Jeep Jihadi family can't "understand reason for attack" DA says "he wanted to send a message" and "knew exactly what he was doing"
Family of Mohammed Tahier Azar shows no concern for injured students -tries to portray attack as misunderstanding
Taheri-azar, Family At Odds Over UNC Hit-And-Run
UPDATED: 9:15 pm EST March 16, 2006
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. -- The family of the man charged with driving into a crowd of University of North Carolina students two weeks ago said they don't understand the reason for the attack.Mohammed Taheri-azar, 22, is charged with nine counts each of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a March 3 incident in which an SUV was driven through a group of students at "The Pit," a gathering place on the UNC campus. Nine students suffered minor injuries. Taheri-azar has told authorities and the media that he wanted to kill students to punish the U.S. government for its actions against Muslims around the world. This week, he said the Quran supports his actions, although local Muslim groups have denounced him and the hit-and-run. Following a brief court hearing Thursday, he spoke for the first time about how his actions have affected his family. "I don't think they like what I did," he said as officers whisked him into a car to return to Central Prison, in Raleigh, where he is being held until trial for security reasons. His family, which lives in suburban Charlotte, hasn't had much to say publicly about the attack. His sister would only to speak to a reporter through the front door. "I want to defend him, and I know this is not him," Lida Taheri-azar said. "This is uncharacteristic of him." Although Mohammed Taheri-azar has said he wants to represent himself, attorney James Williams has been appointed to work with him on the case. "I have been in contact with his family. I will continue to be in contact with his family, and they are obviously concerned about him and this situation," Williams said. District Attorney Jim Woodall said Taheri-azar is extremely savvy in handling the case. "He strikes me as someone who knew exactly what he was doing, who wanted to send a message," Woodall said. "Obviously, he's been successful in sending that message, as evidenced by everyone here." Previous Stories: