Zoom Bombing

'Local Residents' Terrorizing City Council Meetings Were Actually Overseas, Feds Allege

A racist 'Zoom Bombing' group was made up of American teenagers collaborating on a Roblox-owned chat with foreign nationals, according to a criminal complaint.
'Local Residents' Terrorizing City Council Meetings Were Actually Overseas, Feds Allege

This article was produced in collaboration with Court Watch, an independent outlet that unearths overlooked court records.

In May, the U.S. Department of Justice charged a Syrian man living in Albania as one of the orchestrators of a series of “Zoom Bombings” in which people terrorized city council proceedings in Fresno, California with racist and antisemitic threats, white nationalist propaganda, and hateful rhetoric during the “public comment” portion of public meetings over Zoom, according to court records. The criminal complaint states that the leaders of this group lived in Albania and the United Arab Emirates, and that they organized in part with American teenagers over a Roblox-owned chat app called Guilded.

In September, we reported that white supremacist organizations were hijacking city council meetings all over the country by logging into Zoom meetings and making threats during the public comment portion of those meetings. This type of disruption and harassment has become increasingly common, and has happened to public meetings in San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, Maine, and many other cities and towns. At the time, we had traced some of these Zoom Bombings to a group that was organizing on the right-wing social media network Gab. Fresno itself recently banned all public comment over Zoom.

The criminal complaint unsealed Monday shows the operations of another group, which authorities say terrorized a series of city council meetings in Fresno and a Jewish religious service in Albuquerque, New Mexico, back in 2020. This racist group in particular was made up of people living overseas and American children organizing primarily on Guilded, which is owned by Roblox, and the gamer chat app Discord, according to the complaint. 

The Guilded group was called “Zoom Meetings Public Directory” and was allegedly controlled by Mohammad Amir Alhashemi, a Syrian man living in Albania. The indictment notes that members of the Guilded group who participated in Zoom raids allegedly included a 13-year-old in Oregon and three other American teenagers whose names and ages are not disclosed but who are identified by the complaint as being interviewed by the FBI with their parents present.

In those meetings, people in this network would join public city council meetings and spam the chat with the n-word, messages like “Kill Jews,” and “white power.” They would screen share swastikas, Nazi flags, imagery from Ku Klux Klan meetings, and videos of the 9/11 attacks and ISIS terrorist videos. And they would take over public comment periods of the meetings by shouting things like “Heil Hitler,” “Holocaust never happened, bitch,” and shouting the n-word at city council members.

These disruptions would often make the local news, and the phenomenon more broadly has had the effect of terrorizing local politicians and local citizens who want to participate in local government. 

The feds accused Alhashemi of organizing these Zoom raids through the messaging apps Telegram, Guilded,, and Discord, where they had chat names like “Zoom University,” “Gentleman’s Club,” and “Zoomtopia.” They also allegedly coordinated through a now-defunct site called, and posted highlights videos to a now-deleted YouTube channel. The complaint identifies another leader of the group as currently living in the United Arab Emirates. Alhashemi has been charged with “Conspiracy to engage in anonymous telecommunications harassment,” “transmitting threatening communications,” “engaging in anonymous telecommunications harassment,” and “engaging in repeated harassing communications.”

Alhashemi and others in his group would allegedly join the meetings with names like “Jacob Rothschild,” “Lynn Portmen,” “Brian Mcallster,” and, notably, “Felix Kjellberg,” the real name of the YouTuber PewDiePie. The complaint notes that the feds also identified several “American juveniles,” including a 13-year-old living in Oregon, who participated in the Zoom harassment. The complaint adds that a number of other alleged members of the group were interviewed “while [their] parents were present,” suggesting that at least a handful of the people participating in this were American children.

One of the children interviewed by the FBI “recalled entering a local government Zoom meeting around July or August 2020 and entering another organization’s Zoom meeting. [The minor] said the Zoom raiders posted gore videos, made bomb threats, and racist comments, indicating they would kill all of the meeting participants. Although he participated in the Zoom raids, he claimed he merely posted ‘random things.’ He did admit to having antisemitic beliefs.”

The DOJ included the following image as an example of the type of things allegedly being shared by Alhashemi in the chat apps:

The criminal complaint against Alhashemi does not indicate whether any of the American children allegedly involved will ultimately be charged. The Department of Justice declined to comment for this story and referred 404 Media back to the criminal complaint when asked for comment. Roblox and Discord did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to the criminal complaint, one of the members of this group was identified by the feds, was interviewed by an FBI agent, and later agreed to give the FBI control of their Discord account. The FBI logged into that person’s Discord account and obtained messages, plans, and usernames of other members of the group, which they were then able to use to subpoena information about them. 

The criminal complaint adds that besides city council meetings, this specific group had targeted churches, synagogues, school meetings, parent/teacher conferences, weddings, cooking classes, and yoga classes. The criminal complaint adds that the group doxed (published the personal information of) various Zoom employees, as well as some of the targets of their Zoom raids.

Various videos of these Zoom raids have been archived on YouTube, and posting videos of Zoom raids and Zoom Bombings has become a very specific type of YouTube shock content.