist said the hourlong home invasion began at around 9:30 p.m. on March 5 when he went to see why his dogs were “barking incessantly.” Three men wearing black face masks forced him back into his house at gunpoint, he said, adding that two other invaders were already inside guarding Greenwald’s security guard as he laid on the floor.
After ransacking the house, the men reportedly tied Greenwald and his guard together in another smaller building, stole the journalist's car and drove away. Greenwald said he called the police via a computer the invaders had ignored after freeing himself.
Greenwald said the robbers stole “two thousand dollars worth of value: a small amount of cash, a microwave, kitchen appliances and even food such as large packs of rice and beans."
"The most valuable item they took was the police officer’s gun,” he added.
In his newsletter, Greenwald said it was remarkable how the gunmen’s behavior and self-proclaimed motivations mirrored a similar recent home invasion in Oakland, Calif.
On March 30, four armed men broke into the home of a couple, stealing most of their life savings, ransacking their home and threatening to kill their 7-year-old daughter.
Greenwald said those robbers also justified their actions with the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Greenwald entered the national scene in 2013 when, as a journalist for The Guardian, he helped publish documents about American surveillance programs leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
Seen as a journalistic contrarian, Greenwald resigned from The Intercept, the online publication he founded, in October, saying his own editors censored an article he had written about President BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE, then a candidate for the White House.