The U.S. Justice Department has charged a former Virginia college student with calling in fake emergencies to prompt law enforcement responses, in coordination with a group the FBI labelled as sympathetic to neo-Nazi ideology.
News outlets report 19-year-old John William Kirby Kelley was charged last week with conspiracy to make threats.
An FBI affidavit unsealed Friday accuses him of being part of a network that “shared racist views” and targeted victims in so-called swatting attacks coordinated in online chatrooms.
Prosecutors say Kelley reported a fake bomb threat at Old Dominion University in November 2018, and was linked to a similar call at a historically black Virginia church in Alexandria.
According to court documents, Kelley requested that the online network he was part of “swat” ODU because he did not want to attend class.
Kelley was expelled from ODU in January 2019.