Hadi Matar, the 24-year-old man charged with stabbing Salman Rushdie, in an interview said he was surprised to learn the accomplished author survived the attack.
Matar attacked the 75-year-old author on a lecture stage in western New York.
Rushdie suffered a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm and an eye, according to his agent, in the Friday attack.
His agent, Andrew Wylie, said his condition has improved and he is on the road to recovery.
Matar, who is charged with attempted murder and assault, told the Post he took a bus to Buffalo the day before the attack and then took a Lyft to Chautauqua, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) away.
Speaking to the New York Post from jail, Hadi Matar said he decided to see Rushdie at the Chautauqua Institution after he saw a tweet last winter about the writer’s planned appearance.
“I don’t like the person. I don’t think he’s a very good person,” Matar told the newspaper.
“He’s someone who attacked Islam. He attacked their beliefs, the belief systems.”
The 24-year-old said he considered late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini “a great person” but wouldn’t say whether he was following a fatwa, or edict, issued by Khomeini in Iran in 1989 that called for Rushdie’s death after the author published ‘The Satanic Verses.’
Iran has denied involvement in the attack.
Matar, who lives in Fairview, New Jersey, said he hadn’t had any contact with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
He told the Post he had only read “a couple pages” of ‘The Satanic Verses.’
Matar was born in the US but holds dual citizenship in Lebanon, where his parents were born.
His mother has told reporters in interviews that Matar came back changed from a visit to see his father in Lebanon in 2018.
“After that, he became moody and withdrew from his family,” she said.