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Motive Matters: Why the Austin Bomber Wasn't a Terrorist

MIN READMar 27, 2018 | 08:00 GMT

Law enforcement officials search for evidence at the location where the suspected package bomber was killed in suburban Austin on March 21 in Round Rock, Texas. Mark Anthony Conditt, the 24-year-old suspect, blew himself up inside his vehicle as police approached to take him into custody. 

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Mark Anthony Conditt left a lengthy recording in which he reportedly confessed to the bombing spree that plagued Austin, Texas, and even outlined how he constructed each of the devices he deployed. However, what he did not provide in that message was any indication of motive based on ideology, hate or politics. In fact, according to an account of the recording published by the Austin American-Statesman, authorities have noted that Conditt felt no remorse for the killings, describing himself as a psychopath. Despite the fact that a white bomber did kill two people who were racial minorities and wounded two others, there is no evidence to suggest that this was a hate crime or an act of domestic terrorism. It is quite possible to terrorize a city without being a terrorist, which brings us to the key question: Just what is terrorism?...

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