The suspect in the stabbing of Salman Rushdie has been identified as a 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey. Police also clarified that Rushdie was stabbed twice, once in the neck and once in the abdomen. Here’s a bit of the most recent press conference.
JUST IN: Author Salman Rushdie's alleged attacker has been identified as 24-year-old Hadi Matar, officials say. Rushdie was stabbed "at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen." https://t.co/TML9Ty3QS0 pic.twitter.com/3W3xcZtZUs
— ABC News (@ABC) August 12, 2022
Here’s a photo of Matar being arrested:
JUST IN: Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old New Jersey man with sympathies toward the Iranian government was arrested and accused of stabbing novelist Salman Rushdie on Friday, according to law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation. #Salman Rushdie pic.twitter.com/WOJmINCRFo
— BNN Newsroom (@BNNBreaking) August 12, 2022
Officially police are saying they don’t have a motive yet but the NY Post is reporting Matar had sympathies with Iran.
Law enforcement sources told The Post that an initial investigation suggests Matar has made social media posts in support of Iran and its Revolutionary Guard, and in support of Shi’a extremism more broadly.
New York State Police, however, said that Matar’s motive remained unclear.
“We don’t have any indication of a motive at this time,” Major Eugene J. Staniszewski told reporters. He added that police believe Matar acted alone.
Several people have posted screenshots from Matar’s Facebook account. Lots of Ayatollah pictures plus one of deceased general Qasem Soleimani.
Hadi Matar, Salman Rushdie's assailant, Facebook photos pic.twitter.com/vUnsqCgwK6
— ZiZi (@zizikhanoum) August 12, 2022
As for Rushdie, he was given first aid almost immediately and transported to a hospital by helicopter. It has been several hours and the most recent reports are that he is still in surgery.
Salman Rushdie was still undergoing surgery as of 5 p.m. on Friday after he was stabbed several hours earlier by an attacker who the authorities identified as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old New Jersey man…
Mr. Matar had a pass to get into the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution where Mr. Rushdie was to deliver a lecture, just as other guests did, according to the institution’s president, Michael Hill.
A Fox News affiliate is reporting that Matar was carrying a fake ID at the time of the stabbing. The photo certainly matches the image of Matar above. It’s not clear why he had a fake ID.
— Fox3 Now (@fox3news) August 12, 2022
Finally, Iran is behaving about as you would expect. State media is condemning…Salman Rushdie.
The Islamic Republic News Agency, which described Rushdie as having been “attacked by knife,” called him an “apostate author.”
It also described “The Satanic Verses” as a “blasphemous novel about Islam.”
Meanwhile, FARS News, another regime-owned outlet, also described him as an “apostate” and accused him of having “insulted the Prophet of Islam (PBUH)” with the book’s “anti-religious content.”
I’ll update this story if there’s any new information on Rushdie’s condition.