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BTR News (Austin) – The reported death of Mark Anthony Conditt, suspected of being the man behind the spate of bombings that spread fear and terror in the city of Austin, Texas, hopefully, brings some relief to those residents. According to most media reports, Conditt, apparently a religious right-wing conservative ideological extremist, detonated another explosive device which he used to presumably commit suicide to avoid apprehension by law enforcement officers who were closing in on his vehicle. I guess we can add the label “suicide bomber” to Conditt’s list of accomplishments in his short 23 years on this planet.
It seems a narrative is being spun in certain sectors of media making it seem as though Conditt came out of nowhere but the reality is that there are many just like him in American society who hold the same religious, racial and political ideologies. There is plenty of biased and unbalanced media propaganda being produced that is resulting in radicalized white males who have the same white entitlement mentality as the human traffickers who helped found the United States of America.
.@POTUS mourns for victims of the recent bombings in Austin. We are monitoring the situation, federal authorities are coordinating w/ local officials. We are committed to bringing perpetrators of these heinous acts to justice. There is no apparent nexus to terrorism at this time.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) March 20, 2018
Speaking of the United States, the much-maligned White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement quick to set a narrative where Conditt isn’t referred to as a terrorist even though that is exactly what he is alleged to have engaged in by at least one member of Congress and I’m sure the residents of Austin would disagree with that “not terrorism” narrative as well.
According to The Hill, several officials referred to the bombings as terrorism as I suspect most logical and objective person would, it has all the hallmarks of what is widely recognized as terrorism except by those perhaps who hold the same ideological beliefs as the individual terrorist. In Tennessee, legislators were quick to shoot down a resolution calling on state law enforcement officials to go after white supremacist and neo-nazis terrorist with the same fervor they go after non-white individuals suspected of terrorism and to deal with them in the same equitable manner.
Buzzfeed posted some details about Mark Anthony Conditt and its worth the read for those questioning his character or what may have put him on the path to becoming yet another American terrorist in the long line of American terrorists.
A portion of the article is quite revealing,
An acquaintance of Conditt’s, who did not wish to be identified, told BuzzFeed News that she and Conditt were in the same homeschool community in Pflugerville between the ages of 8 and 13. She said that she had playdates with Conditt, who “seemed like a regular boy who liked to have fun and play games.”
“His family seemed very nice,” she said. “I was completely shocked when I heard — I had no idea it would be someone I knew.”
Cassia Schultz, 21, told BuzzFeed News that she ran in the same conservative survivalist circles in high school as Conditt.
Schultz said they were both involved in a group called Righteous Invasion of Truth (RIOT), a Bible study and outdoors group for homeschooled kids that included monthly activities such as archery, gun skills, and water balloon fights. Conditt and his younger sister would usually attend the activities along with 15 to 20 other kids, according to Schultz.
“A lot of us were very into science; we would discuss chemicals and how to mix them and which ones were dangerous,” said Schultz, who is now a house painter. “We were into weapons and stuff. A lot of us did role-playing, and RPG [role-playing games]; we’d have foam weapons and act out a battle.”
Schultz described Conditt as a “pretty normal kid.” She said that a lot of children who were part of RIOT carried knives and learned how to shoot guns at gun ranges, but she didn’t recall bombs or bomb-making being a specific topic of discussion at RIOT.
RIOT events also included 30 minutes to an hour of Bible study, Schultz said.
She said she attended Bible study at Conditt’s parents’ home, where they would study a Bible passage and talk about how it applied to their daily lives. She described the family as “more conservative, strictly religious.”
I would not hold my breath waiting on the Trump administration to denounce Conditt as a terrorist. Conditt seems to fit the profile of Trump’s most ardent supporters. Law enforcement agencies including the FBI are continuing their investigations and at least one of Conditt’s two roommates is getting some extra scrutiny after the other was released. I would treat anyone living with Conditt, close acquaintances, family members, as suspects until ruled out. Maybe we can get Trump’s nominee for CIA Director, Gina Haspel to do what she has done in the past to get terrorist suspects to get them to talk but its unlikely nor would that be in the interest of justice, just interesting.
About The Author: Black Talk Media Project founder and host of BTR News and New Abolitionists Radio, Scotty Reid has been hosting and producing news talk radio since 2007 and has interviewed hundreds of guests on various topics. He is also a freelance writer who focuses on social and political issues from around the world and has been published by various outlets.