YouTube, Discord and Lord of the Rings led police to teen accused of assault in US

A California teen is responsible for hundreds of assaults across the United States after law enforcement pieced together a digital trail left on some of the web’s biggest platforms, according to court records released this week.

Alan Winston Filion, a 17-year-old from Lancaster, California, faces four felony charges in Seminole County, Florida, involving assault or battery, according to Florida prosecutors. Making false threats to police to provoke a strong police response. The police arrested Filion. He was extradited to Seminole County this week on Jan. 18.

Fillion is arrested First reported by Wired magazine on January 26, marked the culmination of a multi-agency manhunt in which police claimed the man was responsible for attacks on high schools, historically black colleges and universities, mosques and federal agents, as well as threats to bomb the Pentagon, members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Supreme Court.Ultimately, YouTube channels, Discord chats, and usernames related to Lord of the Rings Help the authorities arrive at Fillion’s doorstep.

Florida prosecutors charged Fillion with four felonies, three involving allegedly making false reports to law enforcement and one involving the illegal use of a two-way radio to “aid or promote an act of terrorism,” which authorities said was based on racial goals. While prosecutors claim Filion is “responsible for hundreds of beatings and bomb threats across the United States,” the charges Filion faces are related to a May 12, 2023 assault on the Masjid Al Hayy Mosque in Sanford, Florida. .

Filion’s attorney could not immediately be reached to respond to WIRED’s request for comment.

More than a year before the beating attack on a Florida mosque, FBI agents interviewed Fillion’s father, William, at his home in Lancaster, California, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday. The interview took place on April 21, 2022, the same day that the owner of a Telegram channel associated with the beatings posted, “Someone just reported me to the FBI… haha!”

In October 2022, authorities investigating an assault involving a phone call to a school in Anacortes, Washington, discovered a Telegram user associated with multiple assault and doxxing channels. The username “Nazgul Swattings” claimed to be responsible for the beating incident on one of the channels. threats against Washington schools, according to the same court filing.

Over the next few months, the FBI monitored channels associated with the user, court records say. One of the channels, Torswats (formerly Nazgul Swats), shared nearly 20 recordings of prank calls threatening schools across the country, including Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania states and Texas.

While the FBI was tracking Torswats’ public channels, private investigator Brad “Cafrozed” Dennis was conducting a parallel investigation on behalf of the well-known Twitch streamer who had been attacked. In December, Dennis contacted one of the users behind Torswats and asked to chat on a peer-to-peer chat service called Tox to order a raid. According to records shared with WIRED (not mentioned in the arrest warrant), Dennis used Wireshark to monitor his network traffic while interacting on Tox. In the process, he discovered IP addresses and usernames previously unknown to law enforcement. “Paimon Arnum”.

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