Police chief calls Austin bombings 'domestic terrorism'
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Austin’s interim police chief called the city's serial bomber, who killed himself last week amid a standoff with authorities, a “domestic terrorist” for the impact he had on the central Texas community.

"This is a distinction that I want to make today," Chief Brian Manley said during a panel discussion about Mark Conditt, according to the Austin American-Stateman.

Conditt was a “domestic terrorist for what he did to us,” Manley said.


The police department was initially criticized for not referring to the bomber as a terrorist.

Manley said he was focused on catching the bomber at first but he now feels more comfortable labeling the bombings as terrorism.

Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) said last week that the bombings were “absolutely a terrorist activity,” but the White House said there was "no apparent nexus" to terrorism.

Local leaders also criticized the media for how Conditt, a 24-year-old white man, was portrayed, the Statesman reported. 

“The way the media covered this story, this 'troubled young man.' Was the young man troubled? Absolutely. But he was a troubled young man that turned out to be a terrorist,” said Chase Moore, the leader of the Austin Justice Coalition.

Moore said Conditt was given the benefit of “being a human first” only because he was white.

“Our white brothers and sisters are going to have to learn how to be comfortable while being uncomfortable talking about race,” Moore said.

Police have not determined a motive but believe Conditt may have been racially motivated — and they are not ruling out calling the bombings hate crimes. He reportedly had a "list of future targets."

Conditt's family said they had "no idea of the darkness that Mark must have been in." 

Five bomb packages exploded in and around Austin over a span of 19 days, killing two people and injuring several more.