Security News Police arrest 17-year-old suspected of hundreds of swattings in the US


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Aug 17, 2017
Police suspect that a 17-year-old from California, Alan Filion, may be responsible for "hundreds of swatting incidents and bomb threats" targeting the Pentagon, schools, mosques, FBI offices, and military bases nationwide, CNN reported. Swatting occurs when fraudulent calls to police trigger emergency response teams to react forcefully to non-existent threats.

Recently extradited to Florida, Filion was charged with multiple felonies after the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) traced a call where Filion allegedly claimed to be a mass shooter entering the Masjid Al Hayy Mosque in Sanford, Florida. The caller played "audio of gunfire in the background," SCSO said, while referencing Satanism and claiming he had a handgun and explosive devices.

Approximately 30 officers responded to the call in May 2023, then determined it was a swatting incident after finding no shooter and confirming that mosque staff was safe. In a statement, SCSO Sheriff Dennis Lemma said that "swatting is a perilous and senseless crime, which puts innocent lives in dangerous situations and drains valuable resources" by prompting a "substantial law enforcement response."

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