For at least three members of Congress, the holiday season was filled with peace, joy, and swatting incidents.
A “swatting” incident refers to a dangerous and malicious prank where someone intentionally provides false information to emergency services, typically reporting a serious threat, criminal activity, or violence at a targeted person’s location. The goal is to prompt a large-scale law enforcement response, often involving teams of SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics). The term “swatting” is derived from the specialized units that may be deployed in response to these false reports.
Swatting incidents can have dire consequences, including putting the lives of the targeted individuals, law enforcement officers, and innocent bystanders at risk. The false reports are often made anonymously or through various means to conceal the perpetrator’s identity. Swatting is considered a criminal act, and law enforcement agencies take it very seriously. Perpetrators can face criminal charges, including making false reports, and may be held responsible for any harm or injury resulting from the incident.
Swatting can have tragic consequences for the target. In 2017, an online feud over a popular video game escalated to a swatting incident that led to the death of an innocent man. The phony police report alleged that someone at the target’s address was holding his family at gunpoint. Unfortunately, the target had lied to his online foe about his address, leading the SWAT teams to surround the home of a family who was completely uninvolved in the online feud.
When the homeowner opened the door, a law enforcement officer claimed he saw him reach for his waistband. Because the police had been advised the homeowner was armed, officers shot him in the doorway.
In a 2022 FBI alert regarding swatting, the agency emphasized that those engaging in this activity often employ technology like social engineering, prank calls, and caller ID spoofing to create the illusion that the emergency call originates from the victim’s phone. The FBI noted an evolution in swatting patterns, expanding beyond individuals and residences to include public places like airports, schools, and businesses.
This past summer, the FBI finally took the threats seriously and created a database to coordinate reports of swatting attacks. Swatting has become so common that there are distinct types, like swatting involving celebrities, gamers, politicians, or hate crimes.
Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott revealed on Thursday that he had been the victim of a hoax call. He stated on social media that his home in Naples was targeted with a “swatting” incident while he was having dinner with his wife. In the post, Scott condemned the perpetrators as “cowards” and criticized them for wasting law enforcement time and resources in an attempt to terrorize his family.
According to a spokesperson for the Naples police department, the caller falsely reported to dispatchers that a man had shot his wife three times with an AR-15 while she was sleeping. Fortunately, the police quickly confirmed that the report was false.
In a separate incident, Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene reported that she was also a victim of a swatting incident. On Christmas Day, she shared on social media that she had been swatted, emphasizing that it was the eighth time she had experienced such an incident and expressing her frustration at it happening during the holiday with her family present. Greene later revealed that both of her daughters’ homes were also targeted in similar swatting incidents on the same day.
Also on Christmas Day, New York Republican Brandon Williams was alerted by police about a phone call claiming a crisis at his home. Williams suspects his pro-Israel stance may have motivated the prank, as pro-Hamas signs were left at his home.
The Maine Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, who recently ruled that Donald Trump was ineligible to appear on the state’s 2024 primary ballot, became the target of a swatting call, according to state police. An unknown male caller claimed to have broken into her home in Manchester, Maine, prompting a police response at 8:15 pm. However, upon investigation, the police found no one inside the residence. Bellows later took to Facebook to share that she and her husband were not at home during the incident but faced escalated threats after their home address was doxed online.
The country is so polarized that these incidents are almost commonplace. Biden pledged unity, a campaign promise he has been unable to fulfill, and an issue made far worse under his contentious presidency. The Biden administration won’t rest in its attempts to turn Americans against each other, almost relishing the violence his divisive rhetoric is causing. America is dissolving by design under Biden, and a few deaths of innocent people is a small price to pay for the warped progressive fantasy of the new nation.