Home / News / World /  Who is Salman Rushdie attacker Hadi Matar? What we know so far
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Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old New Jersey native, has been confirmed as Salman Rushdie's assailant. According to a statement from the New York Police, charges against the attacker have not yet been filed since Rushdie's condition will determine if they are. The alleged assailant has been arrested. Hadi Matar attacked Salman Rushdie shortly after he took the podium to give his address, striking him at least twice—once in the neck and once in the belly, according to the police. What is known about Hadi Matar, 24, and the assault on Salman Rushdie is listed below.

The Attack

Hadi Matar was able to enter the lecture with a pass. Just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, in Fairview, was his last known place of residence. According to police, Matar's attack's motivation is still unknown. He is also thought to have operated alone. 

Also Read: The Satanic Verses’ writer may lose an eye

The FBI is assisting with the investigation, which is still in its very early stages, according to the New York State Police. At the location, police discovered a backpack and some electronic equipment. The event's moderator, Henry Reese, was also attacked and had a minor head injury. Reese and Rushdie were scheduled to talk about the US as a haven for exiled artists.

What People Saw

An eyewitness confirmed to NBC News that Hadi Matar was wearing a black mask and all-black clothing. Eyewitnesses claimed that at first, because Salman Rushdie is a controversial character, they believed the attacker's climb onto the platform to be a ruse. However, after a few seconds, it became obvious. 

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About 20 seconds passed before the attack ended. Salman Rushdie was reportedly struck or stabbed 10 to 15 times on stage, according to an AP reporter who attended the event.

The Iran Connection

According to some stories, Hadi Matar supported the Iranian government, which had demanded Rushdie's execution. He reportedly posted a picture of Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamenei on his Facebook page. Khomeini was the Iranian president who, in 1989, after the publication of The Satanic Verses, issued a fatwa against Salman Rushdie.

Also Read: 'I don't want to hide', says Salman Rushdie, 30 years after fatwa

The Extremism Connection

According to an analysis of Matar's social media, he supports Shia extremism and the goals of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). Despite the fact that Matar and the IRGC have no direct connections, investigators apparently discovered pictures of the murdered 2020 Iranian commander Qassem Solemani in Matar's cell phone messaging app.

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