Justice Department Identifies Person of Interest for 100 Swatting Attacks Against Politicians

Richard Alan Hannon/The Advocate via AP

Federal agents have pinpointed a person of interest who is believed to be behind a series of dangerous “swatting” incidents targeting high-profile government officials. The wave of false emergency calls, which send SWAT teams to the homes of public figures, were carried out over the Christmas holiday.


This discovery could mark a critical step in addressing the rise of swatting attacks on political and public officials. The individual is suspected of being tied to more than 100 swatting calls against members of the Biden administration and others. These include Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly, and several others.

Federal agents have located a person of interest in over 100 swatting calls, which included calls targeting Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Cybersecurity, Infrastructure and Security Agency Director Jen Easterly and other senior Biden administration officials, according to law enforcement officials.

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.

Swatting has emerged as a disturbing and potentially deadly trend where perpetrators make fake emergency calls to 911 to provoke a heavy-handed police response. These individuals will tell the operators that a person is engaging in dangerous activity at a particular address, in the hopes of prompting a SWAT team to show up at the target’s home.

This is a growing problem as it not only strains law enforcement’s resources, but endangers the lives of those targeted.


The broader implications of such attacks are disturbing. Victims span political lines, including former Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley and Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Brandon Williams.

Read More:

Nikki Haley Is the Latest Victim of 'Swatting'

MTG Gets Swatted on Christmas Day, Reveals Concerning Threats Against Her, Trump

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.”

FBI and Secret Service agents have searched the suspect’s residence in Serbia. They seized computers and other devices that could have been used to carry out the swatting attacks.

It is not yet clear whether the individual has been arrested. But charges appear to be forthcoming.

Swatting has grown in popularity as American politics becomes increasingly inflamed. It is a tactic that has been used against politicians, media figures, and other high-profile individuals – especially those who espouse controversial views. In Williams’ case, he believes he was targeted due to his support of Israel.

In January, law enforcement arrested a California teenager who is accused of carrying out a nationwide swatting campaign.

A 17-year-old from California is allegedly the swatter known as Torswats, according to sources familiar with the investigation. The teenager is currently in custody and awaiting extradition from California to Seminole County, Florida. The Florida State Attorney’s Office tells WIRED that he faces four felony counts.

Seminole County, located in central Florida, had two high-profile swatting incidents within the last 12 months, including one targeting a mosque and another targeting a courthouse. Todd Brown, a spokesperson for Florida’s Office of the State Attorney in the 18th Circuit, confirmed the charges against the teen and his extradition. Brown says he will be prosecuted as an adult under Florida law. WIRED is withholding the 17-year-old’s name because he is a minor.


Unfortunately, there are still many bad actors who continue using this tactic against certain people and groups. Hopefully, this case is a sign that it is getting easier for law enforcement to catch the perpetrators.


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