Investigators piecing together a portrait of the suspected Austin, Texas, serial bomber — who brought a manhunt to an end early Wednesday after he blew himself up — may find some clues in a 2012 blog.
In a series of posts, author Mark Conditt wrote that he was “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,” it continued.
Mark Anthony Conditt. via Facebook
“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.”
The blog, titled “Defending My Stance,” belonged to a Mark Conditt from Pflugerville, Texas — the name and hometown of the 23-year-old man that law enforcement sources say was behind the deadly package bombings in Austin this month.
It was part of a government class at Austin Community College, which confirmed to NBC News that Conditt was a business administration major from 2010-2012 but did not graduate.
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Although they were written six years before Conditt detonated a final explosive in his car during a confrontation with police, the op-ed style entries provide a glimpse into the suspect’s views.
“Living criminals harm and murder, again — executed ones do not,” he wrote in a piece in support of the death penalty.
In a commentary on a deal the government made to release an Al Qaeda terrorist, Conditt was dead-set against it. “I think it is just plain dumb to release a terrorist, much less a senior one — no matter what he can provide,” he wrote.
On the issue of gay marriage, he wrote, “homosexuality is just not natural.” Commenting on free abortions, he wrote: “If a woman does not want a baby, or is incapable of taking care of one, she should not participate in activities that were made for that reason.”
But in another post, he suggested eliminating sex offender registries, saying they punished people who had already served their time or were convicted of minor offenses.
“You have to really hate the guy to make him suffer for the rest of his life,” he wrote.
Conditt took community college classes while he was being homeschooled, along with his three younger siblings, according to a post on his mother’s Facebook page.
When he “officially graduated” high school, his mother wrote: “He’s thinking of taking some time to figure out what he wants to do….maybe a mission trip. Thanks to everyone for your support over the years.”
A photo of Mark Anthony Conditt from his student ID at Austin Community College, which he attended from 2010 to 2012. Austin Community College
A statement from Denver-area relatives obtained by NBC affiliate KUSA said the family is “devastated.”
“We had no idea of the darkness that Mark must have been in,” it said. “Our family is a normal family in very way. We love, we pray, and we try to inspire and serve others.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said that authorities were still gathering more information about Conditt, but he confirmed that he was unemployed and did not have a criminal record “as best we can tell.”
“We do, I think, have access or will today have access to his social media accounts,” Abbott told NBC affiliate KXAN.
“It probably will not be the same type of situation as we saw in the aftermath of the shooting in Nevada where the person’s past history was wiped clean. I think we will be able to piece together the puzzle of who this man was and why he did what he did and that will resolve a lot of the uncertainty that still exists.”
Neighbors said his parents were involved in a multilevel marketing business and that his father, an electrical engineer, ran an online computer business. Mark Conditt moved out of the family home a couple of years ago and into one a few blocks away that he bought with his father and lived with roommates.
'Exotic' batteries, surveillance video helped lead police to Austin bomber
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“I would describe them as an extremely nice family,” neighbor Jeff Reeb said.
“He seemed like a very normal kid, which is what everybody says or most neighbors say in this type of situation,” Reeb said. “But over the years there is nothing I can point to.”
He added: “All I can tell you is that we’re praying for the family and I can’t imagine what they are going through.”
The biography on his blog said he enjoyed “cycling, parkour, tennis, reading, and listening to music.”