Patterico's Pontifications


MIT SWATting Apparently Retaliation for Aaron Swartz

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:20 am

When I heard about this apparent SWATting attempt at MIT, I wondered if it was retaliation for the university’s participation in the prosecution of Aaron Swartz:

On Saturday, February 23 at 7:28 am EST, the Cambridge (Massachusetts) Police Department met face-to-face with our nation’s growing nightmare. A call came in. A potential shooter loomed on the nearby MIT campus. Someone had a “really big gun” plus “armor” and was “getting out of control.”

An alert went through the department’s automated alert system immediately.

It appears my instinct was right:

This call lasted more than 18 minutes. One minute in, the dispatcher notified MIT Police and sent CPD units as well as State Police to the scene. Within two minutes, MIT police entered the potential shooter zone—Building 7—not too far away from the main quad, next door to many other campus buildings.

Five minutes in, the caller finally identified the alleged gunman by name. This pointed to a member of MIT’s own staff. And moments later, the caller revealed the gunman’s ultimate target: MIT President Rafael Reif. The caller elaborated. The alleged gunman was heading toward the administrative offices. It was all part of a larger plan: retaliation, according to MIT, against “the people involved in the suicide of Aaron Swartz.” Officers split up and traveled to the second location in order to ensure the safety of Reif. The building and surrounding area was placed on lock down at 7:43 am. The call hadn’t even finished.

SWATting shows no signs of abating.

With that thought in mind, please watch or tape Anderson Cooper’s show today on CNN. There is a planned segment on SWATting, and you will want to see it.

10 Responses to “MIT SWATting Apparently Retaliation for Aaron Swartz”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. The interesting thing here is that the call came in so early. Virtually no one is hanging around the MIT campus at 7:30 am, unless perhaps they are finishing up an all-nighter from the night before. I wonder if the SWATter purposely wanted the minimize the risk that an innocent bystander would be endangered, or if this was just a fortunate coincidence.

    JVW (4826a9)

  3. All this attention to SWATting, with nothing being done about it, only encourages more. Like hijackings in the 70’s

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  4. When will the FBI, DOJ, and state law enforcement and prosecutors start taking aggressive investigations and prosecutions against those who make these calls?

    PatHMV (265954)

  5. Will someone we know be appearing in the segment?

    aunursa (7014a8)

  6. Hijackings in the year 1969, not the 1970s.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  7. Maybe the SWATters did the time zone calculations incorrectly, thinking it would be 8:30 or 9:30 there, in the midst of a busy morning.

    htom (412a17)

  8. I really DO NOT want to watch Anderson Cooper, no matter what he’s talking about. Please.

    G Joubert (bb5fc7)

  9. I watched Anderson Cooper 360 this evening and it didn’t have anything on SWATting. Does he have another show or has this segment been moved to another day?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  10. There was a segment on Lindsey Graham and the Minneapolis police chief about gun registration. I didn’t watch it all — was it in that?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

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