Rushdie attacker lived in mum’s basement watching Netflix and playing games

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The man arrested for attempting to murder author Sir Salman Rushdie has admitted that he spends most of his time in his mother's basement playing video games.

The Satanic Verses novelist had been stabbed at an event in Chautauqua, New York, on Friday (August 12) after years of receiving death threats and being a target on Al Qaeda’s hitlist.

The famous and controversial author is reported to have been stabbed 15 times with one of the wounds being to his neck during the on-stage attack. He was airlifted to hospital following the attack.

READ MORE: Salman Rushdie was 'lying in pool of blood' after being stabbed as his attacker is named

Three law enforcement sources identified the alleged attacker as Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey. He denies attempted murder.

Sir Salman had been due to give a speech at the Chautauqua Institution, which was evacuated.

Police said a man ran on stage and set upon the author and his interviewer.

Witnesses claim Sir Salman was stabbed or punched 10 to 15 times.

One witness told the New York Times that Sir Rushdie had been "lying in a pool of his own blood" following the attack.

Giving his first interview from jail, the alleged attacker spoke to the New York Post.

He told them: “I don’t like the person. I don’t think he’s a very good person. I don’t like him – I don’t like him very much.

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“He’s someone who attacked Islam, he attacked their beliefs, the belief systems.

“I respect the ayatollah – I think he’s a great person and that’s as far as I will say about that,"

Sir Salman was given immediate medical treatment on-site, before being airlifted to a local trauma centre.

A few days later, his son Zafar said that while he has “life-changing injuries”, his road to recovery “had begun”.

And this was a shock to the wannabe murder.

Matar explained: “When I heard he survived, I was surprised, I guess.

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It had been assumed that Sir Salman's controversial 1989 book had prompted the attack, but Matar admits to having only “read a couple of pages” of The Satanic Verses.

The book, which was heavily critical of Islam, prompted Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa – or kill order – on Sir Salman.

It was never withdrawn, and remains on the man's head today.

Matar, giving an insight into his life, admitted to the NYP that he spends most of his time in his “mom's basement”, playing video games and watching Netflix.

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He added, ahead of his court hearing on Friday: “I wanted a hobby, a recreational activity.”

And of his time in prison so far, he told of the one thing he's not happy about.

“A lot of the food they have given me is not allowed in my religion to eat,” he added.

He has, so far, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder.

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