Ted Kaczynski aka “Unabomber” was captured this day 17 years ago

On April 3rd 1996, the Federal Bureau of Investigation ended the 17 year reign of terror by Unabomber terrorist, Ted Kaczynski. Over a sixteen year period, Mr. Kaczynski developed and delivered sophisticated bombs that he mailed to various people in the country. His work killed three people and injured twenty three.

Ted Kaczynski was considered a child prodigy, entering Harvard University at age 16 where he completed his undergraduate degree. He went on to receive a PHD in mathematics and became an assistant professor at UC Berkeley at age 25. Two years later he abruptly resigned from his position and his life took a tragic turn. His obsession with the detrimental impact of technology on civilization coupled with the detioration of his mental state resulted in increasingly bizarre and later deadly behavior.

Mr. Kaczynski was not affiliated with any organized terror group. His methods and actions proved difficult to detect a pattern or prediction. In fact, hunting for him proved to be the FBI’s longest-running domestic terrorism investigation. His demand for ending his bombings was that his “Manifesto”, a document that railed against modern technological society, be published. Contrary to FBI policy not to agree to terrorist terms, the Manifesto was published in two prominent newspapers and proved to be the demise of the bomber. His brother, David Kaczynski, recognized the ramblings as similar to his troubled brother Ted and reported his suspicions to the authorities. This proved to be clue needed to identify the bomber and he was quickly arrested. Mr. Kaczynski ‘s represents a case study in ‘lone wolf’ terrorism and in domestic terrorism. More on the Unabomber can be read here:

Patterns of radicalization: Identifying the Markers and Warning Signs of Domestic Lone Wolf Terrorists in Our midst

FBI 100 the Unabomber

A Mind for Murder: The Education of the Unabomber and the Origins of Modern Terrorism by Alston Chase

Article formerly posted at https://www.hsdl.org/blog/newpost/view/s_4756