Person Of Interest Sought In High-Profile Swatting Attacks

The U.S. Department of Justice has identified a person of interest in a series of swatting attacks some of which targeted top Biden Administration officials.

According to CBS News, officials say the person of interest lives in Serbia; charges have not yet been filed, but sources say they could be filed soon. The person of interest is alleged to have made phone calls targeting officials over the Christmas holidays, according to the sources.

CBS went on to say that sources familiar with the matter said that U.S. Secret Service and the FBI participated in a search of the person of interest’s residence in Serbia and confiscated computers and other electronic devices.

Swatting is when a false 911 call is made to a dispatcher and the caller says a serious violent crime is underway at the residence of the target, which usually results in a large heavily armed police response. The target of the swatting effort will usually be unaware of the reason when the police suddenly respond to their residence, which adds a very real danger to civilians targeted and wastes valuable law enforcement resources.

According to a report in Red State, the victims span political lines, including former Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley and Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Brandon Williams.

Williams told Newsmax that his house was targeted on Christmas Day. Law enforcement was told that gunshots were heard in the house, which prompted officers to show up. In Haley’s case, someone called 911 and “claimed to have shot his girlfriend and threatened to harm himself.”

While political targets are often behind swatting, it isn’t always the case. A California teen is suspected of being behind hundreds of dangerous swatting incidents, Florida prosecutors say. According to investigators, the teen sold swatting services online, such as $40 for a gas leak and $75 for a bomb threat or mass shooting.

Alan Filion, 17, was extradited to Florida on January 30th to face charges for a swatting incident on a mosque and is suspected to be behind a series of high-profile bomb threats called in to historically black colleges and universities in 2023 that caused Howard University and others to cancel classes while the threats were investigated.