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Two swatting attempts on Marjorie Taylor Greene used bog-standard tech

Two swatting attempts on Marjorie Taylor Greene used bog-standard tech

Yesterday, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) tweeted to sound the alarm that she had been “swatted” around 1 am. “Swatting” is a term for incidents that involve a false report of emergencies like suicide or gun violence that leads police to send a SWAT team or armed tactical unit to enter a person’s home, often with guns drawn.

A Rome Police Department report from Wednesday confirmed there was an “attempted swatting,” where five officers responding to a report of possible gun violence used a “tactical approach” before ringing the doorbell on Greene’s residence. They said they knew it was her house before they arrived but didn’t kick the door down like they might during an actual swatting because they “were still unsure” of “exactly what had transpired.” A few minutes later, Greene answered the door and sent the police away after they performed a quick wellness check in the house to ensure there was no threat.

Today, Greene tweeted again, saying that she was swatted again.

Greene’s communications director, Nick Dyer, told Ars that “a criminal investigation of these violent crimes is ongoing, and our No. 1 concern is the safety of Congresswoman Greene and her family.” Dyer said that the second attempt happened early this morning but that Greene was “not sharing details at this time” when asked to confirm whether police returned to Greene’s residence ready to use force.

Ars obtained the second Rome PD report. It showed that this time, instead of “attempted swatting,” police recorded the hoax call as a “false report of a crime.”

According to the second report, a caller used an online chat-based suicide crisis line and claimed to be a man named Wayne Greene who was “possibly” shooting his family members and attempting suicide. The caller claimed shots had been fired and said, “If anyone tried to stop me from shooting myself, I will shoot.” He also claimed he’d be ready to fire upon police.

Police attempted to trace the call but reported that the caller used a VPN service to obscure their location.

Two officers reportedly visited Greene’s residence after receiving this call earlier today and again left after Greene greeted them at her front door and confirmed there was no danger. Reports show that police did not send SWAT teams either time but calmly approached Greene’s home and both times confirmed the false reports.

A “computer-generated voice” took credit for first swatting

According to the first Rome PD report, five officers responded to a call on Wednesday during the initial attempted swatting. The caller claimed that a man had been “shot five times in a bathtub” at Greene’s home, and there was a woman and possibly children still in potential danger.

On the way to Greene’s house, police realized who the homeowner was, but “due to the nature of the call,” police “formed up” at a nearby intersection and made a “tactical approach.” Rome PD provided Ars with no further details about the approach.

Because they suspected the call might possibly have been a hoax, they decided to ring Greene’s doorbell. The doorbell woke her, and she took a few minutes to answer. Police waited for her to answer the door and did not attempt to forcefully enter the residence.

When Greene answered, she confirmed the hoax and asked police to search the residence to do a wellness check for her safety.

As was the case for the false report from this morning, it was revealed that technology obscured the identity of the hoax caller during the initial swatting attempt.

That time, technology was used to mask the voice of the caller.

The report shows that after police left Greene’s house, a second 911 call was placed on Wednesday, reportedly “from the suspect,” who, police said, “used a computer-generated voice” to make the hoax call. The police report said the caller took credit for the attempted swatting and wanted police to know the attack was politically motivated because of Greene’s anti-transgender views.

During the second “false report” incident, Greene’s anti-transgender stance also seemed to factor into the suspect’s motives. The chat-based caller identified himself as “Wayne Greene” and claimed they had come out as transgender to their family, which they said triggered the alleged violence the caller was reporting.

Both callers’ identities are still unconfirmed, but the “computer-generated voice” told police they were a well-known member of Kiwi Farms—a far-right Internet forum that “supports cyberstalking.” They claimed to be a user named “AltisticRight.” Kiwi Farms has previously been implicated as the forum behind swattings of a prominent trans Twitch streamer, who helped launch a campaign to take down the forum.

Earlier this month, Twitch users called for more support from police to deter dangerous swatting attempts, which can be fatal. In Greene’s case, it looks like police can deter some swatting attempts, at least when targets are high-profile officials.

It seems unusual that a far-right group would attack a far-right official like Greene, but Dyer said police are still investigating.

Right now, Greene’s safety is her team’s top concern, Dyer said.

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