Noor Salman, the widow of Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, was arrested in the San Francisco area Monday on federal charges of obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting Mateen’s material support to the Islamic State group, according to CNN.
Mateen’s attack, carried out on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in the name of the Islamic State group, killed 49 victims in the largest terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. The New York Times reported that authorities had been considering charges against Salman for months due to troubling inconsistencies in her story.
“Investigators interviewed Ms. Salman for hours after the attack and came to believe she was not telling the truth about her husband’s plans to carry out the rampage,” The Times reported.
The lawyer for the 30-year-old Salman tells a different story, however.
“Noor Salman had no foreknowledge nor could she predict what Omar Mateen intended to do that tragic night,” attorney Linda Moreno told The Times. “Noor has told her story of abuse at his hands. We believe it is misguided and wrong to prosecute her and that it dishonors the memories of the victims to punish an innocent person.”
However, there remain several troubling aspects of Salman’s story. She had been with Mateen when he purchased the ammunition used in the attack and had traveled to Orlando with him when he scouted the nightclub. Also, Salman had been a witness to Mateen’s decision to quit-claim their house before the shooting — essentially giving it away by signing it over to his sister and brother-in-law in exchange for $10.
While no new evidence was made public at the time of Salman’s arrest, a statement from Orlando Police Chief John W. Mina indicates that authorities in the Florida city are in agreement with the charges.
“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,” Mina said in a statement, according to The Times. “But today, there is some relief in knowing that someone will be held accountable for that horrific crime.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind, based on the information I knew and I received from the FBI over the past seven months, that she knew, that she aided and that she could have prevented this tragedy,” Mina told CNN.
It’s yet another sad twist in a terrorist attack that showed America just how insidious and dangerous radical Islamist theology can be. Thanks to the internet, the Islamic State group can reach out and radicalize individuals anywhere in the world.
In this case, the terrorists managed to striike at a vulnerable population — one the left has claimed to protect, at the same time liberals were treating the Islamic State group as the “JV team” and encouraging an open-door policy to migrants from terrorist-controlled areas.
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