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Congress Asks DOJ to Investigate "SWAT-ing" on Conservative Bloggers

In efforts to intimidate and suppress the speech of prominent conservative bloggers, opponents are implementing a decade-old technique called "SWAT-ing," which involves prank callers phoning law-enforcement authorities and reporting a violent crime at someone's home. The pranksters as a rule camouflage their actual phone numbers - by making them appear to originate from the victim's home - leading SWAT teams to be dispatched to a person's residence.

Beginning last July, several renowned conservative bloggers have been reporting incidences where prank calls led SWAT teams to their doorsteps. Around since the early 2000s, SWAT-ing is oftentimes revenge-motivated, affirmed FBI agent Kevin Kolbye, who has been involved in probing such cases. "They're as a general rule retaliatory in nature to harass or terrorize the intended party. It's as a matter of fact kind of similar to the old hoax bomb threat," he explained. "However in a SWAT-ing, you're masking or hiding the ... phone number and causing a SWAT response by stating that they've murdered someone in the house or they have hostages in the house."

Kimberlin, who was released from prison in 2001, now heads the Velvet Revolution, a network of 100 liberal organizations that promote "progressive change" in the United States. During there is no definitive evidence that Kimberlin is involved, several bloggers claim they were SWAT-ed right away following blog posts that described Kimberlin's past crimes and progressive political ideology.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss recently got involved, sending a letter to the Justice Department requesting that Attorney General Eric Holder "determine whether any federal laws may have been violated." Chambliss noted in his letter that the prank callers are using voice over IP to make the call seem as even though it originated from the target's residence. "The use of SWAT-ting as a harassment tool is to all appearances not new, however its use as a tool for targeting political speech appears to be a more recent development," Chambliss wrote. "The emerging pattern is both disturbing and dangerous."

More information: Thenewamerican
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    Saxby Chambliss