As the investigation grinds on into the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville, a strange question has arisen among those whose homes and businesses were impacted by the blast. Was this or was this not a terrorist attack? It’s more than a question of terminology for many business owners. If the FBI designates the bombing as an act of terrorism, even domestic terrorism, it could impact how insurance settlements are paid out. But thus far, the Bureau hasn’t declared an official label because the motivations of Anthony Warner remain largely inscrutable. (Los Angeles Times)

The FBI investigation into whether the Nashville bombing on Christmas Day was a terrorist act has sparked criticism about a possible racial double standard and drawn questions from downtown business owners whose insurance coverage could be affected by the bureau’s assessment.

More than a week after an explosion that struck at the heart of a major American city, the FBI has resisted labeling it an act of terrorism, an indication that evidence gathered so far does not conclusively establish that the bomber was motivated by political ideology — a key factor in any formal declaration of terrorism. The bureau is still examining evidence and has not announced any conclusions, but investigators are known to be reviewing whether Anthony Warner believed in conspiracy theories involving aliens and 5G cellphone technology.

Warner died in the Dec. 25 explosion of a recreational vehicle that wounded three other people.

We’ve been batting this question around since the day of the blast. What drove Anthony Warner to blow himself up (along with most of a city block) in such a spectacular fashion? The reason it matters is that if he engaged in mass violence with the intent of influencing government policy or political discourse, it’s a terror attack. If not, then it was just a really spectacular suicide.

So far, the closest the FBI has come to establishing some sort of motive is the suggestion that Warner believed in conspiracy theories about aliens invading our planet and/or held paranoid beliefs about the new 5G networks either being damaging to people’s health or a secret government plan to track/control the population. But as we’ve previously noted here, Warner went out of his way to make sure nobody else was killed in the blast. Also, he’d have had to be pretty dumb to think that he could wipe out the entire 5G network with one bomb. (Though he did knock out AT&T’s network for quite a while.)

If either of those theories is true, would those motivations qualify to meet the definition of a terrorist attack? If someone is creating mayhem in an effort to get the government to change its Middle East policy or something, it’s a pretty easy call. But… aliens? The 5G network? It just seems like a bit of a stretch to claim that Warner wanted the Pentagon to take its UFO investigations more seriously.

After I last wrote about the motive question, Lt. Tim McMillan published a lengthy analysis at The Debrief that examines the possibilities. McMillan is a career law enforcement investigator who has had to handle previous bombing attacks, so he has the background to speak to this issue. His conclusion was that this was a straight case of suicide. But Warner was someone who felt ignored by the world and very isolated, so he wanted to go out in such a way that people would remember his name after he was gone.

From the sound of the few statements made by the FBI thus far, it sounds like they may be leaning in the same direction. One FBI spokesman said they were trying to determine if the blast was an example of “the use of force or violence in the furtherance of a political or social ideology or event.” He went on to say that they haven’t made that connection yet. The “yet” implies that it’s still on the table, but it sounds kind of sketchy if you ask me.