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Salman Rushdie attack suspect Hadi Matar charged with attempted murder

Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, was arraigned late on Friday on charges of attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree. (AP)Premium
Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, was arraigned late on Friday on charges of attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree. (AP)

  • Salman Rushdie attack suspect Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, was arraigned late on Friday on charges of attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree

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The Chautauqua County District Attorney's office said on Saturday, Hadi Matar, the suspect in the attack on author Salman Rushdie at an event in New York state, has reportedly been charged with attempted murder and is being held without bond. The county's district attorney, Jason Schmidt, said in a statement, Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, was arraigned late on Friday on charges of attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree, according to Reuters report.

Schmidt said state and federal law enforcement agencies, including in New Jersey, were working to understand the planning and preparation which preceded the attack and determine whether additional charges should be filed, the report said.

Meanwhile, according to news agency PTI report, Chautauqua County Executive Paul Wendel in a statement said on behalf of all Chautauqua County residents, he extends his thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Rushdie. “The small tranquil community of the Chautauqua Institution has been shaken to its core by an act of violence, which has reverberated across Chautauqua County and Western New York. It is disappointing that we live in a society where we cannot listen to the differences of others, especially in a place like the Institution where thinkers and problem solvers from around the world come to share their stories," he said.

Meanwhile, Indian-born author Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after Iran urged Muslims to kill him over his novel "The Satanic Verses", was stabbed in the neck and torso on stage at a lecture on Friday, and after hours of surgery, Rushdie was on a ventilator and unable to speak on Friday evening, the report said.

Reuters could not immediately establish whether Matar, who bought a pass to the event at western New York's Chautauqua Institution, had legal representation. While a preliminary law enforcement review of Matar's social media accounts showed he was sympathetic to Shi'ite extremism and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), according to NBC New York. Matar was born in California and recently moved to New Jersey, the NBC New York report said, adding that he had a fake drivers license on him, the Reuters report said.

FBI officials went to his last listed address, in Fairview, a Bergen County borough just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, on Friday evening, NBC New York reported and New York and New Jersey police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the NBC New York report, the report said.

(With inputs from PTI, Reuters)

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