— Mary Huber (@marymhuber) March 29, 2018
Residents in Austin, Texas spent the first half of this month feeling terrorized while a series of increasingly sophisticated bombs spread mayhem through the city. Police then confronted bomber Mark Anthony Conditt, who killed himself with an explosive device, after which Austin Police Chief Brian Manley carefully declined to ascribe a terror-based motive for Conditt’s actions, choosing to call him a “very challenged young man,” who may have been experiencing some difficulties in his personal life. Manley has now tweaked his point of view.
The police chief spoke (in the above clip, courtesy of the Austin Statesman‘s Mary Huber) to reporters during a Thursday meeting on law enforcement and community response to the bombings. In doing so, Manley says he now agrees with the perspective held by much of the Austin community:
“When I look at what he did to our community — and as your police chief — I actually agree now, that he was a domestic terrorist for what he did to us … This is a distinction I wanted to make today.”
Manley also revealed that he was “so focused that we put a stop to it” while initially absorbing Conditt’s move from suspect to confirmed serial bomber, yet he now realizes that some in the community reacted negatively to the terminology that he initially used to describe Conditt. Indeed, police previously revealed that Conditt left behind a confessional video that left no doubt about his methodical attention to detail in constructing each of his seven bombs.
That Austin was so clearly terrorized, and law enforcement was possibly treating Conditt (after his death) with kid gloves, upset many — for this appeared to echo how Las Vegas and federal authorities still haven’t determined a motive for why Stephen Paddock meticulously planned and executed out his October 2017 massacre. Yet at least in the case of Conditt, law enforcement has now issued more definitive language.