Teen Arrested Over Hundreds of Alleged Swatting Incidents

    Teen Arrested Over Hundreds of Alleged Swatting Incidents
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    The Facts

    • Court records filed Thursday show California teenager Alan Filion last month was arrested for allegedly making hundreds of swatting calls — false reports to law enforcement that draw a police response to a location — against targets in several states, including high schools, historically Black colleges, and FBI agents' homes.

    • Police connected the 17-year-old Filion and the calls after Seminole County, Fla., police arrested him for allegedly making a swatting call on a mosque last May. After roughly 30 officers arrived, they determined it was a swatting attempt.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    It's disappointing that at a time of an encouraging decrease in violent crime, law enforcement is now dealing with an increase in swatting. But a new FBI database will make it easier for it to work with local police to hold swatters to account. Swatting is dangerous for victims and law enforcement alike and is a drain on resources. It's worth the investment because sometimes these incidents turn tragic.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The FBI database of swatting incidents is a great tool, and there has been great detective work done to track down swatters like Filion. However, the FBI identified this problem more than a decade ago and several attempts to establish a federal anti-swatting law have failed, and technology continues to be on the side of the criminals. More must be done to crack down on this dangerous act of criminality.

    Cynical narrative

    Americans should be skeptical of FBI claims of growing domestic terrorism. Threats like the alleged D.C. pipe bomb threat during the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the US Capitol turned out to be erroneous. The FBI shouldn't be taken at its word when it makes claims about increasing threats and creating new "databases" should be eyed with concern.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that the US murder rate will be at least 5.53 per 100k inhabitants in 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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