Virginia man charged in connection with swatting calls targeting African Americans, Jewish

John William Kirby Kelley

John William Kirby Kelley

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A Virginia man was charged in connection with a “swatting” ring that targeted people who are black or Jewish.

The U.S. Justice Department charged the former college student with calling in fake emergencies to prompt law enforcement responses, in coordination with a group the FBI labeled as sympathetic to neo-Nazi ideology.

News outlets reported John William Kirby Kelley, 19, was charged with conspiracy to make threats.

An FBI affidavit unsealed Friday, Jan. 10 accused him of being part of a network that “shared racist views” and targeted victims in so-called swatting attacks coordinated in online chatrooms.

Prosecutors said he reported a fake bomb threat at Old Dominion University and was linked to a similar call at a historically black Virginia church.

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