Breaking: Salman Rushdie attacked on stage, reportedly stabbed

(AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade, file)

No word yet on his condition but it looks like he’s down on the ground here, which isn’t great.

This happened in the United States, at an event in Chautauqua, New York. It comes two days after the DOJ announced an indictment in the case of Iran plotting to assassinate John Bolton. The attacker’s identity and motive are unknown at the moment but Rushdie famously had a bounty placed on his head decades ago by the fanatics who rule Iran, alleging heresy in his novel “The Satanic Verses.”

What happened to security? Stand by for updates.

Update: Chaos.

Update: The AP photo here shows someone elevating Rushdie’s legs while he’s lying on the ground, suggesting that they’re worried about him bleeding out and trying to keep the blood supply concentrated in his vital organs. Also not good. Details:

An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man storm the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and begin punching or stabbing Rushdie as he was being introduced. The author was taken or fell to the floor, and the man was restrained…

Iran’s government has long since distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment lingered. In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised the bounty for Rushdie from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.

Rushdie dismissed that threat at the time, saying there was “no evidence” of people being interested in the reward.

Update: There was a briefly a report circulating that Rushdie was able to leave on his own two feet but that seems to have been unduly optimistic.

Update: You can see blood spattered against the wall behind the set on stage in a photo here, which I assume got there from the attacker plunging the knife and then yanking it back repeatedly. It also suggests that the wounds here are more than superficial.

Update: “Mr. Rushdie had just come onstage and was seated in a chair as a staff member introduced him, when the assailant rushed the stage and assaulted the author,” the Times reports. Were there no metal detectors for the crowd at any event with Rushdie? He’s been a target of assassination attempts for more than 30 years.

Update: He did not leave under his own power.

This photo suggests he may have a head injury as well.

Update: He did have a pulse when he was wheeled out, says the Times:

Rita Landman, an endocrinologist who was in the audience, walked on stage to offer assistance after the talk. She said that Mr. Rushdie had multiple stab wounds, including one to the right side of his neck, and that there was a pool of blood under his body. But she said he appeared to be alive and was not receiving CPR.