By Anne Szmul, National News Editor
After a lengthy investigation by prosecutors, the FBI has recently arrested Noor Salman, the wife of shooter Omar Mateen who carried out the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The shooting last year was the most deadly in United States history.
As first reported by the New York Times on January 16, Salman was charged with “obstructing the investigation of the mass shooting” as well as aiding and abetting. A trial will be set up to determine if Noor Salman was aware of her husband’s plan. Multiple similar cases involving family or friends of mass murderers have recently been brought to trial and the individuals found guilty of impeding justice for failing to report their loved ones.
The June 12 rampage took the lives of 49 people in addition to Mateen, 29, who died while exchanging gunfire with the SWAT team according to Time magazine. His wife was taken in for questioning right after the incident, officials became suspicious of her self-proclaimed ignorance of the plot when Salman’s testimony conflicted with itself.
The Times reports Salman saying that the family went to Orlando when Mateen first scoped out the club. In regards to his buying ammunition before the shooting, Salman did not consider the action out of the ordinary as he worked as a security officer and often bought ammo. As a final indication, used by Salman’s lawyers to show she was not privy to the plan and thus under no obligation to have reported it ahead of time, she bought her husband a Father’s Day card to give to him that evening.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina, according to CNN, said “I am glad to see that Omar Mateen’s wife has been charged with aiding her husband in the commission of the brutal attack on the Pulse nightclub.”
After her arrest in the San Francisco area where Salman had moved with her four year old son, concerns are increasing over the jury being potentially swayed by Salman’s claims that her husband was verbally and physically abusive.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, January 24th print edition.
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