Salman Rushdie attack suspect ‘surprised’ survives

The American man accused of stabbing Salman Rushdie said in an interview on Wednesday that he was “surprised” that the perpetrator of the crime satanic verses survived the attack, which took place at a conference in upstate New York on Friday.

• Also read: Rushdie’s attacker returned from trip to Lebanon ‘changed’, mother says

• Also read: Iran “categorically” denies any connection to Salman Rushdie’s attacker

• Also read: Salman Rushdie “on the mend,” says his agent

“When I heard he survived, I was surprised,” said Hadi Matar New York Post, suggesting 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 if he was inspired by the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran in 1989, calling for the author’s death satanic verses, considered blasphemous.

“I appreciate 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 speak out on the subject.

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

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

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

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

He claimed that he had no contact with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and that he learned via Twitter of Mr Rushdie’s presence at a conference at a cultural center in Chautauqua, New York.

Originally from upstate New Jersey, he told American media he took a bus to the city of Buffalo, then a Lyft — competitors of Uber and taxis — to get to Chautauqua.

“I wasn’t doing anything special, just walking around,” he said, “I was just outside the whole time.”

As Salman Rushdie took the stage at an amphitheater, a man rushed onto the stage before stabbing him multiple times, including in the neck and abdomen.

Hadi Matar has returned “changed” and more religious from a 2018 trip to Lebanon, his family’s country of origin, his mother told the website on Monday. Daily Mail.

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