LAPD Investigating ‘SWAT’ Prank Calls Against Black Lives Matter Activist

Black lives activist Melina Abdullah. Image: Rich Fury/Getty Images

Three teenage boys are accused of multiple “swatting” calls made against a Black Lives Matter activist in Los Angeles, Newsweek reports.

The teenagers allegedly organized two swatting incidents at a Los Angeles residence in August 2020 and again in September 2021.

Swatting is the action or practice of making a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to dispatch a large number of armed police officers and SWAT team members to a particular address.

Although she’s not named in the report, the address correlates with the residence of Melina Abdullah, co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the online communications between the three boys point to racism as the primary factor for the incidents.

The LAPD addressed the matter in a statement.

“Some of the language used in the swatting incidents and a review of the subjects’ online activities reflect a racial motivation theme to a number of these swatting attacks,” the statement read.

To pull off the scam, the three teenagers reportedly used the Discord app to carry out the plan. Also, they allegedly used several privacy tools and software to disguise their online identities.

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According to the authorities, the three teenagers are residents of New York, Ohio, and another, a U.S. citizen in Cyprus, a Mediterranean country.

In addition to the swatting calls, the group has allegedly called in around 30 bomb threats across the country targeting “other online persons, video gamers, activists, schools, airports, houses of worship, entertainment venues and memorial parks dating back to July 2020,” the LAPD said.

The authorities have issued arrest warrants for the two boys who live in the U.S. and several devices were seized to be analyzed by the FBI.

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