When he looks back at what the Austin bomber “did to our community, he was a domestic terrorist for what he did to us,” Interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a panel discussion Thursday that focused on how police, the media and the community responded to the Austin bombings.
“This is a distinction I wanted to make today,” Manley said. Knowing the case would be in the legal system at some point, he said, he was trying to be sensitive about the terminology he used during the investigation.
“I was so focused that we put a stop to it,” the chief said, but now he says he's comfortable calling the bombings domestic terrorism “for what it did to our community.”
A recorded “confession” left by bomber Mark Conditt later revealed his motivations were neither racial or political, Manley said.
Still, the attacks prompted several community meetings in East Austin and criticism over why the bombings weren’t classified as terrorism, the Austin American-Statesman reports.