A California teenager allegedly behind a rampage flutter Arrests have been made in connection with last year’s attempted attack on a Florida mosque in incidents that have targeted schools and the homes of FBI agents across the country. according to court documents filed by state prosecutors.
Alan Winston Filion, 17, was arrested at his home in Lancaster, Calif., earlier this month and extradited to Florida on Tuesday, according to court documents. He was charged as an adult with four felonies, including charges related to false information that prompted a law enforcement response.
Filion has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is being held without bond at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility.
According to the government’s motion to keep Filio in the Mosque case, Filio is alleged to be behind hundreds of incidents across the country targeting high schools, historically black colleges and the homes of FBI agents.
Last May, Seminole County law enforcement deputies responded to a caller who said he was armed with a handgun and explosives and had entered the Masjid Al-Hay mosque in Sanford, Florida, to commit a mass shooting. notes.
When they arrived, officers saw a woman and her two children at the entrance to the building and after speaking with them determined the call was a hoax, records show.
According to newly sealed court documents obtained by NBC News, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI monitored Filion’s Telegram posts offering his swatting services, as well as audio recordings of the calls. They claim responsibility for hundreds of swatting incidents, including in Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. The vetting efforts have allegedly included bomb threats at high schools and an NGO that investigates extremism.
NBC News informed Last year, the FBI and its online database for swatting tracking and prevention, located at the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division in West Virginia. According to the arrest warrant, after that report, Filion posted a diagram online threatening to bomb an FBI facility in West Virginia and seizing Supreme Court justices and senators.
A short time later, the 911 caller claimed to have three dozen pipe bombs around the FBI facility that would detonate within 30 minutes, according to the affidavit. No explosives were found.
In the days that followed, a number of high-ranking special agents in the FBI’s field offices in Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City and San Antonio, and the head of the Criminal Justice Information Services Division in Washington, D.C., were targeted by calls to their homes.
According to an arrest warrant signed by a detective from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and an FBI agent, the caller’s voice in the mosque incident was identical to the voice heard during incidents involving FBI agents.
Filio also posted numerous anti-Semitic comments online and had an affinity for The Lord of the Rings, according to the filing.
They claim that his calls have a pattern of references to the same weapons, such as AR-15s and pipe bombs, in addition to references to Satan. They also claim to have found posts in which Filio admitted to trashing his home, the documents say.
Filion and his father agreed to an interview, but when agents pressed him about whether Filion had broken into his home, his father became confused and Filion angrily stopped the interview, court documents said.
Filion’s attorney did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment.
In a statement, Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma cited the arrest, citing the dangers of tattooing.
The arrest warrant states that swatting, which involves giving false information about a crime in progress to attract law enforcement to a particular location, is dangerous to both responding officers and victims and can result in the accidental killing of victims. Swatting also mobilizes significant law enforcement and emergency resources, the statement said.
“Swatting is a dangerous and senseless crime that puts innocent lives in dangerous situations and drains precious resources,” Lemma said. “Make no mistake, we will continue to work tirelessly in partnership with our police partners and the justice system to catch criminals.”
Fraudsters are also difficult to track down as scammers often use technology to hide their voice, caller information and location.
Swatting became a national story after a few high profile Events with the participation of members of Congress, White House and former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyRepublican presidential candidates. Haley was the target of the last two flutter Events at his home in South Carolina. Both of cases closed without arrests.