Hadi Matar, Who Stabbed Salman Rushdie Allegedly Had Sympathies For Shia Extremism: Report

Rushdie was treated by a doctor who was in the audience until rescue workers arrived and took the author to the hospital by helicopter. He was stabbed at least once in the neck and in the abdomen.

By Talibuddin Khan
Sat, 13 Aug 2022 10:09 AM IST
Minute Read
Hadi Matar, Who Stabbed Salman Rushdie Allegedly Had Sympathies For Shia Extremism: Report
Image Credits: Twitter

Author Salman Rushdie, who was stabbed at a literary event in New York state, is currently on a ventilator and unable to speak, according to his agent. In a statement late Friday night, Rushdie's agent Andrew Wylie said, "The news is not good... Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged". Rushdie was treated by a doctor who was in the audience until rescue workers arrived and took the author to the hospital by helicopter. He was stabbed at least once in the neck and in the abdomen.

The police has also arrested the attacker who was identified as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview in New Jersey. However, the police said that the motive behind the attack is unclear but some media reports stated that Hadi Matar might have sympathies for Iranis. Because of his 1988 work "The Satanic Verses", a fatwa was issued against Rushdie by then-Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini calling for the author's death. Whether Friday's attack was at all related to the decades-old fatwa was unclear.

All You Need To Know About Hadi Matar:

Born in 1998, 10 years after Rushdie's most controversial book "The Satanic Verses" was released in 1988. The attacker, as per a report by NBC News, was born in California but recently relocated to New Jersey. His last known residence was in Fairview in New Jersey, where FBI agents were seen entering after the attack. The NBC News report further quoted sources as saying that Matar also had a forged New Jersey driver’s licence on him.

Meanwhile, New York troop Commander Major Eugene J Staniszewski said that the motive behind the attack was unclear but the police are working with the FBI and local authorities to determine the motive. The NBC report, quoting a law enforcement source, stated that Matar's social media accounts revealed that he is sympathetic to Shia extremism and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps causes.

However, there are no definitive links to the IRGC, but the official believes his initial assessment indicates he is sympathetic to the Iranian government group. According to an eyewitness, the attacker was wearing all black clothes and was also wearing a black mask.

The attacker stormed the stage at the event attended by hundreds of people at around 11 am on Friday and stabbed the 75-year-old Indian-born novelist. Several event staff and spectators then rushed the suspect and brought him to the ground and a police officer arrested the 24-year-old accused. It was unclear what charges he would face in connection with the attack on the author.

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