A nationwide swatting campaign aimed at nearly 200 Jewish institutions during the weekend appears to have been a coordinated effort originating from outside the United States, according to a confidential memo from the FBI’s Assistant Director Cathy Milhoan.
In the memo obtained by ABC News, Milhoan stated, “Based on similar language and specific email tradecraft used, it appears the perpetrators of these threats are connected. Additionally, these threats appear to be originating from outside of the United States.”
Milhoan emphasized that none of the email threats thus far have involved actual explosive devices or credible harm to congregants.
Over 30 of the 56 FBI field offices are actively investigating these threats, which have violated multiple federal laws, according to the memo.
The Secure Community Network, a non-profit organization advising U.S. Jewish institutions on safety and security, recorded a “record number” of 199 swatting incidents and false bomb threats between Friday and Saturday.
This wave of incidents was reported across multiple states, including 93 in California, 62 in Arizona, 15 in Connecticut, five in Colorado, and four in Washington state, as per an SCN press release.
According to SCN, swatting incidents have surged by over 540% compared to 2022, with more than 449 swatting incidents and bomb threats occurring this year.
The months of October and November alone have witnessed a 290% increase compared to the previous year, recording a total of 772 incidents, as indicated in SCN’s press release.
Assistant Director Milhoan concluded the memo by emphasizing the FBI’s commitment to the safety of all faith-based communities and expressing gratitude for the partnership in ensuring community safety.