The Austin bomber is dead


Seems fitting — he blew himself up.

Also, he turns out to have been a Young White Male, which isn’t at all surprising anymore. Now we wait for the revelation: was he mentally ill, or a lone wolf? He couldn’t possibly have been a terrorist.

I will not, however, be surprised at all if the oncoming rummaging through his internet history reveals associations with racist or alt-right groups. Those associations will be minimized, though, if it is discovered that he also played video games.


The whitewashing begins.

Well, isn’t that nice. What a nice quiet boy.

Comments

  1. chrislawson says

    We won’t know until the the investigation is complete, but since the bomber was a white male and all the targets were black or hispanic, it would be surprising if he wasn’t soaked in alt-right/Stormfront racial purity nonsense. But you’re right…he won’t be described as a terrorist in the news.

  2. buddhabuck says

    Different parts of the US Government have different definitions of terrorism. The criminal definitions require there to be an international component. Young white males committing illegal acts of violent in an attempt to intimidate or coerce a civilian population (parts A and B(i) of the definition) are not terrorists because they are American, operating in American jurisdiction, without ties to other countries. Their acts do not “occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum” (part C of the definition).

    By that definition, the domestic terrorist killed in Austin is not a terrorist, nor does his actions have any connection to terrorism.

    But that just means it’s a bad definition. We should get our congress critters to fix the definition.

  3. rietpluim says

    I am sure he was a lone wolf and mentally ill and the only thing to stop a bad man with a bomb is a good man with a bomb and thoughts and prayers and this is all the liberals’ fault and if we as a country would just accept Jesus…

  4. says

    I think it best to withhold comment until we know more. Regardless of whether he purported to have some political motivation, he was clearly deranged. Since he did not reveal his motives or announce that there was any cause he was trying to promote, the actions make no sense.

  5. says

    buddhabuck @ #3:

    Different parts of the US Government have different definitions of terrorism. The criminal definitions require there to be an international component….

    The criminal definition does require that, but it’s not really pertinent here since he’s dead. It does seem that the WH decided to make the declaration about no links to terrorism while he was still alive, but the criminal limitations haven’t stopped AGs in previous cases – Alex Fields, Eric Rudolph – from correctly referring to the perpetrators as terrorists. People are generally referred to as terrorists when it fits regardless of the nature of the specific crimes with which they’re charged/convicted.

  6. says

    If you google the bomber’s name and add “white supremacist” to the end, there are some things on reddit that need to be confirmed but the guy appears to have been Trump fan. Surprise.

  7. says

    Different parts of the US Government have different definitions of terrorism.

    It’s so the FBI doesn’t have to recognize the CIA as terrorists.

  8. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    So he briefly kept a blog back in 2012 (comments are still enabled; someone’s been commenting). He was anti-abortion, anti-same sex marriage, pro-death penalty, anti-sex offender registries, and pro-Guantanamo.

    Also according to SC’s link @5, he was home schooled.

    None of this is explanatory, of course, but it begins to paint a picture.

  9. leerudolph says

    USA Today reports that he was home-schooled, and that his mother (in a February 2013 Facebook post reporting that she had just “officially graduated Mark from High School”) speculated that his next move might be “a mission trip” (in the event, he went to community college instead).

  10. Onamission5 says

    “quiet, introverted, and reserved”

    Or was he withdrawn, secretive, and evasive? Oh right, can’t use descriptors with clear negative associations, the terrorist is just a nice shy white boy.

  11. monad says

    @6: It was a white guy targeting minorities – isn’t that itself revealing about a political motivation?

  12. logicalcat says

    @28 monad

    The targeting minorities thing was speculation by law enforcement. Some of his victims were white. Unfortunately he died before we could see what his true motives are. I believe they were politically motivated. He doesn’t strike me as a serial killer. They tend to pick their victims specifically, while this guy had trip wires that anyone could step on.

  13. Reginald Selkirk says

    Austin American-Statesman
    The two were close in 2012 and 2013, said Jensen, who would often go to the Conditts’ home for lunch after Sunday church service and attending Bible study and other activities together. Jensen said Conditt came from a good family, was athletic, enjoyed rock climbing and parkour and was a “deep thinker.”

    But who knows what passes for “deep thinking” among the home-schooled crowd in Pflugerville?

  14. dobby says

    19

    “Some of his victims were white.”

    Yes, the ones who worked at FedEx and who were obviously not the target. This seems to be the meme promoted on Twitter, Some of his victims were white so it was not racism. BS in large piles.

