Salman Rushdie attack suspect 'surprised' perpetrator survived

Suspect of attack on Salman Rushdie “surprised” survived


The American accused of stabbing Salman Rushdie said in an interview on Wednesday that he was “surprised” that the author of “Satanic Verses” survived the attack, perpetrated on Friday during a conference in New York State. 

“When I heard he survived, I was surprised,” Hadi Matar told the New York Post, reporting having contacted him in prison. 

The suspect, arrested immediately after the attack, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder on Saturday, and is due to appear in court again on Friday.

Mr Matar, 24, did not say whether he was inspired by the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 from Iran, calling for the death of the author of the “Satanic Verses”, deemed blasphemous . 

“I have esteem for the Ayatollah. I think he's a remarkable person. That's all I would say about it, “he assured the New York tabloid, which writes that Mr. Matar's lawyers advised him not to talk about this subject.

Hadi Matar told the newspaper that he had read “a few pages” of Salman Rushdie's novel.

The 75-year-old British author, stabbed a dozen times and evacuated by helicopter to a hospital, was briefly placed on a ventilator before his condition improved. “The road to recovery has begun,” his agent said on Sunday.

“Hypocritical” Rushdie

“I don’t like this person. I don't think he's a good man, ”the suspect told the New York Post about the intellectual. “I don't like him, I really don't like him. »

“He is someone who attacked Islam,” he added. Watching videos of the author on YouTube, he found him “hypocritical”, he continued. 

He assured not to be in contact with the Revolutionary Guards Iranians and learning about Mr. Rushdie's attendance at a cultural center conference in Chautauqua, upstate New York, via Twitter.

A native of New Jersey, he told the American media that he took the bus to the city of Buffalo, then a Lyft – a competitor of Uber and taxis – to get to Chautauqua.

“I was not doing nothing in particular, just walking around,” he detailed, “just outside the whole time.”

As Salman Rushdie took to the stage in an amphitheater, a man s rushed to the stage before stabbing him several times, notably in the neck and abdomen.

Hadi Matar had returned “changed” and more religious from a 2018 trip to Lebanon, a country of origin of his family, his mother said on Monday to the site i Daily Mail website.