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posted by janrinok on Monday February 05, @07:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the idle-hands dept.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2024/02/cops-arrest-17-year-old-suspected-of-hundreds-of-swattings-nationwide/

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.
[...]
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.
[...]
According to SCSO, police were able to track down Filion after he allegedly "created several accounts on websites offering swatting services" that were linked to various IP addresses connected to his home address. The FBI then served a search warrant on the residence and found "incriminating evidence."

Filion has been charged as an adult for a variety of offenses, including making a false report while facilitating or furthering an act of terrorism. He is currently being detained in Florida, CNN reported.

Earlier this year, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) introduced legislation to "crack down" on swattings after he became a target at his home in December. If passed, the Preserving Safe Communities by Ending Swatting Act would impose strict penalties, including a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for any swatting that lead to serious injuries. If death results, bad actors risk a lifetime sentence. That bill is currently under review by the House Judiciary Committee.
[...]
FBI announced it would finally begin tracking swatting incidents nationwide. Hundreds of law enforcement agencies and police departments now rely on an FBI database to share information on swatting incidents.


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Mojibake Tengu on Monday February 05, @08:32AM (2 children)

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Monday February 05, @08:32AM (#1343072) Journal

    "hundreds of swatting incidents and bomb threats"

    It's a shame of FBI he succeded more than once. That also indicates SWATters are eager to swat at all costs. Paid premium for every action/kill? That could be the core problem rather than freaky callers...

    --
    Respect Authorities. Know your social status. Woke responsibly.
  • (Score: 5, Touché) by stratified cake on Monday February 05, @09:22AM (2 children)

    by stratified cake (35052) on Monday February 05, @09:22AM (#1343080)

    If the police themselves consider a visit by them an act of terror, maybe reconsider how you do police?

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 05, @10:31AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 05, @10:31AM (#1343087)

      Yeah, swatting wouldn't be a thing if the cops weren't so bad.

      You're doing it wrong when your cops are trained and conditioned to be more trigger happy than your soldiers (who are already infamous for being too trigger happy).
      https://www.npr.org/2016/12/08/504718239/military-trained-police-may-be-slower-to-shoot-but-that-got-this-vet-fired [npr.org]

      There are plenty of recent stories involving white police officers who have shot and killed black men, including some who are on trial for those shootings. Then there's the case of a white cop who did not shoot a black man holding a gun — and it may have cost him his job.

      The gun did turn out to be empty, though Mader said the officers had no way of knowing that for sure.

      He said that though he tried to talk to Williams one-on-one while he was there, when the other officers showed up, all they saw was someone waving a gun around.

      "The one officer felt that his life was in danger, along with others', and he decided to fire at the subject," Mader said. "And I believe he was justified in what he did."

      What Mader thinks was not justified happened a few days later: Police Chief Rob Alexander told Mader that he was being fired for putting his fellow officers' lives in danger.

      Swatting not a thing in my country. If you fake a call the cops will go investigate and not simply shoot you, your family and/or your dogs. Then they'll investigate the caller. So since most callers know that it's too rare that anything will happen to their targets, while something might happen to them, they don't bother.

      Whereas in the USA there's actually a high enough chance that something bad might happen to the target

      If firefighters were as cowardly as US cops, they'd be spraying burning buildings from afar and rarely risk their lives to save people.

      I suspect if a swatting results in a death the swatter will go to prison but the cops actually responsible won't (did the cops go to prison for these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxvINcEdLRE&t=47s [youtube.com] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OflGwyWcft8 [youtube.com] ).

      p.s. I'm a coward too but I don't collect a cop's salary and pretend to be a cop.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Thexalon on Tuesday February 06, @03:35AM

        by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday February 06, @03:35AM (#1343264)

        I suspect if a swatting results in a death the swatter will go to prison but the cops actually responsible won't

        This in fact happened in one fairly well-documented incident: The cops were given the wrong address by the swatter, turned up at somebody's house, somebody who lived there stepped out to talk to the cops, and the cops panicked and shot and killed him. The cops were given a pass on the grounds that they believed they were in lethal danger. After a lot of publicity, they eventually bothered to track down the source, and it turned out some kid had done it over being mad about a video game and managed to get somebody killed who wasn't even playing.