  15. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    About this guy being “deranged”: somehow in his derangement he managed to build several functional bombs with functional triggers and send them to his targets, without blowing himself up or having them go off prematurely. One of them was detonated by a tripwire that evidently was disguised well enough that the victim didn’t see it. And then, when the police were closing in, he detonated another that successfully killed him (perhaps he also intended to kill some police in the process; if so, that’s the one part of his plan that failed). There’s also the possibility that he has more bombs out there. Is that kind of meticulous and effective planning really the work of a “deranged” mind?

    On another note, apparently he was a Xian:

    The two were close in 2012 and 2013, said Jensen, who would often go to the Conditts’ home for lunch after Sunday church service and attending Bible study and other activities together. Jensen said Conditt came from a good family, was athletic, enjoyed rock climbing and parkour and was a “deep thinker.”

    “When I met Mark, he was really rough around the edges,” Jensen said. “He was a very assertive person and would … end up being kind of dominant and intimidating in conversation. A lot of people didn’t understand him and where he was coming from. He really just wanted to tell the truth. What I remember about him he would push back on you if you said something without thinking about it. He loved to think and argue and turn things over and figure out what was really going on.”

  16. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    Correction to me @ 22,

    I’d forgotten that at least one of his bombs went off at the FedEx facility. But my point about his state of mind still holds.

  17. numerobis says

    dobby@21: the two young men who tripped on a wire in a predominantly-white neighbourhood were white. That’s the thing that makes it seem like maybe he wasn’t trying to trigger a race war. There’s lots of other motivations possible.

  18. anchor says

    Mark Anthony Conditt – Terrorist. That nice-looking young man terrorized Austin and surrounding community with his bombs. That’s terrorism.

  19. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    @numerobis, 27
    Didn’t Manson want to start a race war by butchering rich white people? Targeting other pasty people does not necessarily mean they are not racist as fuck.

  20. gijoel says

    No doubt incels and MRAs are already hailing him as hero for killing people they don’t like.

  21. numerobis says

    anchor@28: terrorism is distinguished from non-terrorism purely by intent. Scaring people isn’t enough, you have to want to scare them in order to get some political result.

    Breivik, Fabrikant, and the Unabomber had political motivations for their crimes so they’re terrorists. Dahmer didn’t so he’s not. They all caused a lot of fear.

  22. chrislawson says

    cervantes@6 — quite right. When I wrote my first comment I didn’t know about the March 18 bomb that he left on the sidewalk in Travis County.

    I looked up the demographics of Travis County and the census data has its white population at about 70% since 2000 (including 2017 data). But a Texas based population study in 2015, presumably using a different methodology, has it at 48% white…we won’t know the bomber’s motivation for a while, but I have some sneaking suspicions…

  23. Rat Master says

    Travis *Country* subdivision in Austin is a high-end neighborhood.

    Watching on tv the neighbors interviewed were white. It is high income and highly educated. To claim that someone who plants a sidewalk bomb in Travis *Country* is targeting minorities is revealing something about themselves. They are spouting their own ignorance because it fits their desired narrative.

    I don’t know what this guy was doing but that bomb was likely to hit a rich white guy. I don’t presume to know who if anyone he was targeting.

  24. says

    CNN is reporting that he left behind a 25-minute cell phone confession. They’ve found “a treasure trove of information that could explain a motive.” Police are saying it didn’t mention anything about terrorism or hate. That’s…hard to believe.

  25. Rat Master says

    @32 “White” on demographics sometimes includes Hispanic White and sometimes not. That is the difference between the two numbers you have seen. Trying to separate Hispanics from other numbers in demographics usually gives you totals that don’t add up, but in general in the big four Texas cities of Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin, all but possibly Austin have bigger populations of Hispanic or Latino than White. A non-Hispanic White like me definitely is a minority in Houston.

  26. lemurcatta says

    If there is *any* connection to white supremicist ideology or the alt right, we should have no qualms about immediately labeling this guy a terrorism. And fuck, I’m sick and tired of video games becoming the scapegoat for gun violence (and maybe terrorism) with this administration. No evidence for it, although expecting this admin to respect evidence in making statements and policy is admittedly ridiculous at this point. BTW, to the commentariat here: I’m someone who reads and enjoys Harris and Douglass Murray. We aren’t all crazy dogmatic fanboys.

  27. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    And fuck, I’m sick and tired of video games becoming the scapegoat for gun violence (and maybe terrorism) with this administration.

    To be fair, an absolutely depressing number of otherwise reasonable, intelligent people seem to have drunk this particular Kool-Aid too.

  28. DLC says

    This would not be the first time someone blew up an enemy or hated individual and then set off other bombs so as to obscure the true target. Or it could just be another RW terrorist arsehole.

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