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Attack on Rushdie follows series of threats against Iran’s opponents abroad

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The stabbing of author Salman Rushdie on Friday in New York was the latest in a series of incidents targeting Iran’s opponents abroad.

An attacker stabbed Rushdie in the neck and abdomen at a literary event in Chautauqua, in western New York State, on Friday morning. He was hospitalized, underwent emergency surgery and remains on a ventilator with severe wounds.

Rushdie’s writing was deemed blasphemous by Iran’s leadership in the 1980s, and Iranian leader Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death in 1989.

Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has never issued a fatwa of his own withdrawing the edict, and said it was “solid and irrevocable” in 2019, although the regime has not focused on Rushdie in recent years.

A suspect in Rushdie’s stabbing, Hadi Matar, was arrested at the scene of the attack.

A law enforcement official told NBC News that, according to a review of his social media activity, the suspect had sympathies for Shia Muslim extremists and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. There were no known direct links between Matar and Iran or the IRGC.

The attack followed several other high profile threats against Iranian dissidents and the regime’s foes.

Last month, a man was arrested with an assault rifle in New York City outside the home of Iranian opposition activist and writer Masih Alinejad.

The suspect, Khalid Mehdiyev, was indicted on a weapons count on Friday.

Police arrested Mehdiyev after he was seen lurking near Alinejad’s Brooklyn home, looking in the window and trying to open the front door. He has been held without bail since his arrest on July........

© The Times of Israel

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