Salman Rushdie attacker named Hadi Matar, 42, writer in surgery after being stabbed at least 15 times from behind
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Salman Rushdie’s attacker has been named Hadi Matar, 42, as the perpetrator is still in surgery after being stabbed at least 15 times from behind.
According to ABC News, Matar, from New Jersey, is currently being held by New York State Police.
Controversial writer Rushdie, 75, was airlifted to hospital after sustaining multiple stab wounds, including one to his neck, as he prepared to give a talk in New York on Friday. (12.08.22)
His agent, Andrew Wylie, confirmed Friday evening that the author of “The Satanic Verses” is currently undergoing surgery for his injuries, but did not have an update on his condition.
Rushdie was attacked while performing on stage for the 2022 CHQ event in Chautauqua, near Buffalo, on Friday morning.
Witnesses claim he was stabbed 10 to more than 15 times when a man jumped on him after he rushed to the scene.
They say the knife managed to leave the scene after the stabbing, before being held back as people rushed to help Rushdie, who was seated when he was attacked.
Blood was seen splattered on the wall behind which Rushdie had been attacked.
A male suspect is being held by New York State Troopers after being arrested almost immediately after the bloodshed.
An interviewer speaking to Rushdie also suffered a minor head injury.
Governor Kathy Hochul called the attack “heartbreaking”, but told a press conference that Rushdie was still alive and “getting the treatment he needed at a local hospital”.
She also said a state trooper “got up and saved her life” after the attack.
Rita Landman was one of those who offered to help after the incident, adding that Rushdie appeared to be alive and had not received CPR.
Landman said: “People were like, ‘He’s got a pulse, he’s got a pulse, he’s got a pulse’.”
Roger Warner of Cleveland, Ohio, who was sitting in the front row when the attack took place, added: “He was covered in blood and there was blood running down the floor.
“I just saw blood all around his eyes and running down his cheek.”
Rushdie’s London-based son Zafar, 42, is believed to be aware of the horror, but it’s unclear if he’s on his way to New York.
Thousands of people in the audience gasped at the sight of the attack and were later evacuated as his alleged attacker was arrested.
John Bulette, 85, who also witnessed the attack, said: “There was a huge breach of security. That someone could get that close without any intervention was scary.
Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses” has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it blasphemous.
A year later, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death, with a bounty of more than $3m (£2.5m) offered to anyone who kills Rushdie.
The Iranian government long distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment persisted.
In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation increased the bounty for Rushdie from £2.3 million ($2.8 million) to $3.3 million ($2.7 million).
Rushdie dismissed the threat at the time, saying there was “no evidence” people were interested in the award.
That year, Rushdie published his “Joseph Anton” memoir on the fatwa.
Rushdie continued to receive death threats and was forced to live in hiding under constant armed guard for nine years to ensure his safety.
Born into a liberal Muslim family with two children, Rushdie is married to a third wife, 51-year-old writer and model Padma Lakshami.
He became an atheist before being knighted for services to literature in 2007.
This article was originally published on famoustainment.com.
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