In March 2006, Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar
, an Iranian-born American citizen, confessed to intentionally hitting people with a sport utility vehicle
on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
to "avenge the deaths of Muslims
worldwide" and to "punish" the United States government. While no one was killed in the attack, nine people were injured (none seriously).
Shortly after the attack, he turned himself in and was arrested. He pled guilty to nine counts of attempted first-degree murder, and in 2008 was sentenced to 33 years in prison.
In one letter, Taheri-azar wrote, "I was aiming to follow in the footsteps of one of my role models, Mohamed Atta
, one of the 9/11
hijackers, who obtained a doctorate degree."
On the afternoon of March 3, 2006, Taheri-azar drove a rented silver 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee
through a common courtyard area of campus known as the Pit, a highly trafficked area centered between the student bookstore, student center, dining hall, and libraries. It is a popular gathering spot, filled not only with students going to and from class but also with participants in various student organization-related activities. While not readily accessible to vehicular traffic beyond a narrow service road, the barricades that normally prevent cars from approaching the Pit were not in place on the day of the attack.
His top... Read More