AUSTIN, Texas – The fourth explosion in two weeks appears to be the work of a serial bomber, according to Austin Police Chief Brian Manley. But is the bomber a member of a Communist militia with ties to Antifa?
Authorities and FBI officials investigating four related bombings in Austin, that have resulted in two deaths and four others being injured, have stated the explosive devices are becoming increasingly sophisticated in design.
The latest bombing occurred at 8:30pm on Sunday, when two bicyclists suffered minor injuries after setting off a tripwire, detonating the device and sending shrapnel into nearby cars and structures. The previous three devices had been package bombs, concealed in boxes, and left at people’s front doors.
The FBI has since sent 350 special agents to the Texas capital, as well as over a dozen bomb squad technicians.
“With this tripwire, this changes things,” stated Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio division. “It’s more sophisticated, it’s not targeted to individuals … a child could be walking down a sidewalk and hit something.”
The bombings earlier this month, resulting in the deaths of Austin residents Stephen House and Draylen Mason, both members of the same church, and critical injuries to Mason’s mother and Esperanza Herrera, had been initially investigated by authorities as a hate crime, due to the deceased victims’ both being black. However, the most recent victims were both white, and the bomber seems to be targeting random civilians at this point.
Authorities have no suspects or leads so far, and Chief Manley held a news conference Sunday begging the bomber to stop the violence. In his public statements, Manley said that he hoped the bomber was watching and would “reach out to us before anyone else is injured or killed.” He repeated that plea later Monday morning in a separate announcement. Manley’s request for dialogue with the bomber came as local and federal authorities increased the reward for information leading to the bomber’s arrest to $100,000, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott offering an additional $15,000.
Meanwhile, the Red Guards Austin and Revolutionary Student Front Austin, two armed Communist militant groups operating out of the Austin area, have been banned from Twitter for making public threats to Austin police, and conducting combat training exercises on University of Texas at Austin’s campus grounds. No arrests have been made in connection to the threats of violence, and school officials have not taken any disciplinary measures against the students involved.
What is even more concerning, is that Revolutionary Student Front recently published an online document outlining and acknowledging the group’s recruiting, training and arming of students with mental health issues. In the document, the author also states that RSF’s own leadership suffer from mental illnesses, and goes on to openly call for violent, armed revolution against the U.S. Government.
These are the same militants who have marched through Austin, armed with AK-47s, wearing ski masks and carrying signs reading, “Make Racists Afraid Again.” It’s also important to note that both RSF and Red Guards Austin not only advocate the use of violence, but they have been training their members in the use of firearms, hand-to-hand combat and asymmetric (guerrilla) warfare tactics.
Austin authorities and FBI officials have made no mention of either group as a potential suspect, and no official investigation is pending.