On Monday, emergency first responders were mobilized to the White House in response to a fabricated distress call that claimed individuals were stranded inside the burning structure.
At approximately 7:00 a.m., a communication was received by the 911 facility in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. This appears to be an instance of “swatting,” in which an individual uses an untraceable number to incite disorder through fraudulent claims of calamity or threats of violence. At that time, President Joe Biden was in attendance at Camp David and not at his place of residence.
“Fire in the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” a DC dispatcher said at 7:04 am. The “all clear” was given by 7:15 a.m. after 13 units had responded to the site.
The inbound number was dialed and contact was established by the 911 center personnel; however, the person who answered the phone refuted placing the call. The law enforcement authorities determined that the phone number had been “spoofed,” which refers to the use of a phone number associated with an unwitting victim in order to mask the true identity of the swatting caller.
There was a significant surge in the number of victims swatted during the holiday season. The deception specifically targeted Biden Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Democrat megadonor George Soros. The dangerous phenomenon has resulted in fatal consequences for specific individuals. In 2017, a victim was fatally shot by SWAT agents who were dispatched in response to a conflict among internet gamers. The person accountable for causing the disturbance was sentenced to twenty years in prison.
As per the findings of the FBI, U.S. Marshals Office, and various domestic law enforcement organizations, the surge in swattings during an election year can be ascribed to the escalated animosity. In light of the increasing peril of swatting, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has cautioned public figures, including U.S. District Judge Arthur Engoron, who is preside over the New York real estate trial of former President Donald Trump, to exercise greater vigilance.
“At the same time that we are seeing an encouraging downward trend in violent crime, we are also witnessing a deeply disturbing spike in threats against those who serve the public,” Garland said.
On Monday afternoon, President Biden is scheduled to resume his duties at the White House subsequent to his attendance at a commemorative event in Philadelphia honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day.