Over the course of six blog entries, Austin bombing suspect Mark Anthony Conditt outlined conservative-leaning views on a number of political issues as part of his 2012 assignments from a community college government course.
Conditt’s posts were brought to light as federal, state and local officials continue to search for a motive in the bombings, which terrorized the Texas city and left two dead. Police say the 23-year-old suspect was killed early Wednesday when he detonated one of his homemade bombs in his car as the officers were chasing him.
McKenna McIntosh, a former student at Austin Community College, told HuffPost she remembered Conditt as a classmate. Everyone was required to share their views in class, she said.
Although Conditt referred to himself as “not that politically inclined” in a short bio on his blog, titled “Defining My Stance,” his brief entries provide a small window into his life and personal perspective. And contrary to his bio, he did not appear to lack opinions on topics ranging from same-sex marriage to terrorism.
“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,” he wrote.
Students in the government class appeared to use the Blogger platform to share and respond to one another’s political views, or those of op-ed writers.
Conditt believed Washington Post columnist Marc Theissen, a Republican, made “some good points” in a 2012 piece calling American officials’ decision to accept a plea deal from al-Qaeda terrorist Majid Khan “outrageous.”
“I think that it is just plain dumb to release a terrorist, much less a senior one ― no matter what he can provide,” Conditt said. (Khan is still awaiting his sentencing hearing at Guantanamo Bay.)
Writing in disagreement with one classmate’s argument that same-sex marriage should be legal, Conditt called the practice “not natural.”
“I do not believe it is proper to pass laws stating that homosexuals have ‘rights,’” he wrote before comparing same-sex marriage to pedophilia or bestiality.
On abortion, he railed against a woman’s right to choose, saying, “if you can’t provide for a child, then don’t have sex.”
Conditt argued for abolishing sex offender registries on the basis that they may harm men convicted of lesser crimes such as public indecency. He also believed shuttering the site Megaupload did little to combat the problem of internet piracy.
Conditt offered his opinion on the death penalty, too. He didn’t make much of the argument that life imprisonment is a harsher punishment than a swift death, using the example of George Rivas, mastermind of the Texas Seven prison break that left one police officer dead.
Responding to a Dallas News opinion writer who thought Rivas considered death “freedom,” Conditt disagreed.
“If [Rivas] had wanted or wished for death, he would have just shot himself, like his fellow Texas 7 escapee, Larry Harper, who committed suicide, rather than be captured and re-incarcerated,” he wrote.
A representative of Austin Community College confirmed that Conditt was a business administration major there from 2010 to 2012, but he did not graduate. He indicated on his application that he was homeschooled.
He is suspected in six Texas bombing incidents in March: five in Austin and another at a FedEx center near San Antonio. The blasts killed two and injured five others.
Authorities are warning residents to remain vigilant as they determine whether other bombs may have been mailed or planted prior to Conditt’s death.
Jessica Schulberg contributed reporting.