The suspect in the stabbing attack on Sir Salman Rushdie has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder – as new footage shows the immediate aftermath of the attack.

A lawyer argued on behalf of Hadi Matar, 24, at an arraignment hearing.

Matar appeared in court wearing a black and white jumpsuit and a white mask, his hands cuffed in front of him.

Video has emerged of the chaotic minutes after the attack in Chautauqua, New York, on Friday left the 75-year-old author critically injured.

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Witnesses rush to help perpetrator after attack

The suspect is restrained and pinned to the ground as people rush to help Sir Salman.

The writer remain on a ventilator and may lose an eyesaid his agent, Andrew Wylie.

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

Read more:
Who is Hadi Matar? What we know so far
World Reacts as Satanic Verses Author Stabbed in New York State

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

The suspect acted alone

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

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

State and federal authorities are considering whether additional fees should be added, he 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 with Shia extremism and the Guardian Corps. of the Islamic revolution in Iran.

On Friday night, FBI officials attended his last listed address, in Fairview, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan, NBC New York said.

On Friday, police block off the area around Hadi Matar's home in Fairview, New Jersey.  Photo: AP
On Friday, police blocked off the area around Hadi Matar’s home in Fairview, New Jersey. Photo: AP

A “relatively normal” life

Sir Salman was forced into hiding for years and received death threats after the publication in 1988 of his book The Satanic Verses, considered by some Muslims to contain blasphemous passages.

A fatwa, or religious edict, calling on Muslims to kill him was issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian leader, a year later.

Just two weeks before the attack, Sir Salman said that after years of hiding and death threats, his life was now “relatively normal”.

Speaking to German magazine Stern, he called himself an optimist, saying that when it comes to his own life: “I prefer to look ahead”.

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Rushdie in 2017: Threats ‘almost’ over

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

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

He was going to give a lecture on freedom of expression and the United States as a refuge for writers.

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

Please use Chrome browser for more accessible video player

Rushdie was airlifted after being stabbed.

“A Thousand Congratulations”

The attack shocked and horrified other writers and world leaders, who spoke of Sir Salman as a symbol of free speech.

In Iran, there was no official comment from the regime – but several hardline Iranian newspapers praised the attack.

“A thousand bravos (…) to the courageous and dedicated person who attacked the apostate and evil Salman Rushdie in New York,” the Kayhan newspaper said.

“The hand of the man who tore the neck of the enemy of God must be kissed.”

Another publication, the daily Khorasan, headlined: “Satan on his way to hell”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.