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Texas Bomber

Texas Bomber Kills Himself in Austin Suburb

A serial bomber had terrorized residents in Austin, Texas, for nearly three weeks. The city was paralyzed with fear; no one knew when or where the next attack would occur.

The whole situation put everyone on edge.

But now, it appears the deadly scourge of bombings has come to a close.

Early Wednesday morning, a SWAT team closed in on the suspected bomber whose lethal explosives had wreaked havoc on the lives of innocent Texans.

The bomber, Mark Anthony Conditt, an unemployed college dropout who bought bomb-making materials at Home Depot, used one of his own makeshift devices to blow himself up.

But police warned he could have planted more bombs before his death, and the cautioned the city to stay on guard.

Police tracked down the 23-year-old using store surveillance video, cell phone signals and witness accounts of a customer shipping packages in a disguise comprising a blond wig and gloves.

The suspect was eventually located at a hotel suburb north of Austin.

The serial bomber, whose motives are still unclear, had been at large for almost a month until a major breakthrough in the case this week cracked the investigation wide open.

‘Fortunately, we were able to do some digging and find this individual over the last 48 hours,’ Fred Milanowski, a special agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told the Austin American-Statesman Wednesday.

The wave of bombings began March 2, when Anthony Stephen House, a 39-year-old father and athlete, was killed by a package bomb left on his front porch.

The second and third bombings occurred ten days later, on March 12, killing 17-year-old cellist Draylen Mason and critically injuring two women, including Mason’s mother. The bombs had also been placed on the victims’ doorsteps.

The fourth bomb was triggered by a tripwire strung across a sidewalk.

A fifth parcel bomb detonated early Tuesday morning at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio.

Rep. Michael McCaul said Conditt’s ‘fatal mistake’ was walking into a FedEx store to mail a package because that allowed authorities to obtain the surveillance video that led to his apprehension.

Investigators are analysing Conditt’s internet history to discover how he learned to make bombs.

His two roommates were detained for questioning. One was later released.

For now, Texas can breathe a ‘cautious’ sigh of relief.

Further reading: Man Arrested on Suspicion of SXSW Bomb Threat 

Bomb Threat

Man Arrested on Suspicion of SXSW Bomb Threat

Trevor Weldon Ingram, 26, has been arrested on suspicion of emailing a bomb threat to the Fair Market concert venue during the South by South West (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas.

Ingram has been charged with making a terroristic threat and, if found guilty, could face up to 10 years in jail. A statement released by Bud Light, the show’s sponsor, said that police were “able to identify and locate the suspect believed to be tied to this threat and at 11:08pm a warrant was signed” for Ingram’s arrest.

The statement added, “There are no indications of any broader security concerns for any activities relating to this incident.”

The threat, which took place March 17, led to the cancellation of a SXSW concert that was due to showcase hip hop musicians The Roots, Ludacris and Rapsody. Police were called to the venue promptly but found nothing suspicious.

Roots’ drummer Questlove took to Twitter on the day of the threat to say “no one is Mr ‘show must go on’ than me. But we can’t risk our lives if we are told there was a bomb threat.”

The bomb threat comes amid a tense and troubling time for Austin. The city has been on high terror alert following several fatal letter bomb attacks which have occurred in recent weeks and an explosion that injured two people late on Sunday night. No arrests have been made in connection with the letter bomb attacks.

One of the letter bomb incidents killed 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House on March 2 at his home in Austin, Texas.

Another attack of a similar nature killed 17-year-old Draylen Mason and left his mother seriously injured on March 12. A separate package explosion occurred within hours of the attack, leaving a 75-year-old woman in critical condition.

All victims are people of colour. Austin police chief Brian Manley said “we are not saying that we believe terrorism or hate are in play, but we absolutely have to consider that.”

Further reading: Woman Attempts Murder with Poisoned Cheesecake