        It's also worth noting that US police training is laughably limited compared to what is standard for most other police forces. The length of time in police training is measured in weeks, that's how little it is, and the emphasis is all on weapons and fighting tactics, not on how to talk down dangerous people or handle mental health episodes or the laws that they're supposed to be enforcing. That's right, in the US, cops are not required to know the law in any significant way, and are not held responsible for any mistakes they might make due to that legal ignorance.

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by DadaDoofy on Monday February 05, @12:51PM (6 children)

    by DadaDoofy (23827) on Monday February 05, @12:51PM (#1343109)

    We really don't need any more new laws to combat this. The problem is Soros-funded DAs who put politics before prosecuting people for breaking laws already on the books.

    For instance, the one we have claims he is too understaffed to prosecute people arrested for drunk driving. It turns out he had re-tasked those prosecutors with reviewing endless hours of police body cam video to see if any charges could be brought against cops for simply doing their jobs.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 05, @08:01PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 05, @08:01PM (#1343200)

      The problem is Soros-funded DAs who put politics before prosecuting people for breaking laws already on the books.

      Remember folks, the people you don't like are corrupt in inconsistently conspiratorial ways, but the people telling you that aren't.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Mykl on Monday February 05, @11:32PM

      by Mykl (1112) on Monday February 05, @11:32PM (#1343241)

      The way you and your friends make it sound, George Soros has so many conspiracies going it's amazing that he has any time at all to run a business. He must also have a slush fund of trillions of dollars to fund all of the stuff that he's supposedly involved in.

      Or is George Soros just your shorthand for "The Jews"?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday February 06, @02:56AM (2 children)

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Tuesday February 06, @02:56AM (#1343257) Journal

      Just say "Jews," you dribbling moron. Your dogwhistling is about as sophisticated and opaque as ROT-13, and about as useful.

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 2) by DadaDoofy on Tuesday February 06, @10:01PM (1 child)

        by DadaDoofy (23827) on Tuesday February 06, @10:01PM (#1343389)

        I don't need a dog whistle to express my opinion. If I had an issue with "Jews", I wouldn't hesitate to say so. I'm surprised it isn't painfully obvious to you by now that all those anti-Semitic students on college campuses across the nation chanting "from the river to the sea" are the polar opposite of conservative.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07, @01:38AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 07, @01:38AM (#1343431)

          I'm surprised it isn't painfully obvious to you by now that all those anti-Semitic students on college campuses across the nation chanting "from the river to the sea" are the polar opposite of conservative.

          Maybe being indiscriminate about defending insurrectionists, racists, liars, and murderers isn't working out so well for ya'all.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by Thexalon on Tuesday February 06, @03:26AM

      by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday February 06, @03:26AM (#1343262)

      For instance, the one we have claims he is too understaffed to prosecute people arrested for drunk driving. It turns out he had re-tasked those prosecutors with reviewing endless hours of police body cam video to see if any charges could be brought against cops for simply doing their jobs.

      I'm not sure which jurisdiction you're in, but I know of one near me where cops have been busted for:
      - Dealing drugs that they stole or extorted from drug dealers.
      - Beating up citizens completely at random.
      - Catching women who they claimed were prostitutes, and demanding free "service" from them to avoid jail time. a.k.a. rape under the color of law.
      - Taking bribes from street gangs.
      - Robbing citizens of their cash at random.
      - Breaking into citizen's homes and stealing things.
      Are you going to tell me cops like that were "simply doing their jobs"? Because if that's "doing their jobs", whoever is deciding what their jobs actually are have seriously screwed things up.

      There were rumors about this sort of thing going on in this municipality for decades, but it took a long time to get a DA to actually look into that activity, which meant among other things poring through hours of cam footage.

      And here's the thing: Corrupt cops are in a lot of ways far worse for a community than street gangs. The corrupt cops enable the street gangs to operate freely so long as they get a cut of the profits, terrorizing the law-abiding portion of the citizens. And when the cops are the ones who commit crimes against you, who are you going to report them to? The street gangs usually are pretty methodical about who they are targeting because they don't want to draw police attention, whereas if the cops are the gang they don't need to worry about that problem and can happily do whatever they want to anybody they want.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday February 05, @10:40PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday February 05, @10:40PM (#1343228)

    >that were linked to various IP addresses connected to his home address

    I guess he's in with the same rubes who believe/d "Bitcoin is untraceable."

    --
    🌻🌻 [google.com]
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