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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A kid on a joy ride or a terrorist?

(Hat Tip: The Officer's Club)
An Iranian-Americam college student rents an SUV for the specific purpose of trying to run down as many people as he can on the UNC campus. Is he a simple criminal, who committed a simple crime since no-one was killed? Was this a hate crime? Or, is this young man a terrorist?

I've been reading news articles about those very question, and the most interesting take on things came, once again, from inside the blogosphere. First, a plug. If you haven't already read the Officer's Club, and you have any interest in the military, strategy, military history, etc, this is the blog to read. I highly recommend it. Here's a post regarding Charlie Munn's take on this disturbing event:
On Terrorism
I want to give you all some definitions:

The calculated use of unlawful violence, or threat of unlawful violence used to inculcate fear and intended to coerce or intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.

The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a Government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
From 18 USC 2331

Terrorism: Premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.

International Terrorism: Terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country

So when we see a domestic attack like this, what are we supposed to think?

UNC Attack Suspect Wanted to Punish Gov't

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Mar 6, 2006 (AP)— A University of North Carolina graduate accused of running down nine people on campus told an emergency dispatcher he wanted to "punish the government of the United States for their actions around the world," according to a 911 recording released Monday.

Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, a 22-year-old native of Iran, called 911 to surrender Friday a few minutes after a sport utility vehicle sent students scurrying to escape. No one was seriously hurt.

Taheri-azar was later charged with nine counts of attempted murder and nine counts of assault, and his bail was set at $5.5 million.

University Police Chief Derek Poarch said Taheri-azar told investigators he intentionally hit people to "avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world."

At his first appearance Monday in Orange County court in Hillsborough, Taheri-azar told the judge he planned to represent himself and was "thankful for the opportunity to spread the will of Allah." He was assigned a public defender, but ignored the lawyer's advice to stop talking.

"In this case, they're gonna ultimately allow him to represent himself," District Attorney Jim Woodall said after the hearing. "It's clear to me that that's what he truly wants to do."
Taheri-azar spoke politely when he called emergency dispatchers.

"Yes, sir. I just hit several people with a vehicle," Taheri-azar said on the recording. "Right now, I'm standing, you can come arrest me."

Taheri-azar graduated from North Carolina in December after studying psychology and philosophy. Investigators believe he has spent most of his life in the United States, Poarch has said.

On campus, UNC students held what they called an "anti-terrorism" rally on Monday.
"We don't want terrorism here, and we're not gonna stand for that where we live and where we go to school," said Kris Wampler, a member of the College Republicans, which helped organize the rally.

This. is. a. terrorist. act.
Read the rest of On Terrorism


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