Who is 24-year-old Hadi Matar, who stabbed Salman Rushdie?
The attacker of Indian-born British author Salman Rushdie has been identified as 24-year-old Hadi Matar, who is from New Jersey, as per the New York City Police. However, charges against him were yet to be invoked as they depend on Rushdie's condition, the police said in a statement. Matar has been taken into custody shortly after the attack on Rushdie. Here are more details.
Why does this story matter?
To recall, Rushdie sparked a major controversy with his fourth book, The Satanic Verses, released in 1988. The Indian-born author has also faced death threats, which forced him to go into hiding. Some Muslims were outraged by his novel's theme. They regarded it as blasphemous, which led to its ban in some countries. Anti-Rushdie riots in India and Iran also claimed several lives.
Matar showed support to Iran's extremist group: Police
Some reports said Matar sympathized with the Iranian regime, which had advocated for Rushdie's execution. His Facebook page allegedly featured a photograph of Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian leader who issued a fatwa against Rushdie in 1989 following the publication of his novel, The Satanic Verses. Matar had also posted on social media in support of Iran's extremist group Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
'Attacker had a pass to attend the event'
Officials said Matar had a pass to attend the event where Rushdie was due to speak. They said his last formal address was in Fairview, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. The motivation for the attack, however, remains unknown, said authorities. Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is assisting New York City Police with the investigation, which is in its early stages.
Police didn't specify the weapon used in the attack
As per reports, the police did not describe the weapon used in the attack. However, they are working to get the minute details of the case, which may also clear the motive. "We are working with the FBI to determine what the cause of this was and what the motive for this attack was," said Major Eugene Staniszewski of the New York State Police.
Pictures of the attacker shared on Twitter
'Dressed in black, attacker stabbed Rushdie multiple times'
The attacker was dressed in black and was wearing a black mask, as per the eyewitnesses. Some eyewitnesses said that they first thought that some stunt was going on however, after a few seconds, it became clear. The attack lasted for about 20 seconds, and Rushdie was punched or stabbed 10 to 15 times, as per an AP reporter who was at the event.