Rushdie’s assailant charged with attempted murder

by Kanishka Singh

Aug 13 (Reuters) – Hadi Matar, the suspect who stabbed writer Salman Rushdie at a conference in New York state, has been charged with assault and attempted murder and is being held in custody, said the Chautauqua County District Attorney on Saturday.

Indian-born author Salman Rushdie, the target of a “fatwa” from Iran in 1989 after the publication of his novel “The Satanic Verses”, was stabbed in the neck and chest during a conference on Friday. After several hours of surgery, Rushdie was put on life support and was unable to speak on Friday evening.

In a statement, County Attorney Jason Schmidt said law enforcement is working to gather information about the preparation for the attack to determine if any other charges should be brought.

Police said on Friday they had not established the motive for the attack on Salman Rushdie, 75, who was due to attend a conference on artistic freedom when the assailant rushed to the stage and ran jet on the novelist. Salman Rushdie’s head has been on the table since 1989.


Police identified the suspect as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, who purchased a ticket to the event at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York. .

Reuters could not immediately establish whether Hadi Matar had a lawyer.

A preliminary review of Hadi Matar’s social media accounts by law enforcement showed he was a sympathizer of Shia extremism and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), although no connection. definitive has been found, according to NBC New York.

Hadi Matar was born in California and recently moved to New Jersey, according to an NBC New York article, which adds that he was in possession of a fake driver’s license.

On Friday night, FBI agents visited his last known address, Fairview, a neighborhood in Bergen County just across from Manhattan across the Hudson, NBC New York reports.

The New York police declined to comment on this information. New Jersey police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Iranian government has not officially responded to the attack on Salman Rushdie, but several hard-line Iranian newspapers have praised his assailant.

Ali Tehfe, mayor of Yaroun in southern Lebanon, said the suspect was the son of a man from the town. The suspect’s parents migrated to the United States and he was born and raised there, the mayor added.

Asked whether the suspect or his parents were affiliated with or supported the Iran-backed Hezbollah group in Lebanon, Ali Tehfe said he had “no information” about their political views.

A Hezbollah official told Reuters on Saturday that the Iranian-backed Lebanese armed group had no further information on the attack on Salman Rushdie.

The stabbing has been condemned by writers and politicians around the world as an attack on freedom of expression. (Report Kanishka Singh Washington; with the contribution of Timour Azhari Beirout; French version Jean-Michel Blot)

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