Unabomber Ted Kaczynski: Terrorism, Intrusion, and Death

Unabomber Ted Kaczynski: Terrorism, Intrusion, and Death

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Unabomber (Ted Kaczynski) died in a prison cell in 2023 after being found guilty in 1996. He had evaded capture for nearly two decades during his terrorist spree.

This lone terrorist was educated and had a deep resentment toward the utilization of technology concerning alienating people – and making people feel abject powerlessness at the hands of the authorities (state apparatus, power mechanisms at work, and others).

It is this angle – despite his killing and maiming spree that fascinated the general public during his evasion period spanning shy of two decades – and long after being locked up in prison. Accordingly, documentaries and books sought to fill in the missing jigsaw and sow together his ideas about modern society.

Naturally, friends and family members connected to people killed or maimed by the Unabomber will deem him as a terrorist and the “personification of evil.”

The New York Times reports, “Theodore J. Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber, who attacked academics, businessmen and random civilians with homemade bombs from 1978 to 1995, killing three people and injuring 23 with the stated goal of fomenting the collapse of the modern social order — a violent spree that ended after what was often described as the longest and most costly manhunt in American history — died on Saturday in a federal prison medical center in Butner, N.C. He was 81.”

His gripe with society wasn’t (according to his own words) “altruist or to be acting for the ‘good’ (whatever that is) of the human race…” It was personal and “merely from a desire for revenge.”

The Unambober said: “The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.” This entails a wider message.

One can only imagine how the Unabomber would deem modern technology and the endless intrusive nature of the state apparatus, working structures, the collection of data from the usage of technology (iPhones, computers, the usage of social media, and others), draconian Covid-19 restrictions, and so forth.

The Unabomber retreated to the wilderness of Montana without electricity, heating, and the usual amenities that people take for granted.

The BBC reports, “His first attacks targeted Northwestern University in Illinois. The two bombings occurred almost a year apart on 25 May 1978 and 9 May 1979, injuring two people… Then, in November 1979, an altitude-triggered bomb he had mailed went off aboard an American Airlines flight. Twelve people suffered from smoke inhalation.”

AP News reports, “Years before the Sept. 11 attacks and the anthrax mailing, the Unabomber’s deadly homemade bombs changed the way Americans mailed packages and boarded airplanes, even virtually shutting down air travel on the West Coast in July 1995.”

This highlighted the terrorist nature of the Unabomber and the danger he posed to society.

The FBI said he was “a twisted genius who aspires to be the perfect, anonymous killer.” 

Ted Kaczynski went from being an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley, at the age of 25 – to becoming the Unabomber terrorist who killed – and maimed – innocent people.

For surviving people of this terrorist – and family and friends connected to people killed – his death will re-open wounds that will never heal.

Ironically, the Unabomber and all terrorists enable the state apparatus to install new spying measures.

Accordingly, he was a cold-blooded killer who caged himself into a hut while free – and then held in prison behind bars. Therefore, he killed and maimed many – while enabling the state apparatus to tighten internal security measures and collect endless data.

His death in prison – irrespective of natural causes or suicide – will bring closure for many people connected to his reign of terror.

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