The 24-year-old man accused of stabbing author Salman Rushdie had been in direct contact with members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on social media, European and Middle Eastern intelligence officials told VICE World News.
Hadi Matar has been charged with attempted murder after Rushdie, 75, was repeatedly stabbed on stage ahead of a speaking event in Chautauqua, New York, on Friday. On Sunday, Rushdie’s son Zafar Rushdie said that his father was in a critical condition and had sustained “life changing” injuries, but had been taken off a ventilator and had been able to speak.
A NATO counter-terrorism official from a European country said the stabbing had all the hallmarks of a “guided” attack, where an intelligence service talks a supporter into action, without direct support or involvement in the attack itself.
“Close scrutiny needs to be paid to his communications,” said the NATO official, who was not authorised to speak on the record. “More investigation will reveal more information on the exact nature of the links.”