Salman was temporarily put on a ventilator while in the hospital, according to the agent, who also told The New York Times shortly after the attack that “Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged.”
The stabbing suspect, New Jersey man Hadi Matar, has since been arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault. The charges were not contested by him.
Investigators are looking into the motive for this attack which occurred more than 30 year after Iran’s Ayatollah. Ruhollah Khomeini issued a “fatwa” on Salman, calling on Muslims around the world to kill the author over his 1988 novel Satanic VersesThe supreme leader declared it blasphemous. The author lived in hiding for several years after the religious edict was issued. Officially, Iran maintained the edict from its inception until 1998 when the Ayatollah died.
A preliminary law enforcement review of the stabbing suspect’s social media accounts showed he is sympathetic to Shia extremism and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps causes, a law enforcement person with direct knowledge of the investigation told NBC News.
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