Suspect in Salman Rushdie attack charged with attempted murder – as footage shows aftermath of stabbing

US

The suspect in the stabbing attack on Sir Salman Rushdie has been charged with attempted murder – as new footage shows the immediate aftermath of the assault.

The video shows the chaotic minutes after the attack in Chautauqua, New York state, on Friday that left the 75-year-old author severely wounded.

The alleged attacker, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, is restrained and pinned to the ground as people rush to help Sir Salman.

The writer remains on a ventilator and may lose an eye, his agent, Andrew Wylie, has said.

He also suffered severed nerves in an arm and damage to his liver.

A person was pictured being detained outside the Chautauqua Institution. Photo: AP
Image:
Hadi Matar is detained outside the Chautauqua Institution. Photo: AP

Read more:
Who is Hadi Matar? What we know so far
World reacts as Satanic Verses author is stabbed in New York state

Moderator Henry Reese suffered a minor head injury after also being attacked, officers said.

The motive for the assault is not yet known, but police believe the suspect was acting alone.

“The individual responsible for the attack, Hadi Matar, has now been formally charged with attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree,” Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt said.

Both state and federal authorities are looking at whether any additional charges should be added, Mr Schmidt said.

According to NBC News, which cited a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation, a preliminary review of Matar’s social media showed he had sympathies for Shia extremism and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Police block the area around the home of Hadi Matar in Fairview, New Jersey on Friday. Pic: AP
Image:
Police blocked the area around the home of Hadi Matar in Fairview, New Jersey, on Friday. Pic: AP

FBI officials went to his last listed address, in Fairview, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan on Friday evening, NBC New York said.

Sir Salman was being introduced to the audience before giving a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in New York state when a man stormed the stage and stabbed or punched him 10 to 15 times, according to witnesses.

The author was taken to hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, by helicopter.

He was forced into hiding for years and received death threats after the publication of his book The Satanic Verses in 1988.

He was going to give a talk on freedom of expression and the United States as a safe haven for writers.

Sir Salman lives in New York City and became a US citizen in 2016.

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