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Update: March 20, 2018 – another bomb explodes in a FedEx near San Antonio on route to Austin; the other package shipped by the same individual has been secured and turned over to law enforcement. It is not believed to be linked to the previous bombings.
March 19, 2018 – After the fourth in a series of similar bombings in Austin, TX, police believe they may have a ‘serial bomber’ on their hands.
“We are clearly dealing with a serial bomber,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters on March 18, “We will have to determine if we see a specific ideology behind this.”
In a style similar to the infamous Unabomber, the first attacks were bombs hidden in boxes and placed on their victims’ front porches; two died and three more were injured. Up until the bombing on March 18, all of the victims were people of color leading many to believe the attacks may have a racial motive.
“What we know for certain is: We have three victims that are victims of color, and we have three package bombs that have exploded on the east side of Austin,” Manley said (the east of Austin is home to a large component of minority population).
Photo by Washington Post
The bombing on Sunday night is slightly different than the rest: the victims were white, the attack took place in western Austin (a predominately white area), and the bomb was more sophisticated than the others. This could be due to a copycat bomber, or the bomber is mixing up his pattern to throw off the police.
Regardless, the city of Austin is showing signs of panic in all areas.
“The community impacted is now under virtual house arrest and the entire city is posed to be in a state of fear — which can easily transition into panic,” read the statement from many prominent members of the community including Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond. “This has become a national security issue and the full investigative force of the federal government must be focused on stopping these attacks.”
The police are offering an award of $100,000 for any information and Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has also offered another $15,000.