Austin Police Chief Brian Manley now admits the white, Christian homeschooled, Austin bomber, was, in fact, a “domestic terrorist.”
If he was a brown Muslim there would have been no problem labeling Austin bomber Mark Anthony Conditt a domestic terrorist. However, immediately after his death via suicide bomb, local and federal authorities refused to label the white, Christian homeschooled young man a domestic terrorist, despite the fact that he terrorized the Austin, Texas community with a series of bombings that left two dead and many more injured.
Yet all that is now beginning to change. Speaking at a panel discussion on Thursday, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley declared:
He (Conditt) was a domestic terrorist.
This is quite a departure from remarks previously made by the Austin police chief. Earlier this month Chief Manley denied that Conditt was a terrorist, telling reporters:
Having listened to that recording, he does not at all mention anything about terrorism nor did he mention anything about hate. But instead, it is the outcry of a very challenged young man, talking about challenges in his personal life that led him to this point.
In other words, Manley’s first reaction was to declare that the white, Christian homeschooled bomber that killed two people and injured several others by sending out five bombs over 19 days was not a terrorist, but simply “a very challenged young man.”
Many found the strange pity party for the “challenged young man” to be deplorable and hypocritical, and an insult to the people killed, maimed, and terrorized by the bomber.
To his credit, Chief Manley is now admitting his mistake, and acknowledging the simple truth that the “challenged young man” was in fact a “domestic terrorist.”
At this point in the discussion, some will pull out their dictionaries, rushing to defend the good name of the white, Christian homeschooled bomber, and declare that the bombings that terrorized Austin were really not terrorism, because there is as yet no specific political motive for the heinous crimes.
Such an argument is pedantic bullshit, suitable only for those contrarians sympathetic to the white, Christian homeschooled terrorist, aka the “very challenged young man.”
Writing for Mediaite, Dean Obeidallah, noting the gross hypocrisy of federal and local authorities, as well as many in the mainstream media, asks:
How Many Bombs Does a Non-Muslim Need to Set Off Before Being Called a Terrorist?
Commenting on the terror caused by the “challenged young man,” Obeidallah writes:
they stayed home at night and changed their daily routines because they were afraid of being the bomber’s next target. That’s not only the common sense understanding of terrorism but I’d argue fulfills the definition of terrorism under the federal law since Conditt clearly used his bombings to “intimidate or coerce a civilian population.”
The Austin bomber should be called a terrorist. That is what he was. And same for any person — regardless of religion or race — who engages in a campaign of terror like Conditt did that spanned nearly two weeks and was intended to terrorize Americans. The only thing preventing that appears to be that he isn’t Muslim.
Obeidallah is right. If the Austin Bomber was a brown Muslim there would be no question the man was a terrorist, but because Conditt was white, and homeschooled by conservative Christians, he is not really a terrorist, but a “very challenged young man.”
ABC News reports on the significance of the domestic terrorist label, while noting that Conditt does, in fact, fit the definition of a domestic terrorist:
The terrorism label is significant because authorities, including Manley, had not used that classification previously.
Under U.S. law, “domestic terrorism” is defined by statute and has to be intended to: “intimidate or coerce a civilian population”; or “influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion”; or “affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.”
Doing so would increase the FBI’s involvement in the case, but would not change the penalties without a hates crime designation.
According to previous reports, Conditt was homeschooled by a conservative Christian family and contemplated going on a “mission trip” before becoming a terrorist.
As a teen being raised and educated in a conservative Christian environment, Conditt trained with the Righteous Invasion of Truth (RIOT), a Christian survivalist group in which Christian homeschoolers studied the Bible, trained with guns, and learned about dangerous chemicals.
Bottom line: Conditt, trained by a Christian survivalist group and indoctrinated into a world of Christian extremism, was a “domestic terrorist.” Full stop.