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Apr 24, 2014 1:41 AM by Sam Salzwedel

"SWATting" hoax hits Tucson

TUCSON - A 15-year-old boy was the apparent target of a mass shooting hoax at the University of Arizona.

An April 17 search warrant references an email that somebody sent to the U of A. The email was from an anonymnous source, but claimed to be from a Tucson teen. It referenced going to campus with an M4 rifle and body armor and "a blood bath and you will soak in it."

The type of hoax has been called "SWATting," when somebody tries to provoke a SWAT team to respond to an unsuspecting home. California actually made a law against it because it has become somewhat common.

The Tucson warrant names the apparent victim, but he did not want to be identified for safety reasons. He said 7 officers and 2 detectives went to his home to investigate. His mom answered the door.

"They asked, ‘Could we go look through the house.' And of course she said yes. It was an odd situation," the teen said. "After they had searched the house and started talking to me, it seemed like things calmed down a little bit. It wasn't so tense."

He said he is a security analyst and a developer who spends a lot of time on the internet.

"It's going to have to be someone online that doesn't like me," he said, "For either me coding, or me playing video games."

He said whoever pulled the prank did a pretty good job.

"They used a temporary email service. It seems they masked their IP address as well, using a service to make yourself anonymous," he said. "It seems like they really know what they're doing."

UA Police have traced the threat back to a server in the state of Washington.

"I'm glad that they did investigate it," the teen said. "And I'm glad that the procedures are in place for something like this."

He thinks there is a good chance authorities will find the source.

"People have been traced back before trying to make themselves anonymous," he said. "I'm sure in this case, they'll track them down too."


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