Austin bomber Mark Anthony Conditt secretly used Grindr despite writing homophobic blog posts
Domestic terrorist Mark Anthony Conditt was a user of Grindr, police have revealed – despite his history of homophobic blog posts.
Conditt was responsible for a series of bomb attacks in Austin, Texas, in March this year, killing two people and injuring six. He killed himself in an explosion on March 21, detonating a bomb in his car as he was pulled over by police.
But more than a month on, the 23-year-old domestic terrorist’s motivations still largely remain a mystery.
On his 2012 online blog Conditt had set out extreme beliefs, penning a series of posts setting out his militant opposition to homosexuality and abortion.
One of the blog posts was titled “Why gay marriage should be illegal,” and stated: “Homosexuality is not natural… just look at the male and female bodies. They are obviously designed to couple. The natural design is apparent. It is not natural to couple male with male and female with female.”
He added: “Political protection of a sexual practice is ludicrous. I do not believe it is proper to pass laws stating that homosexuals have ‘rights.’
“What about paedophilia or bestiality? These are sexual practices. Should they also be protected by law?
“If homosexuality is protected by law, why not those as well?”
But despite his espoused views on gay sex, the Austin Statesman reported this week that forensic investigators searching Conditt’s phone have “uncovered evidence that he used Grindr to exchange messages with gay men.”
In addition, the newspaper alleges that “two men who lived with him told detectives they thought Conditt might have been gay.”
There is no suggestion that his sexuality is in any way connected to the crimes.
But the news muddies an already-complex profile of Conditt, whose motive for carrying out the crimes continues to elude detectives.
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Conditt grew up in a very religious Christian family and was home-schooled by his mother, but is believed to have renounced his faith a few years prior to the attacks.
The killer described himself as a “conservative” online, but police “have ruled out potential motives such as politics, racially motivated hate or links to international terrorism,” according to the newspaper.
A 25-minute video confessing to the crimes recorded by Conditt prior to his death provides little clues as to his motive, instead focusing on how he carried out the terror attacks.
Police in charge of the Austin bombing investigation had attracted criticism for their refusal to use the word “terrorist” to describe the white criminal, instead using phrases such as “a very challenged young man.”
However interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley eventually clarified: “He was a domestic terrorist for what he did to us.”