Sunday 14 August 2022 08:01 PM Mother of alleged Salman Rushdie attacker says her son is 'responsible for his ... trends now
The mom of the alleged Iranian sympathizer accused of trying to murder Salman Rushdie has told how her outgoing, American-raised son took a month-long trip to the Middle East - and came back a religious zealot.
Distraught Silvana Fardos also revealed a number of items FBI agents seized from her 24-year-old son Hadi Matar's basement apartment – including a computer, PlayStation, books, knives and a tool to sharpen blades.
The first she learnt of the frenzied stabbing of acclaimed author Rushdie, 75, was when agents raided her Fairview, New Jersey home on Friday afternoon.
Rushdie's life has been under threat since 1989 when the late Ayatollah Khomeini - leader of Iran's Islamic revolution – condemned his famous book, The Satanic Verses, as blasphemous and issued a fatwa calling for his death.
'I received a call from my daughter. I was at work and she told me the FBI are here – I was shell shocked,' Silvana, 46, told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview.
Silvana Fardos, the mom of Hadi Matar, 24, the alleged Iranian sympathizer who is accused of trying to kill Salman Rushdie on Friday says her son took a trip to the Middle East - and came back a religious zealot
Hadi Matar, 24, is accused of carrying out a stabbing attack against 'Satanic Verses' author Salman Rushdie. He has entered a not-guilty plea on charges of attempted murder and assault
'To tell you the truth I never heard of his writer before. I never read any of his books, I didn't know that such a writer even exists. I had no knowledge that my son ever read his book.
'I just cannot believe he was capable of doing something like this. He was very quiet, everyone loved him. As I said to the FBI I'm not going to bother talking to him again. He's responsible for his actions.
'I have another two minors that I need to take care of. They are upset, they're shocked. All we can do is try to move on from this, without him.'
Matar was born in the US to Lebanese parents who emigrated from the southern border town of Yaroun, a stronghold of the Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah.
He grew up and went to school in Cudahy, California before his mom divorced his father Hassan Matar in 2004, her ex-husband returning to the Middle East while she moved to New Jersey for a fresh start.
It was on a trip to Lebanon in 2018 to visit his father that Hadi changed from a popular, loving son to a moody introvert, according to Silvana.
'The first hour he gets there he called me, he wanted to come back. He stayed for approximately 28 days but the trip did not go well with his father, he felt very alone,' she told DailyMail.com.
'I was expecting him to come back motivated, to complete school, to get his degree and a job. But instead he locked himself in the basement. He had changed a lot, he didn't say anything to me or his sisters for months.
'I couldn't tell you much about his life after that because he has isolated me since 2018. If I approach him sometimes he says hi, sometimes he just ignores me and walks away.
'He sleeps during the day and wakes and eats during