Everything We Know About the Austin Serial Bomber

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  • The Austin serial bomber blew himself up on Wednesday morning as police were closing in on his location.

    Mark Anthony Conditt, the 24-year-old who police believe was the man setting off bombs in packages around the city of Austin, detonated an explosive in his car as he was about to be apprehended. Police say it was the exotic batteries, ordered from Asia, that led investigators to Conditt so quickly. They also used cell-site analysis to determine which individuals were in the areas of each bombing as they occurred, and they had some help from this security video from FedEx where Conditt dropped off a package wearing a blonde wig and hat. Conditt was traced to a Red Roof Inn in Round Rock, Texas. Before backup could arrive, Conditt left the Inn and led police on a brief chase before he pulled off to the side of the road on Interstate 35 and blew himself up.

    So, who was Mark Conditt, and why did he terrorize the Austin area with bombs for the better part of a month? It will be a long time before we know everything, including his motivation, but here’s what we know right now. Mark Conditt grew up in Pflugerville, Texas, was homeschooled, and attended some classes at Austin Community College in the early 2010s. His mother, Danene Conditt, posted on Facebook in 2013: “I officially graduated Mark from High School on Friday. He has 30 hrs of college credit too, but he’s thinking of taking some time to figure out what he wants to do….maybe a mission trip.”

    He also had a blog that was updated between February and May 2012 called, “Defining My Stance.” Now, he would have been around 17 when these were posted, but it’s interesting to see the things he was talking about at this time. In his bio, he said “I am not that politically inclined. I view myself as a conservative, but I don’t think I have enough information to defend my stance as well as it should be defended.” The last post on the blog is titled, “Why Gay Marriage Should Be Illegal” and reads: “Homosexuality is not natural. Just look at the male and female bodies. They are obviously designed to couple.”

    Conditt wrote these posts for an Austin Community College class on U.S. government. Neighbors say Conditt’s parents were involved in a multilevel marketing business and his father ran an online computer business.

    Though Conditt was white and a conservative, it’s not yet clear if he fits the profile of other recent domestic terrorists, who were motivated by white supremacy and nationalism.

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