A "great person" was the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini, for whom he had great respect.

That's what Hadi Matar said in an interview he gave from the detention center.

The 24-year-old American, who attacked writer Salman Rushdie with a knife on Friday and seriously injured him a week ago, not only spoke to journalists on Thursday, he also appeared before the magistrate in Mayville, New York.

The defendant pleaded not guilty;

his public defender, meanwhile, was trying to secure some favors for him.

A jury had earlier decided to charge Matar with attempted murder.

The alleged assassin lived in New Jersey and had no criminal record.

He was born in California and is the son of Lebanese immigrants.

Their village of origin, Jaroun, is said to be a Hezbollah stronghold, according to reports.

Matar's father has now locked himself in there and refuses to speak to reporters, it said.

Matar's mother, who lives in the United States, behaves differently.

According to American media reports, she has broken away from her son.

Silvana Fardos described her son as a young man who spent more and more time in his room.

Matar returned very changed from a trip to the Middle East in 2018, during which he visited his father.

The parents had divorced in 2004, the father went back to Lebanon.

Matar's mother told the British Daily Mail about her son's return four years ago: "I expected him to come back motivated, finish school, graduate and get a job.

Instead, he locked himself in the basement.” Fardos said she felt sorry for Rushdie and his family after the assassination.

She will no longer speak to her son.

Matar is fully responsible for his own actions.

Fardos said she did not raise her son to extreme religious ideas.

Referring to Ayatollah Khomeini's 1989 fatwa, which may have encouraged Matar to carry out the assassination, she said: "I don't know anyone in Iran, my whole family is here." Even though the Iranian government at the time declared Khomeini's fatwa in the late 1990s will not be implemented

Just read a "few pages" of Rushdie

In an interview with the New York Post tabloid, the alleged assassin said he didn't like Salman Rushdie because he attacked Islam and "our beliefs."

He only read a few pages of the "Satanic Verses".

When Matar read online about Rushdie's planned appearance at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state, he says he decided to attack the author on the occasion.

Matar said he was surprised Rushdie survived the assassination.

The magistrate has since refused to release the accused on bail pending his hearing.

Matar's lawyer had justified a corresponding application with the argument that the alleged assassin had no criminal record.

Matar's public defender also asked Foley to do something about the many contact attempts by journalists, his client receives hundreds of calls from media representatives.

Reporting could lead to a biased jury.

However, the judge took no restrictive measures.

Rather, he warned those involved in the proceedings not to give any more interviews.

Seventy-five-year-old Salman Rushdie survived the attack with serious injuries.

His liver, an arm and an eye were injured.

He is now on the mend, Rushdie's son Zafar and his management said.