NAACP leader wants Austin bomber's confession released

ADDS THE YEAR 2010, WHEN THE PHOTO WAS CREATED - This 2010 student ID photo released by Austin Community College shows Mark Anthony Conditt, who attended classes there between 2010 and 2012, according to the school. Conditt, the suspect in the deadly bombings that terrorized Austin, blew himself up early Wednesday, March 21, 2018, as authorities closed in on him, bringing a grisly end to a three-week manhunt. (Austin Community College via AP)

The leader of Austin's chapter of the NAACP wants police to release bomber Mark Conditt's entire taped confession.

Chapter president Nelson Linder said there are too many unanswered questions and the community deserves to hear what's on that tape.

Linder is calling on the Austin Police Department to release the entire recording so he and the rest of the community can learn more about Conditt's background and his influences.

Until that happens, Linder said he isn't totally convinced that some kind of hatred fueled the attacks. "Let's not dismiss anything because clearly the folks who are dead are black," Linder said.

When Mark Conditt's first three victims were identified as minorities, many wondered if hate led the bomber to his targets. Wednesday after discovering a 25-minute recording described as a confession tape, Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said the attacks did not seem hate-based or terrorism related. "Instead it is the outcry of a very challenged young man talking about challenges in his personal life that lead him to this point," Manley said.

Linder isn't convinced. "I don't accept that and I think that could be better done and I think it will be fairly soon," Linder said.

He hopes the entire recording will be made public, but Manley said that won't happen while the investigation is ongoing. "How is it going to harm the investigation? The young man is dead," Linder said.

Linder pointed to connections between the first two victims Anthony House and Draylen Mason. "What is the probability of these people knowing each other if it was just random?" Linder said.

Linder added that no one should rule out a link between Conditt's targets until we learn everything there is to know about his background and influences. "I would be very careful not to close this book and keep an open mind even at this late date because we don't have nearly enough information," Linder said.

Linder said until the tape is made public, there is going to be a sense of fear out there. He said he has not made a formal request to release the tape to Chief Manley yet, but others have.

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