Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the former supreme leader of Iran, issued a fatwa on Rushdie in 1989 after deciding that several passages in his 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” were blasphemous. Rushdie has been living under this fatwa ever since. The novel’s Italian translator, Ettore Capriolo, was hurt in a knife attack in Milan in July 1991, while its Japanese translation, Hitoshi Igarashi, was fatally stabbed in Japan. William Nygaard, a Norwegian who published “The Satanic Verses,” was shot and injured in Oslo in October 1993.
24 year old Matar lives in Fairview, New Jersey, a state that borders New York. He was born in the USA to Lebanese parents who left Yaroun in southern Lebanon and immigrated there.
Matar was found to be sympathetic to Shia extremism and the goals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), an ideologically motivated branch of the Iranian armed forces tasked with defending the nation’s Islamic system from adversarial foreign powers and internal dissent. This was revealed by a law enforcement analysis of Matar’s social media accounts.