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Hadi Matar Charged With Attempted Murder Of Salman Rushdie

The writer no longer needs a ventilator to breathe and can speak. According to some media, he would have received seven or eight stab wounds.

American Hadi Matar, 24, the son of Lebanese immigrants, has been formally charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of writer Salman Rushdie. The United States authorities maintain a strict silence about Matar, although his "trace" on social networks shows him as a Muslim extremist and sympathizer of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the elite military force of that country, much more ideologized. and aligned with Islamic fundamentalism than the Iranian Armed Forces.

Hadi Matar pleaded "not guilty" to "attempted murder" in a New York state court.

That is the information transmitted by the media of that country. The police authorities of the state of New York, in which the attack took place, have not established the possible motivation for the action and insist that the investigation is ongoing. The Islamic Republic of Iran offers a reward of three million dollars (2.9 million euros) for whoever kills Rushdie due to his novel 'The Satanic Verses', published 33 years ago, and that the then leader of that country, Ayatollah Ruholá Khomeini, described as "blasphemous".

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At the moment there is no official information establishing a link between the savage assault on Rushdie and Khomeini's death sentence, which is still fully in force and whose reward was raised to $600,000 (585,000 euros) six years ago. But Matar's sympathies for the Revolutionary Guards and for radical Shiism - which is the version of Islam dominant in Iran - point to a possible religious motivation.

The assassination attempt on Rushdie has come just one day after the United States Justice prosecuted a member of the Guardians of the Revolution for offering $300,000 (290,000 euros) for the murder of Donald Trump's former National Security Adviser, John Bolton, and the Secretary of State with the same president, Mike Pompeo. It also takes place at a time when the US and Iran continue to negotiate a nuclear agreement so that the latter country renounces the manufacture of atomic bombs for one or two decades in exchange for security guarantees from Washington.

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Despite these geopolitical coincidences, it does not seem that Matar, if he acted out of fanaticism, would be part of a plot. On the contrary, his profile seems more like that of a fanatic who radicalized himself, that is, as what is usually described as a 'lone wolf ', although comparing an extremist murderer with a wolf is insulting for the animal. He was born in California, and had recently lived in Bergen, a city located on the outskirts of New York, just across from the island of Manhattan. He has pleaded "not guilty" for a crime that could cost him up to 25 years in prison. Little else is known about him, leaving aside the fact that his driver's license was false.


The authorities also maintain a wall of silence about the state of Rushdie's health. There is no official information on the injuries suffered by the writer, nor on the consequences he suffered as a result of the attack or on the danger that he will die. However, Rushdie's agent, Andrew Wylie, has relayed to US media that the writer no longer needs a respirator and that he can speak.

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Wylie had explained on Friday that Rushdie's condition "is not good." The writer had received at least one stab wound to the liver, a vital organ, and another to the throat. Rushdie had severed nerves in one arm, and could lose sight in one eye. According to other information cited by the media, Matar would have stabbed the author of 'The Satanic Verses' seven or eight times.

The assassination attempt has triggered a wave of convictions worldwide. US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has called it "horrifying"; British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated that "for 33 years, Rushdie has embodied freedom and the fight against obscurantism"; and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was "appalled" by the attack. The director of the American chapter of the PEN Club - an organization for the defense of writers around the world - recalled on Friday that a few hours before the attack, Rushdie had written to her "to help with the accommodation of Ukrainian writers" who have fled the Russian invasion of that country.

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