The "undercover tactical unit" involved in the assault and
TASERing of a 9/11 investigative journalist at his Chicago-area home was most
likely an operation ordered by the Department of Homeland Security, according
to a former high-ranking police official.
Since the bizarre and brutal attack against me by three heavily-armed agents at
my family home in Hoffman Estates , Illinois , a number of people have commented
on the seemingly odd use of an "undercover tactical unit" to respond
to a non-emergency 911 call.
Some of the most insightful comments have come from a former senior police official
from Illinois , who spoke to a source close to AFP. The former police chief was
familiar with the details of the incident when he made his comments.
The former police chief said the deployment of an armed tactical unit wearing
body-armor on a "gang suppression" exercise in a neighborhood in which
there are no gangs or history of gang activity was itself "highly unusual."
Although the Hoffman Estates Police Department (HEPD) C.O.P. Clint Herdegen told
AFP that the tactical unit was on a normal patrol, this unit of heavily-armed
men had never been seen before in the neighborhood prior to the night before the
That this undercover unit of three agents, supposedly on a mission of "gang
suppression," wearing tactical gear and ready to "do battle," would
"blow their cover" by responding to a non-emergency 911 call from a
concerned citizen about their presence in his neighborhood is one of the many
anomalies of the incident.
The Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF) has released a video entitled "Homeland
Security Begins at Home: 7 Signs of Terrorism." Patty Thompson, spokesman
for the task force, told AFP that calling 911 to report unidentified armed men
is exactly what the ITTF would expect a citizen to do.
Why did a covert "gang suppression" unit leave their so-called "patrol"
and respond to a non-emergency 911 call? Did these three unidentified heavily-armed
agents have any right to respond to a 911 call and did they have any right to
come onto my property without a warrant or probable cause, legal experts ask.
The Chicago Police Department has guidelines, specifically adopted "to ensure
that the anti-gang loitering is not enforced in an arbitrary or discriminatory
way." Under the CPD guidelines, the Ordinance may be enforced only by trained
officers in "areas frequented by members of criminal street gangs."
Such gangs do not exist in my neighborhood, and never have.
In the opinion of the former police chief, the operation appears to have been
ordered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), under the leadership of
the Israeli-American dual national Michael Chertoff. Chertoff, who has been the
subject of several of my articles about 9/11 and the failure of his department
to respond to Hurricane Katrina, is the son of Livia Eisen, one of the first agents
of Israel's military intelligence agency, the Mossad.
The purpose of the heavily-armed "gang suppression" squad in a neighborhood
in which there has never been any gang activity was meant to "intimidate,
scare, and harass" me, according to the former police chief. The "gang"
that was being monitored was, in fact, me, he said, but the tactical unit and
the local police chief were probably not aware of the political nature of the
target. The tactical unit had probably only been told that I was a "very
The reason for the conspicuous presence of the heavily-armed agents around my
house was to create a provocation and confrontation, according to the former police
chief, in which I would be arrested and humiliated.
The local chief-of-police would probably have been the only local official who
had direct connection with DHS, according to the former chief. DHS maintains contacts
with local police departments and is able to give orders to local officials, according
to its mandate.
"More than 87,000 different governmental jurisdictions at the federal, state,
and local level have homeland security responsibilities," according to the
DHS "organization" webpage dedicated to "Department Subcomponents
Experts have "come to expect" that DHS will involve local police playing
"a large role in many aspects of homeland security," according to a
September 2005 article by David Thacher, "The Local Role in Homeland Security,"
in Law & Society Review.
A recent analysis, cited by Thacher, indicated that local police would be "developing
new areas of investigative expertise, cooperating much more with federal law enforcement
and intelligence agencies, working more closely with the military, [and] increasing
their levels of surveillance over their communities."
An inquiry to DHS asking about the precise nature of its interaction with local
police departments went unanswered. Lt. Richard Russo, spokesman for the HEPD,
however, told AFP that senior officers had gone through "command post"
training with DHS and a private New York-based contractor called BowMac.
Lt. Dennis Carroll of the neighboring Schaumburg P.D. told AFP that DHS and the
Schaumburg police "work very well together." Asked who handles the communication
with the federal agency, Carroll said there is a liaison at the police department.
Russo did not know if local police are required to act on orders given by DHS,
but said they probably would, in the spirit of mutual co-operation with the federal
A former Swedish marine and public safety expert who works in France commented
on the odd use of a "gang suppression team" to respond to a 911 call.
The decision by the HEPD to send the undercover unit to explain their presence
was "illogical," according to the European public safety expert.
"This was provocative, threatening, and very unusual," he said. "This
is not the way to handle a 911 call. The gang suppression team should have been
instructed not to get out of the car. There was no need to get out of the car,
but if there were, the proper thing would have been to send only one man to the
house without a gun. Or better, wait for an official, marked police car
with a uniformed officer to explain the situation.
"Police teams of any kind always operate in pairs," he said. "Police
teams never operate in formations of three for obvious reasons."
"Gangs are local juveniles with some strange ways," the France-based
public safety expert wrote, "Easily handled by social workers, not undercover
agents in body armor. So the statement by the HEPD that undercover agents were
on a gang suppression mission seems to be an outrageous lie." In France ,
gang suppression units always have a person videotaping their actions. In my case,
there was no filming by the police and my wife was physically prevented from taking
The police have offered two explanations about why the "gang suppression"
unit was sent, both of which seem illogical. The first is that this was the nearest
unit, although the 911 call was not an emergency call, but rather a request for
an explanation more than 30 minutes after I had observed the heavily-armed unit
near my house. However, after the arrival of the tactical unit, a half-dozen squad
cars and two emergency vehicles immediately appeared on the scene to support the
The uniformed police, however, clearly had orders not to intervene and stayed
back until after the assault and arrest had been completed. This raises the question,
what were the orders given to the tactical unit and to the uniformed police?
An AFP supporter contacted the Palo Alto Police Department ( Calif. ) to ask if
citizens, believing that armed federal agents are spying on their home without
probable cause, are entitled to call 911 and report the apparent threat to their
"Yes, one can call 911," the Palo Alto police spokesperson said. "But,"
she added, "if federal agents are watching a home, in most cases, the local
law enforcement is notified, and they are in contact with the federal agents,
but local police are not to reveal which agency is involved or why." Nor
are the local police allowed to intervene in any action taken by the federal agents.
Chief Herdegen of the HEPD subsequently told AFP that the tactical unit had
returned to my house to identify themselves and explain their purpose. However,
despite repeated requests, the three men refused to do either. Why would the
HEPD send a unit who could not, or would not, identify themselves? The refusal
by the armed agents to identify themselves as legitimate police officers prevented
them from resolving the 911 call, and allowed them to exacerbate the situation
leading to the violent assault.
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