As new footage shows, the attacker in the stabbing attack against Sir Salman Rushdie has pleaded guilty to attempted murder.
During an arraignment hearing, a lawyer entered a plea for Hadi Matar (24).
Matar was dressed in a black and-white jumpsuit with a white mask on his face, and had his hands held in front of him.
The chaotic moments following Friday’s attack in Chautauqua (New York State), left the author, 75, severely injured.
As Sir Salman rushes to aid him, the suspect is restrained and pinned down.
Andrew Wylie, his agent, said that the writer is still on a ventilator. He may lose an eye.
He also sustained severed nerves in his arm and liver damage.
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Officers said that Moderator Henry Reese sustained a minor head injury following being attacked.
Suspect was acting alone
Although the motive behind the attack is still unknown, police believe that the suspect was acting on his own.
“The attack was committed by Hadi Matar,” Chautauqua County District attorney Jason Schmidt stated.
He said that both federal and state authorities are looking into whether additional charges should be added.
According to NBC News which cited a law enforcement officer with direct knowledge of this investigation, a preliminary examination of Matar’s social networks revealed that he sympathized for Shia extremism as well as Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
According to NBC New York, FBI agents went to Fairview, which is just across the Hudson River, where he last lived, on Friday evening.
‘Relatively Normal’ Life
Sir Salman was forced to hide for many years, and he received death threats following the 1988 publication of The Satanic Verses. Some Muslims considered it to contain blasphemous passages.
A year later, Ayatollah Khameni, the Iranian leader, issued a fatwa (or religious edict) calling on Muslims not to kill him.
Two weeks prior to the attack, Sir Salman stated that his life had been in hiding for years and was under threat of death.
Stern interviewed him and said that he was an optimist when it comes to his life.
Witnesses say that Sir Salman was being introduced before he gave a lecture at Chautauqua Institution in New York. However, a man stormed onto the stage and punched or stabbed him between 10 and 15 times.
Helicopter transport was used to take the author to Erie, Pennsylvania.
He was to speak on freedom of expression, and the United States as a safe place for writers.
Sir Salman lives in New York City. He became a citizen of the United States in 2016.
“A thousand bravos”
This attack shocked and horrified fellow writers as well as world leaders who spoke of Sir Salman’s symbolism of freedom of speech.
Iran did not comment on the incident, but there were several hardline Iranian newspapers that praised it.
Kayhan newspaper stated that “A thousand bravos…to the brave and defiant person who attacked the apostate Salman Rushdie”
“The man who tore God’s neck must be kissed.”
The headline of another publication, Khorasan daily had the headline “Satan on his way to hell”.