New York State Police have identified the man accused of stabbing author Salman Rushdie in Chautauqua (New York) on Friday.
According to a spokesperson from the New York State Police, Hadi Matar (24 years old) allegedly “jumped on the stage” and stabbed Rushdie at least once in the neck.
According to a spokesperson, Rushdie is currently undergoing surgery at a local hospital.
Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed before giving a speech at Chautauqua Institution Friday. The attack also left the moderator of that event with serious injuries.
“Rushdie sustained an apparent neck stab wound and was flown by helicopter to an area medical center,” New York State Police stated in a statement after the attack. His condition is unknown. The interviewer sustained a minor head injury. The suspect was immediately taken into custody by a State Trooper who was assigned to the incident. The scene was assisted by the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul stated during a press conference, that Rushdie was saved by the state trooper.
From June to September, the Chautauqua Institution hosts major artists and celebrities in the fields of visual arts and theater.
It is a private institution located near Buffalo with entry fees that range from $200 to $2,600
Rushdie was threatened with a fatwa by Iran in 1989 over a book he wrote called “The Satanic Verses”, which was banned in Iran and considered blasphemous to some Muslims.
Iran also offered more than $3 million as a reward to Rushdie’s murderer.
Iran’s government has since distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree. But, anti-Rushdie sentiments linger. A semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised $2.8 million to $3.3million for Rushdie in 2012.