Intelligence Experts Unsettled About 'Level Of Sophistication' In Austin Bombings

Mar 19, 2018

Updated 3:20 p.m.

An intelligence expert said the level of sophistication involved in the latest Austin bombing — that is,  the suspect's ability to have each bomb detonate as intended — is what’s most alarming.  


Ben West, security analyst with the Austin-based private intelligence consulting firm Stratfor, said, based on the latest law enforcement findings, the latest bombing seems like a homegrown crime.

“I think it pushes the needle more towards this being a case of domestic terrorism. The fact that it was not very discriminatory — it was targeting a more general population — that to me really narrows the likelihood that this was criminally motivated,” West said.

West said he believes whoever is responsible is comfortable working around explosives.

“If the bomber is really careful and knows what he’s doing, which is apparent, you might not get that many helpful leads,” West said.

And that means, West said, the best leads may come from people in the Austin community.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced $265,500 in emergency funding for the Austin Police Department and the Texas Ranger Bomb Response Team to purchase seven portable x-ray systems used to respond to bomb detonations and the investigation of suspicious packages.

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter @RyanPoppe1

NOTE: This story has been updated with statement from Gov. Greg Abbott