An American photojournalist who in 2013 escaped from an al Qaeda affiliate prison in Aleppo, Syria, after six torturous months claims that the FBI betrayed him by putting intelligence gathering ahead of his personal security while he was in captivity. And he claims that for the past four years, the Bureau has had two of the terrorists who robbed him in custody, yet no indictments have been forthcoming.
Matt Schrier was abducted in late December of 2012 by al-Nusra and escaped from prison in July of 2013. Now he’s blowing the whistle on the FBI.
In an interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum last week, Schrier said the terror network stole his financial information and used his own money to buy at least a dozen computers and tablets. The former hostage said he knows “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the FBI was monitoring his accounts.
“And this is because the agent told me she thought I joined al Qaeda because they paid off my Discover card. That’s what it takes to fool the FBI,” Schrier said. “So, because they thought I joined, and I was basically judged guilty until proven innocent, they started monitoring everything and they saw. They were buying laptops, ten at once, tablets on eBay. And, you gotta think, this is a dream come true. We intercept the laptops, we get the IP addresses, maybe put some GPSs, some microphones in and we deliver them right into the hands of al Qaeda. And they spy. And me, well, I’m not coming home anyway so no harm, no foul. As long as you’re not me.”
Schrier also told MacCallum that the FBI fooled his mother into thinking he was okay and never even told his father he’d been kidnapped. Schrier said that at first, he thought the FBI was just incompetent, but after he started investigating, he learned that the FBI agent handling his case had been “lying about a lot of things.”
“I know that they wronged me,” Schrier said.
The FBI said in a statement to Fox News that it wasn’t able to discuss investigative details in the ongoing case, but suggested that Schrier had been treated fairly.
“The FBI fully supports the work of the agents and victim specialists who have remained consummate professionals in working with Mr. Schrier,” the statement continued. “Since his return home, we have worked with our partners in the U.S. government to provide Mr. Schrier with a full range of services and guidance to help him rebuild his life, as we do for all victims; however, it is at the discretion of the victim to accept and implement these resources.”
The statement concluded, “We continue to work with our interagency and international law enforcement partners to gather intelligence and assess the possibility of bringing charges against those who victimized Mr. Schrier.”
Schrier told MacCallum that the health benefits he was offered “were the same things given to illegal aliens” and one doctor refused to prescribe an FDA-approved drug to help him sleep because it was a narcotic and the doc didn’t “believe in it.”
He continued: “They gave me a shrink who canceled five appointments my first two months home. Within ten minutes of my first appointment, she tried to put me on lithium” [ a drug prescribed to treat the manic episodes of bipolar disorder].
Schrier said the agent on his case refused to help him obtain a new Social Security number “even though al Qaeda stole my identity.” He had provided the FBI with a treasure trove of information he had obtained from his time as a hostage, including Skype names with hundreds of contacts.
“What is the witness protection program for… only the criminals?” Schrier asked.
Schrier shared emails, financial records and formal letters of complaint backing up his allegations with Fox News’ Catherine Herridge. He told her: “I faxed– I emailed them, probably between my mother and my father and me, between 50 and 100 complaints.”
Comey took over from Mueller in September 2013, and Schrier said the stonewalling continued. “I was emailing him questions. I was forwarding him all these emails. I was demanding answers from him,” Schrier said. “And I never got anything back.”
Schrier said he has been unable to obtain credit cards or open new bank accounts because Al Qaeda stole his identity and passwords. Unable to get a lease for an apartment, Schrier said his FBI case manager suggested he temporarily live in a New York City homeless shelter.
“I just got clean clothes without bed bugs. I don’t want to go through a situation where I have to deal with lice and bed bugs again. Like, no thank you.”
Schrier is asking for help from the American public on Twitter because he says the FBI continues to this day to mishandle his case.
Schrier claims that some of the terrorists who stole from him are at large and walking free in Quebec because the Canadian crown prosecutor refuses to prosecute them.
He’s asking for help getting the message out: