Here’s the latest on Mohammad Taheri-azar, the lone jihadist at UNC-Chapel Hill who rammed an SUV into a crowd of students on Friday to “avenge the death of Muslims around the world,” according to police reports. Students are planning a protest tomorrow against the school’s reluctance to label the incident what it is– an act of terrorism.
Protests are planned for Monday in the same area of campus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where, authorities said, a former student plowed a sport utility vehicle into nine people Friday afternoon.
The College Republicans, Americans for an Informed Democracy and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies are sponsoring the event, scheduled for 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Monday in “The Pit,” a central area of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. The event is open to the public and free of charge.
Police said Mohammad Taheri-azar, a 2005 UNC-Chapel Hill graduate, admits he acted to “avenge the death of Muslims around the world.” UNC police and local authorities, however, say they have not taken a stance on that interpretation, but are simply repeating what the suspect has told them.
UNC-Chapel Hill student leaders said that Monday’s protest is aimed at the reluctance of the university to label Friday’s incident as an act of terrorism.
“This is innocent people being attacked by an SUV, driven by a man who was doing it for retaliation for treatment of Muslims around the world,” said Jillian Bandes, with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. “To me, that spells terrorism.”
Taheri-azar, who is currently in Raleigh’s Central Prison under a $5.5 million bond, is charged with nine counts of attempted first-degree murder and nine counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill.
Because of what Taheri-azar admitted to local authorities, the FBI is also participating in the investigation. FBI spokesman Ken Lucas said Sunday, however, that a federal investigation is still ongoing.
More details about Taheri-azar from the Daily Tar Heel:
A University graduate with at least one prior arrest, who careened a rented silver Jeep Grand Cherokee through the Pit about noon Friday, is being held on 18 felony counts under a $5.5 million bond in the Central Prison in Raleigh.
Campus police Chief Derek Poarch confirmed that Mohammed Reza Taheriazar, 22, a 2005 graduate, has been transported to Raleigh on nine counts of attempted first-degree murder and nine counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill. His first court date will be Monday in the District Criminal Court in Hillsborough.
Taheri-azar, who formerly lived at 3125 English Sparrow Lane in Charlotte, was taken from the Department of Public Safety to Central Prison last night. Poarch said Taheri-azar is Iranian but he has no information on his citizenship status. The police report lists him as a non-resident.