FBI arrests wife of Orlando nightclub shooter
Wife of the Pulse nightclub attacker Omar Mateen was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice. The FBI concluded Noor Salman was not telling the truth about her husband’s plans for the June 2016 rampage.
Mateen declared allegiance to Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS/ISIL) during the attack in which 49 people were killed and 53 injured at the Orlando, Florida gay nightclub. Mateen himself died in a shootout with police.
Salman was arrested in San Francisco on Monday. She had moved several times since the shooting, citing hostility from the public.
“I just want people to know that I am human. I am a mother,” Salman told the New York Times in November, speaking to the media for the first time after the attack. “I was unaware of everything,” she said. “I don’t condone what he has done. I am very sorry for what has happened. He has hurt a lot of people. How can someone be capable of that?”
According to the investigators, however, Salman drove with her husband to Pulse on at least one occasion, and accompanied him to the St. Lucie Shooting Center, where he purchased the handgun and rifle used in the attack.
#BREAKING the charges are obstruction of justice & aiding/abetting the attempted provision of material support to a foreign terrorist org.— Karla Ray (@KRayWFTV) January 16, 2017
Salman and Mateen met on an internet dating site in 2011, and have a 3-year-old son together. Mateen’s ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy, said he had physically abused her during their brief four-month marriage in 2009.
“Nothing can erase the pain we all feel about the senseless and brutal murders of 49 of our neighbors, friends, family members and loved ones. But today, there is some relief in knowing that someone will be held accountable for that horrific crime,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina said, commenting on Salman’s arrest.