The man accused of stabbing author Salman Rushdie in New York on Friday (August 12) has been charged with attempted murder. Hadi Matar, 24, was arraigned on charges of second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault.
Rushdie remains hospitalized after being stabbed in the neck and torso as he took the stage for a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution near Buffalo. He underwent hours of surgery and has been put on a ventilator.
"The news is not good," Rushdie's agent Andrew Wylie said. "Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed, and his liver was stabbed and damaged."
Investigators are trying to determine a motive for the attack. According to WNBC, Matar's social media shows he supports the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, though there is no direct link between him and the group.
Rushdie has been living under the threat of assassination since the 1980s because his book, The Satanic Verses, was considered blasphemous to many Muslims and resulted in Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issuing a fatwa calling for his death. While Iran has distanced itself from the fatwa, a multi-million dollar bounty still remains on Rushdie's head.
Matar was denied bail and remains locked up at the Chautauqua County Jail.
"This is the very early stage of what will invariably be a protracted legal process," Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt said in a statement. "We will try to be as transparent as we can without compromising the case."