Austin bomber blows self up; suspect identified by police

Authorities in Austin, Texas, have confirmed that a 24-year-old white male named Mark Anthony Conditt has been identified as the person responsible for a series of bombings this month that left two people dead and four wounded.

Conditt blew himself up earlier today as SWAT officers closed in on him as he sat in a vehicle on the side of a road in Round Rock, a suburb of Austin. Media reports said at least one officer may also have fired into the vehicle, so it was not clear how the suspect actually died.

Police were able to locate Conditt using a variety of tactics, including cellphone triangulation. Surveillance footage taken at an Austin FedEx was also used to apprehend him, reports said.

“As members of the Austin PD SWAT team approached the vehicle, the suspect detonated a bomb inside the vehicle, knocking one our squad officers back and one of our squad officers fired at him as well,” said Interim Police Chief Brian Manley.

According to media, Conditt may have taken a government class at Austin Community College in which he wrote a blog post in which the author says gay marriage should not be legalized and the U.S. should do away with sex offender registration.

The 2012 blog lists the author as Mark Conditt of Pflugerville, Texas. Conditt is believed to have been a resident of Pflugerville, north of Austin. It also states: “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 reasons I am taking this class is because I want to understand the US government, and I hope that it will help me clarify my stance, and then defend it.” [source]

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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