The suspect in the Austin bombings has been identified as Mark Anthony Conditt, a 24-year-old white man from Pflugerville, Texas, according to law enforcement officials who spoke to NBC News and the Associated Press.
Conditt blew himself up Wednesday after police surrounded him as they investigated five bombs that killed two people and injured four others this month in Austin. He is suspected to be the man behind five package bomb explosions that killed two people and wounded several others. The bombings began March 2.
The suspected Austin bomber described himself as a conservative and argued against same-sex marriage and abortion in a blog he maintained for a government class. He left behind some clues on the website he set up six years ago, The Daily Beast reported.
The 24-year-old Conditt was homeschooled, but an internet user matching his name, age and hometown set up the “Defining my Stance” website on the Blogger platform in early 2012. He used the name “Tavar,” and described himself as a conservative.
“My name is Mark Conditt,” he posted in his bio. “I enjoy cycling, parkour, tennis, reading, and listening to music. 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.”
Other posts celebrated a column by ultra-conservative Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen (“I think that it is just plain dumb to release a terrorist, much less a senior one – no matter what he can provide”), and argued against same-sex marriage, “free abortion” and the sex offender registry.
“You have to really hate the guy to make him suffer for the rest of his life, even when his prison time is up,” Conditt wrote. “This sounds perfect for a serial rapist or pedophile, but its not such a great idea if something as trivial as public indecency or streaking can put you on the registry right alongside them.”
He also argued in favor of the death penalty, in reaction to a news report on seven Texas inmates who escaped in 2000 and killed a police officer.
Living criminals harm and murder, again – executed ones do not,” Conditt added. “Rivas was a known murderer, and had escaped prison once. If he had gotten life without parole, he could have escaped again.”
BREAKING: Austin serial bombing suspect identified as 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation pic.twitter.com/p7s2SR2La2
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 21, 2018