(BrightPress.org) – A minor was busted for a string of swattings. The 17-year-old suspect, Alan Filion, was busted at his home in California on January 30th and extradited to Florida where he’ll face charges for swatting a mosque, per statements from the Seminole County State Attorney’s Office.
Filion is accused of swatting – that is, making a false report about a violent crime in progress with the intent to trigger an intense police reaction to the scene. The perpetrator targets an individual or organization that he dislikes and then uses phone-over-internet protocols to make it very difficult to trace the call.
Internet streamers like Tim Pool and politicians like Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) have been victimized multiple times. The number of swattings has increased over time, with police frequently unable to locate or charge individuals.
Filion was charged for swatting related to threats he allegedly made in May 2023 against the Masjid Al Hayy Mosque in Sanford, Florida. The suspect said that he was armed and had explosives during the 911 call and was going to engage in a mass attack. The sound of gunfire could be heard during the call.
Police said the incident resulted in more than 30 officers responding to the scene, believing there was an actual threat.
Filion has also swatted high schools, FBI offices, and black universities, and made additional threats to bomb the Pentagon and military facilities, according to the state’s attorney.
The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office got help from local law enforcement as well as the FBI and DOJ to track the 911 call to Filion’s residence in California. Police said that the angst-ridden teen had multiple accounts with websites advertising swatting services. His home was searched in July 2023 and he was arrested on January 18th.
He’ll be charged as an adult with three felony charges for false reporting and an additional charge for unlawful use of communications technology. Each count has a terrorism and prejudice modifier, meaning if convicted he’ll face additional penalties.
Filion has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail.
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