What to know about the recent swatting incidents against members of Congress

What to know about the recent swatting incidents against members of Congress

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Multiple political figures said their homes were the target of “swatting incidents” on Christmas Day, where multiple law enforcement officers were called to their residences for false calls of an emergency.

What is “swatting”?

Swatting incidents occur when a person or multiple individuals call in a false report of an emergency, crime, mass shooting, or kidnapping in progress to prompt a large police response. Swatting attempts have become more common in recent years, often targeting celebrities, political figures and internet livestreamers as a form of online harassment.

Responding law enforcement are often told there is a threat inside the home, putting the victim of such attempts in danger.

The FBI in June launched a national database to track these incidents following a push from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who called the attacks “dangerous, disturbing and downright terrifying.”

The latest swatting attempt against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.)

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) on Monday said her residence was targeted on Christmas Day, following a series of previous swatting attempts against the conservative lawmaker.

Greene revealed on social media that someone reported a fake crime at her home, marking what she said was about the eighth swatting attempt on her home.

“I was just swatted. This is like the 8th time. On Christmas with my family here. My local police are the GREATEST and shouldn’t have to deal with this,” she said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

Multiple calls into a crisis hotline cited Greene’s address in Rome, Ga., prompting a local police response, a spokesperson for the police said. Coordinating with Greene’s security detail, local police determined there was no emergency at the address.

Greene’s home has been the target of multiple swatting incidents since last year. In one instance in August 2022, a caller claimed a shooting occurred at Greene’s home and the next day, another caller suggested they possibly shot Greene’s family.

Rep. Brandon Williams (R-N.Y.) says home swatted on Christmas Day

Rep. Brandon Williams (R-N.Y.) on Monday said his home was swatted on Christmas Day, prompting the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office to contact him and confirm it was a false alarm before arriving at the residence.

“Our home was swatted this afternoon,” he said Monday on X. “Thanks to the Deputies and Troopers who contacted me before arriving. They left with homemade cookies and spiced nuts! Merry Christmas everyone!”

“The deputies & troopers were polite, professional, & prompt,” he added. “God bless them.”

It was not immediately clear whether Williams’s case is related to Greene’s incident. Police in Rome, Ga. confirmed they received multiple reports of an emergency at Greene’s address in Georgia and the same address in Rome, N.Y. — Williams’s district.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s home reportedly swatted on Christmas Day

The Boston Police Department on Monday said they received a report of a shooting at an address matching Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s home in Roslindale, a neighborhood of Boston, according to multiple media reports.

Authorities determined the shooting was a hoax, the Boston Herald reported. The Hill reached out to the Boston Police Department and the Boston mayor’s office for comment.

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