The director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the top US government agency tasked with providing security and assistance to US election infrastructure and its officials, was targeted in the late December incident. A spokesperson confirmed to NBC News.
The news about the incident comes like this judges and public officials has been the target of a wave of false emergency calls to local police departments in the past few weeks to trigger an armed police response.
Election security has become a highly politicized issue. CISA chief Jen Easterly has become a target of House Republicans criticized the efforts of the agency promoting information about how to vote and how the voting process works. The bell rang reported first by the Record, a cybersecurity news site.
The Arlington County Sheriff’s Department told NBC News it is investigating the incident. The department said shortly before 9:00 p.m. on Dec. 30, 911 received a call of a shooting at an apartment building. According to a preliminary police incident summary seen by NBC News, officers made contact with a person at the residence and determined there were no shots fired or injuries at the home.
A CISA spokeswoman confirmed the call was to Easterly’s home address and she was alone there at the time.
“One of the most troubling trends we’ve seen in recent years is the harassment of public officials across the political spectrum, including extreme incidents of swatting and direct personal threats,” Easterly said.
“These events pose a serious threat to individuals, their families, and law enforcement officers responding to the situation during the search. My own experience was certainly sad, but unfortunately it was not unique,” he said.
CISA largely escaped partisan harassment shortly after the 2020 elections. After his election loss, then-President Donald Trump He fired the director of CISAChristopher Krebs, on the website of an agency that investigates lies about the election process, including some of the lies that Trump and his allies have pushed to discredit this election.
Easterly has CISA under his leadership he withdrew from some of his earlier attempts fight election fraud and misinformation.
It was not immediately known who was behind the call. Swatting calls can be performed as often an online service powered by artificial intelligence and can be difficult to follow.
In the past few months, search calls targeting government officials such as Judge Tanya Chutkin, who is presiding over Trump’s election interference case, and special counsel Jack Smith have increased. The White House was also recently targeted by a call claiming there was a fire inside the building. Recently, various provincial election officials have also been targeted.
In a virtual press briefing last week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the growing trend, saying the subpoenas “pose a threat and risk to our society” and that the Secret Service monitors this type of activity.