Alan Filion identified as teen arrested for swatting a Florida mosque: Threatened mass shooting in ‘the name of Satan’

Mugshot of Alan Filion
Alan Winston Filion is accused of calling the police to a fake mass shooting. Pic credit: Seminole County Sheriff’s Office

The police in Seminole County, Florida, have announced the arrest of teenager Alan Filion on a charge of swatting. Filion, described as a serial swatter, is suspected of taking part in multiple swatting incidents across the United States and may face more charges.

Swatting is the act of falsely calling on police or emergency responders to attend a premises, an illegal act that is currently on the rise throughout the country.

The 17-year-old Filon was caught after he allegedly committed a swatting offense at the Masjid Al Hayy Mosque in Sanford, Florida. Filon is accused of anonymously calling Seminole County police on May 12, 2023, informing them that he was about to perform a mass shooting at the mosque.

Filion allegedly told the cops he had a handgun and explosives and that he intended to “commit a mass shooting in the name of Satan.” The caller then played audio of gunfire.

In a statement, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) said about 30 officers descended on the mosque, discovering that there was no shooter and the staff and worshippers were all safe.

The cops then teamed up with the Department of Justice and the FBI to track the caller to an address in Lancaster, California, where they found teenager Alan Winston Filion.

Alan Winston Filion suspected of offering swatting services across the US

According to the police, Filion had created several accounts on websites offering “swatting services.” The investigators were then able to link the IP addresses to Filion’s home address.

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The SCSO said the case garnered interest from FBI field offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Tampa, along with other local-level law enforcement agencies. This means Filion may be facing charges in multiple jurisdictions.

Filion has been charged with three felonies and one misdemeanor relating to false reporting. According to court documents, he has pleaded not guilty and is expected at an arraignment on Friday. He has been charged as an adult.

Police are cracking down on swatting incidents across the US

SCSO Sheriff Dennis Lemma wrote, “Swatting is a perilous and senseless crime, which puts innocent lives in dangerous situations and drains valuable resources.”

Lemma added a “stern warning” to swatters, telling them they will “face zero tolerance, and measures are in place to identify and prosecute those responsible for such crimes.”

According to CNN, swatting is a rising trend in the US and has recently gained notoriety due to a number of high-profile cases involving celebrities and politicians.

Capitol Hill and The White House have been swatting targets. Presidential hopeful Nikki Haley was recently the target of two swatting incidents in two days at her home in South Carolina.

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