The recent bombings in Austin, Texas have brought up comparisons to the work of the infamous Unabomber. We’ll look at the similarities and the differences between the two terrorists.
The Austin bomber has only been at work for a month, but they have already begun to strike fear into the hearts of citizens in Austin, Texas, with comparisons made to Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. But is there really any reason to compare the two?
Similarities between the Bombers
The Austin bomber brought up memories of the Unabomber and his horrible work. To date, there are no public suspects in the Austin bombings, nor is there a real accurate public profile of the person, or persons, committing the bombings. Despite this, there are a number of similarities that can be pointed to.
From 1978 to 1996, Kaczynski was a boogeyman of sorts. He was an unknown figure that could strike at any time, and was very good at what he did. Until 1996, the FBI didn’t have much in the way of suspects.
Much like Kaczynski, the Austin bomber is using fairly sophisticated explosive devices. Also like Kaczynski, the Austin bomber appears to be on a mission of some sort. The serial bomber will more than likely not stop until they are brought to justice.
Despite the surface similarities, currently, there are more differences between the two bombers. The timing of the bombings, for example.
Ted Kaczynski was very specific with his targets and waited. The most attacks he had in a single year were four bombings in 1985. During his career as a terrorist, Kaczynski attacked targets once or twice a year. There was almost an entire year between his first bombing and his second.
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The Austin bomber, however, is going full throttle right off the bat. Assuming their current attacks are their first, they struck multiple times within a month. Currently, there are four explosive attacks that are thought to be the work of the same person or people. There is also a possible fifth that occurred on Tuesday (March 20) morning at a FedEx building.
The motives behind the Austin bombings are also somewhat unclear. Kaczynski’s motives were based on his anti-technology views; he bombed airlines, computer stores, and universities. The motives of the Austin bomber are unknown. Their victims appear to be random with no real connection to one another. Though initially suspected to be hate crimes, the racial profile of these victims also appears to be random.
The Austin bomber’s attack involving a trip wire activated bomb is a prime example of the differences between the Austin bomber and the Unabomber. It was a device that was much different than what Kaczynski made. It was also not specifically targeted, anyone walking or riding down that road, from a child to an adult, could have set it off.
Are There Any Connections?
Given the mark of terror that Kaczynski left in his wake, one might wonder if there are any connections between the Unabomber and the Austin bomber. While it certainly isn’t Kaczynski, as he has been locked up since 1996, could he have an apprentice?
Unlikely. While we don’t know for sure if the Austin bomber is one person or a group of people, we do know that Kaczynski worked alone. It is unlikely that he would help someone on the outside, especially someone not working with the same goals that he had.
It’s also very unlikely that Kaczynski would be able to direct anyone in the outside world on these bombings as prison mail, especially for prisoners like Ted Kaczynski, is very scrutinized.