SALMAN Rushdie’s alleged attacker has been charged with attempted murder after the author was stabbed 15 times and could lose his eye.
Hadi Matar, 24, has been accused of attempted murder and assault as Rushdie remained hospitalized Saturday after suffering serious injuries in the horrific attack while on stage.
News 4 reporter Tara Lynch tweeted an update today: "Hadi Matar, 24, was charged with attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree.
"He was arraigned on these charges last night and remanded without bail. This is according to the Chautauqua Co. DA’s office."
The attack was met with shock and outrage from much of the world, along with tributes and praise for the award-winning author who for more than 30 years has faced death threats for his novel The Satanic Verses.
Rushdie, 75, was rushed to hospital after he was knifed multiple times in New York yesterday after enduring years of death threats over his book.
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He suffered a damaged liver, severed nerves in an arm and an eye, and was on a ventilator and unable to speak, his agent Andrew Wylie said on Friday evening. Rushdie was likely to lose the injured eye.
The Indian-born writer is on a ventilator and suffering from severed nerves and a damaged liver.
Police had identified the suspect as Matar, who was arrested after the attack at the Chautauqua Institution, a nonprofit education and retreat center where Rushdie was scheduled to speak.
Authorities said Matar is from Fairview, New Jersey. He was born in the US to Lebanese parents who emigrated from Yaroun, a border village in southern Lebanon, said the mayor of the village, Ali Tehfe.
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Investigators have been working to determine whether the assailant, born a decade after The Satanic Verses was published, acted alone.
A state trooper and a county sheriff's deputy were assigned to Rushdie's lecture, and state police said the trooper nabbed the man.
But after the attack, some longtime visitors to the center questioned why there wasn't tighter security for the event, given the bounty on his head offering more than $3 million to anyone who killed him.
As Rushdie remains desperately ill in hospital, Iran's dictatorship has celebrated the horror attack – branding him an "apostate" and "heretic" as they praised his attacker for "tearing neck of the enemy of God with a knife".
More than three decades ago, the regime called for Rushdie to be murdered – forcing him into hiding.
US law enforcement last night revealed an initial investigation suggested Matar is sympathetic to the Iranian regime and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, the New York Post reported.
Ultra-conservative Iranian newspaper Kayhan commended the stabbing as its chief Hossein Shariatmadari described Rushdie as "depraved".
He said: "Bravo to this courageous and duty-conscious man who attacked the apostate and depraved Salman Rushdie in New York.
"Let us kiss the hands of the one who tore the neck of the enemy of God with a knife."
FARS News, another regime-owned outlet, accused Rushdie of having "insulted the Prophet of Islam (PBUH)" with the book's "anti-religious content".
Rushdie was being introduced to give a talk to an audience of hundreds on artistic freedom when the man rushed to the stage and lunged at the novelist.
Horrified attendees rushed to his aid with pictures from the scene show Rushdie lying on the stage as a crowd surrounded him.
Blood could be seen splattered across a screen in the lecture theatre and a chair Rushdie was sitting on.
He was airlifted to hospital.
Rushdie, who was born into a Muslim Kashmiri family in Bombay, now Mumbai, before moving to the UK.
The Satanic Verses was banned in many countries with large Muslim populations upon its 1988 publication.
A few months later, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then Iran's supreme leader, pronounced a fatwa, or religious edict, calling upon Muslims to kill the novelist and anyone involved in the book's publication for blasphemy.
The suspect's attorney, public defender Nathaniel Barone, said he was still gathering information and declined to comment.
Matar's home was blocked off by authorities.
Witnesses said that Rushdie fell through a barrier to the floor and was seen with blood on his hands.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan described the incident as "appalling."
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