Salman Rushdie’s attacker was in contact with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, report says

Intelligence officials say Hadi Matar, 25, was speaking to members of the Revolutionary Guard over social media

Bevan Hurley
Monday 15 August 2022 20:07 BST
Moment Salman Rushdie's attacker apprehended on stage
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The New Jersey man accused of stabbing Salman Rushdie up to 10 times had been in contact with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a new report claims.

Vice reported that Hadi Matar, 25, was communicating with members of the militia over social media prior to the attack, citing anonymous intelligence sources.

Iranian government officials have denied any involvement in Friday’s attack on Mr Rushdie at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state and there is no evidence they were involved in planning the attack.

But according to a European intelligence official who spoke to Vice, the stabbing bore all the hallmarks of a “guided attack”.

The official said “close scrutiny” needed to be paid to his online communications as it appeared someone had been instructing Mr Matar on when and how to carry out the attack.

A Middle Eastern intelligence source told Vice that it was obvious that Mr Matar had been in contact with “people either directly involved with or adjacent to” the Revolutionary Guard’s external operations force.

Hadi Matar has been charged with attempted murder of Salman Rushdie

Iran has denied any involvement in the attack on Mr Rushdie

“It’s unclear the extent of the involvement, if this was a directly supported assassination attempt or if it was a series of suggestions and directions in picking a target,” the official told the media company.

Law enforcement sources told NBC News that Mr Matar’s social media accounts appeared to show he had made sympathetic posts about the Revolutionary Guard.

A computer and other electronic devices were confiscated along with knives and a tool for sharpening blades from his home in Fairview, New Jersey, his mother Silvana Fardos told DailyMail.com.

On Sunday, Mr Rushdie’s son Zafar said his father had been taken off a ventilator and was speaking, but remained in a critical condition.

“Though his life changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty and defiant sense of humour remains in tact.”

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