The wife of Omar Mateen, who was responsible for the rampage on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub in 2016, has pleaded not guilty to charges of helping her husband plan the terrorist attack. Mateen’s wife, Noor Salman, was arrested in Rodeo, California, on January 16th. She is now in an Oakland prison awaiting a bail hearing set for February 1st.
Salman’s Arrest And Statement Of Defense
Prosecutors in this case believe Salman knew all about her husband’s terrorist plot months before the deadly shooting on June 12th. Immediately after the shooting, however, Salman told reporters she knew nothing about her husband’s affiliation with the Islamic State or his intention to murder over 40 people at a gay nightclub.
The indictment against Salman was first brought to the media’s attention in the second week of January. The indictment says that Salman knowingly worked with Mateen to coordinate his attack. Officially, Salman has been charged with two counts.
First, Salman has been charged with obstruction of justice. Second, prosecutors charged Salman with a count of aiding and abetting a terrorist organization. Salman’s defense lawyer, Linda Moreno, has argued that Salman was a victim of domestic violence and wasn’t aware of any plans for a terrorist attack. As Moreno put it, Salman “had no foreknowledge nor could she predict what Omar Mateen intended to do that tragic night.”
Also, Salman’s uncle, Al Salman, told numerous media outlets that his niece didn’t know about her husband’s terrorist plans.Conservatives have been very critical of lawyer Moreno for years now. Moreno has a history of defending many individuals involved in al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. For example, Moreno has defended Jose Padilla and Adham Hassoun, both of whom were eventually found guilty on conspiracy to murder and kidnap overseas.
Moreno also defended Aafia Siddiqui, a member of al-Qaeda who tried to kill U.S. nationals in Afghanistan. Conservatives are also critical of this trial’s defense being funded by the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA). Despite these critiques, the hearing is still expected to move forward.
Incriminating Evidence Against Salman
One incriminating piece of evidence against Salman is the fact that she admitted driving her husband to the Pulse nightclub on numerous occasions before the shooting rampage. In addition to driving by the Pulse nightclub, Salman and Mateen often drove around Downtown Disney and staked the area out. Walt Disney World officials actually alerted FBI officials to Mateen and Salman on one occasion.
After the attack, Salman told FBI officials that she was aware Mateen had purchased a great deal of ammunition and firearms. She also said she saw her husband watch a few jihadist videos online. Despite all of this, Salman maintains she never suspected what her husband was thinking of doing with those firearms.
She told The New York Times that she didn’t know about the terrorist attack until she received a text at 4AM from her husband on June 12th. The text told Salman to look at the news. Mateen also sent a message to Salman that said, “I love you babe.”
All Awaiting February Bail Hearing
The world will have to wait until February 1st to find out what is going to happen to Noor Salman. If she is convicted of these charges, she can face a lifetime in prison. Salman’s son will most likely go into the care of her uncle if she is convicted.
Salman, who is now 30, has said very little in her most recent court hearings and has declined to answer questions from the press. Salman was originally from Oakland, and she fled to the nearby city of Rodeo following the Pulse nightclub shooting. She has one four-year-old son.
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