A representative of the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, said on Saturday (13) that the group don’t have information on the motive for the knife attack on the British writer Salman Rushdie.
“We don’t know anything about this matter, so we won’t comment,” a representative for the group told Reuters news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.
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Hezbollah is supported by Iran. On February 14, 1989, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the country’s first supreme leader, issued a fatwa (Islamic legal determination) in which he called for Rushdie’s death.
Fatwas are legal determinations of Islamic law, issued by a person with authority and who was provoked — that is, it is like a judge in ordinary justice: someone who has the authority to decide matters that come to him, but cannot file a lawsuit and also take the decision.
Salman Rushdie is the author of twelve novels and several essays — Photo: BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS/via BBC
The attacker was arrested
The author of the attack was detained by police officers who were at the event and is under arrest. His name is Hadi Matar, he is 24 years old and he is from New Jersey.
On Friday (12), police said at a press conference that they had not yet established the motive for the crime.
Matar is originally Lebanese and his family is from the city of Yaroun, in southern Lebanon, Yaroun Mayor Ali Tehfe told Reuters.
Tehfe also said his parents emigrated to the United States and Matar was born and raised there.
When asked if Matar or his parents were affiliated with or supported Hezbollah, Tehfe said he had no “no information” about their parents’ or Matar’s political views while living abroad.