Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley was the victim of a “swatting” incident at her South Carolina home, according to a report from Reuters.
The agency reported that Haley, who is currently the only candidate left in the race against Donald Trump, was targeted in a call to emergency services when a man claimed to have shot a woman and threatened to harm himself.
The incident reportedly took place on Dec. 30 in the town of Kiawah Island, an upscale gated community outside Charleston where Haley and her husband own a home.
Craig Harris, Kiawah Island director of public safety, told town officials in an email that an anonymous man called 911 and “claimed to have shot his girlfriend and threatened to harm himself while at the residence of Nikki Haley.
“It was determined to be a hoax … Nikki Haley is not on the island and her son is with her,” he wrote.
“This incident is being investigated by all involved.”
The FBI is now involved in trying to track down the identity of the caller, although refused to comment beyond stating that such threats put “innocent people at risk, is a waste of law enforcement’s limited resources, and costs taxpayers.”
The Haley campaign has so far declined to comment on the incident.
Increasing numbers of political figures are being targeted in such hoaxes, raising additional security concerns that are only likely to worsen the country’s already febrile political atmosphere.
Does Nikki Haley pose a threat to Trump?
Other recent victims have included Trump ally Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is prosecuting Donald Trump over alleged crimes in the wake of the 2020 presidential election, among others.
I was just swatted.
This is like the 8th time.
On Christmas with my family here.
My local police are the GREATEST and shouldn’t have to deal with this.
I appreciate them so much and my family and I are in joyous spirits celebrating the birth of our savior Jesus Christ!
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) December 25, 2023
According to the cybersecurity company Fortinet, swatting is a “term used to describe the action of making hoax phone calls to report serious crimes to emergency services.”
“People who carry out a swatting prank call aim to fool emergency services into sending a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team to respond to the supposed emergency,” the company explained.
“So-called swatters will falsely report major events like bomb threats, hostage situations, and murders to encourage the most serious response from emergency services.
“As a result, swatting has resulted in several deaths of people innocently targeted by SWAT teams. Swatting incidents typically occur when an attacker has gained access to their victim’s personal information, such as their home or work address.”
Author: Ben Kew