The FBI’s Raymond Duda speaks at a February 2020 news conference in Seattle about charges against a group of alleged members of the neo-Nazi Atomwaffen Division. One day in late 2018, John William Kirby Kelley didn’t feel like going to class. So he turned to the friends he had made online, suggesting they call in a fake threat to his school, Old Dominion University. The people who gathered in the online chat room, which Kelley hosted, regularly engaged in “swatting,” or calling police with invented crises that would require a special weapons and tactics, or SWAT, team, prosecutors said. The friends also routinely derided Black and Jewish people and targeted minorities; one was the leader of a neo-Nazi group called the Atomwaffen Division. Kelley and the group leader, John Cameron Denton, were ultimately arrested along with four other Atomwaffen associates. “I am really sorry,” Kelley, now 20, said in Alexandria federal court Monday before being sentenced to 33 months in prison. “I hope to return to the community as a better man.” Some victims were chosen simply because they were streaming their own online activities live, giving the swatters a chance to watch law enforcement respond in real time. But Denton repeatedly harassed a ProPublica journalist who had reported on him and other neo-Nazi leaders. The group also called in threats against two Black churches, a mosque, a Black newspaper columnist and Trump administration official Kirstjen Nielsen. (…) Kelley met Denton in a white-supremacist chat room and drove to West Virginia to meet another virulently racist associate, Cuellar said. The latter co-conspirator was not charged, because of his age, according to court filings; two others are not in the United States. The other four people arrested were charged in federal court in Seattle, where they were accused of conspiring to threaten journalists. Two have pleaded guilty; two are awaiting trial.

via wahington post: College student who hosted racist ‘swatting’ group is sentenced to 33 months