Hadi Matar, Salman Rushdie’s attacker, “had become radicalised”.  Perhaps in contact with the Pasdaran

Hadi Matar, Salman Rushdie’s attacker, “had become radicalised”. Perhaps in contact with the Pasdaran

by Viviana Mazza and Guido Olimpio

His mother’s interview with the Chron: “He was introverted, he was critical of our customs”; for “Vice” he was in contact with the Qods Division, the secret apparatus of the Pasdaran

A trip can change your life. Worse. It depends on the protagonist and who he meets. The mother of Hadi Matar, Salman Rushdie’s attacker, is convinced her son has taken a different path after a month in the Middle East. The detention In an interview with the Chron, Lebanese Muslim Silvana Fardos said Hadi left for Lebanon in 2018, he wanted to meet his father, who after the divorce settled in the home village of Yaroun. This return to the origins would have spoiled the existence of the young man: things were going badly – said the woman – relations with parents were contradictory and he called me almost immediately claiming that he wanted to return to the United States. Instead, he stayed for 28 days: It is currently not known whether he was in contact with political or extremist circles. What is certain is that Matar seemed much more religious and withdrawn after his return. He criticized his mother for not paying attention, avoiding, spending most of her time in the basement of the house, forbidding access to family members, not having direct contact, and preferring to cook for herself. A kind of imprisonment – punctuated by episodes in the gym and boxing – reminiscent of that of some US mass shooters.

The investigations

During this form of isolation, does the prospective attacker “discover” their target? The FBI seized material, including the computer of the young man, who was born in California 24 years ago. Agents are looking for potential inspirers. The Vice site, citing intelligence circles, introduces a lead: there were contacts via the Internet, it is not clear in what form, with elements of the Qods Division, the secret apparatus of Iran’s Pasdaran. But these are rather vague indications without precise confirmation. And that’s why we continue to look at the personal context. Silvana’s version agrees with that of a former schoolmate who was the first to describe Matar’s extreme sensitivity to Islam issues. Other testimonies have instead confirmed the introverted nature of the 20-year-old. They are scattered pieces, not enough to create an accurate profile. Investigators need time to “dig”. Because now there is the history of the family: the time in California, the divorce in 2004, the father goes to Lebanon, the mother files for bankruptcy and moves to New Jersey with her children in 2014, Matar’s visit to Lebanon in 2018, the progressive isolation, hence the attack on the writer. Personal uneasiness that perhaps meets an extremist side, with the stabber fascinated by the Iranian guardians of the revolution, General Qasem Soleimani, by the symbols of Shiite militancy, as documented by his social media posts. It’s still little, though, it’s just a starting point – like the rumors from Vice – that will require more investigative work on the part of federal agents. Granted they are looking in the “backyard” and far away given the implications of the fatwa issued by Imam Khomeini in a very distant 1989.

The reactions

Secretary of State Antony Blinken specifically named Iran in his note on Rushdie after Republicans criticized President Biden for not doing so. “Iranian institutions have been inciting violence against the writer for years, and the state media have rejoiced in the attack against him in recent days. It’s all despicable »Reactions from Tehran are always binary, as is usual. The media did not hide the satisfaction at the attack on the author of The Satanic Verses, the headlines contain explicit references to revenge. The government, on the other hand, has officially denied any connection to the violence, but has been careful not to condemn it, presenting it as a natural reaction to the crime against the Prophet. Behind it are years of threats against Rushdie, continued hate speech in the knowledge that eventually someone would heed the appeal. To obey a direct command, but also without it, in accordance with an indelible religious decree.

August 15, 2022 (Modification August 15, 2022 | 13:55)