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Who is the suspect in Salman Rushdie attack? What we know so far

Sir Salman Rushdie’s attacker was charged with attempted second-degree murder.

New York police identified Hadi Matar (24 years old) after Friday’s attack.

The motive behind the stabbing which left the author seriously injured, has not been established by police.

He is still on a ventilator at the hospital.

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These are the facts we have so far about the suspect:


Born in the USA

Matar, a Fairview resident, New Jersey, had purchased a pass for the Chautauqua Institution event.

Salman Rushdie: More

Kathleen Jones, a spectator, said that the attacker was wearing black clothes and a mask.

Matar was born to Lebanese parents in the United States. They emigrated from Yaroun in southern Lebanon. Mayor Ali Tehfe said that Matar was born in the United States.

It is believed that he was born around a decade after publication of The Satanic Verses in 1988, which drew death threats from Sir Salman.

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Author Salman Rushdie attacked

According to NBC, he was originally from California but moved to New Jersey recently.

Sources claimed that Matar also carried a fake New Jersey driver’s license.

The FBI and police have surrounded Matar’s house.

Continue reading:

An attack on the most important symbol of freedom speech

The World reacts when Satanic Verses author is stabbed to death in New York state

Image: On Friday, New Jersey police blocked the area surrounding Hadi Matar’s home. Pic by AP


‘Extremist sympathies’ probed

According to Maj Eugene J Staniszewski, New York State Police, Matar may have had a criminal history.

Maj Staniszewski stated that a backpack believed to be belonging to the suspect was made safe by sheriff’s Bomb Squad members. State troopers requested a search warrant in order to examine it.

According to NBC News (which cited a law enforcement officer with direct knowledge of this investigation), a preliminary analysis of Matar’s social media revealed that he sympathized for Shia extremism as well as Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The US has labeled the IRGC a terrorist organization.

The authorities are investigating the alleged sympathies. According to NBC, however, authorities have not established any links between Matar, the IRGC and Matar.

Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Lebanese arm group, has stated that it did not have any information about the stabbing and will not comment.

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Rushdie was airlifted to safety after being stabbed.


Mobile phone checked

Matar has included images of Qassem Solimani, commander of the IRGC who was killed in a drone strike by the US in January 2020.

According to reports, the phone also contains an image of an Iraqi extremist who is sympathetic to Iran’s regime.

Nathaniel Barone Matar’s lawyer said that he was still collecting information and declined comment.

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