Law Enforcement Reports Recent Bomb Threats In Cullman County Linked To Multi-State Swatting Program
CULLMAN COUNTY, Alabama (WIAT) – A recent spike in reported bomb threats in Cullman County in recent weeks has been linked to a scheme involving teenagers in five states, the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office reports.
At a Tuesday morning press conference, Sheriff Matt Gentry revealed more information about the investigation which began on September 2 after a bomb threat was issued at Cullman High School. Over the next six days, five more threats were falsely called out at Cullman Middle School, West Point High School, West Point Middle School and Cullman County Courthouse.
“Our children are our most precious resource and for someone to do it, to sow fear in the hearts of children, teachers, mothers, fathers, grandparents. To me it’s indescribable, ”said Gentry.
Another threat was issued on September 4, claiming that someone had killed his wife and was ready to confront law enforcement. After officials arrived at the scene, they discovered that it was also a false report.
Gentry said the CCSO believed the incidents were related and began to investigate. A teenager was later identified as being involved in the appeals and was taken into custody. Police discovered the teen was working with others in four other states in a “crush” plot involving a prank calling emergency services in an attempt to bring in a large group of armed police at a particular location. Gentry said the group’s goal is to register law enforcement when they arrive.
No injuries or deaths were reported in the bomb threats.
The CCSO is working with several law enforcement agencies in other states where this has occurred. Several arrests have been made and more are underway.
According to Cullman County District Attorney Wilson Blaylock, the teenager arrested in Cullman County will be charged with uttering terrorist threats and soliciting an act of terrorism.
During the press conference, officials called on parents to keep track of what their children are doing to prevent such crimes from happening.
“It can be one of the most dangerous things in the world today, it’s a cell phone,” Gentry said. “We really need to go above and beyond to ensure what our children are doing through social media to protect them. If you do this, it saves you from this situation.