White House becomes latest target of swatting call

 January 17, 2024

On Monday morning, the White House experienced a "swatting" incident, wherein a deceptive emergency call led to a significant emergency response.

According to officials, the caller reported to 911 that a fire at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. had trapped an individual inside the building.

Responding to the call, multiple units from D.C. Fire and EMS arrived at the scene at 7:03 a.m., only to determine it was a false alarm.

The details

D.C. Fire and EMS communications director Noah Gray stated that the call was "in the same spirit" as a recent series of similar incidents targeting public officials.

Notably, no law enforcement personnel were dispatched to the scene. President Joe Biden was at Camp David, Maryland, during the occurrence.

A "swatting" call involves the submission of a false 911 report to provoke an aggressive police response at a given location.

Swatting calls grow

This incident is part of a broader trend targeting public officials, who are also grappling with an escalation in violent threats against them and their families amid heightened political polarization.

Other recent officials have also been targeted, ranging from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to officials involved in Trump's legal battles.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, in a late December interview with ABC News, highlighted a surge in threats to public officials occurring "on a weekly basis."

She cited recent cases involving threats against FBI agents, a Supreme Court justice, and three presidential candidates, without specifying their names.

The serious risk

In a Tuesday press conference, Biden's press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, announced that the administration intends to "closely monitor" nationwide occurrences of swatting, particularly in light of the recent uptick in incidents targeting public officials.

Their dissemination of conspiracy theories about perceived political adversaries and provocative statements regarding "retribution" against the "deep state" has contributed to an increase in real-world incidents of violence.

Leaders on the left and the right have been targeted, with the White House becoming the latest target of the disturbing trend impacting the nation.

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