Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
A man loosely linked to violent neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen has been charged with participating in a swatting ring that hit hundreds of targets, potentially including journalists and a Facebook executive. John William Kirby Kelley supposedly picked targets for swatting calls in an IRC channel, then helped record the hoax calls for an audience of white supremacists. He was allegedly caught after making a bomb threat to get out of classes.
The Justice Department unsealed the case against Kelley late last week, and he was arrested and appeared in court on January 10th. He’s charged with conspiracy to transmit a threat, which carries up to five years in prison. The Washington Post writes that his attorney didn’t comment on the allegations.